Al-Jayyusi, Salma al-Khadra (Writer)


(1946- ) anthologist, literary critic, poet

Salma al-Khadra Al-Jayyusi was born in East Jordan to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother. She spent most of her childhood in Acre and Jerusalem. After graduating from the American University of Beirut with a B.A. in Arabic and English literature, she went to London for her Ph.D. Jayyusi has traveled widely and lived in many places around the globe. She has taught at various universities in the Middle East and the United States and founded the Project of Translation from Arabic Literature in 1980. This project stemmed from Al-Jayyusi’s discovery that Arabic literature was not widely known around the world, and in cases where translations could be found, they were poorly done.

Al-Jayyusi is best known for her literary critique of Arabian literature and poetry. Having traveled widely during her life, she is able to interpolate in her poems the richness of her experiences within other cultures. Despite her ability to immerse herself in other traditions, Al-Jayyusi is committed to presenting the essence of Arabic literary tradition to the literary world. Her first collection of poems, Return from the Dreamy Fountain, was first published in 1960. Even though it was well received by readers, Al-Jayyusi decided to focus her next efforts on collecting rarely known Arabic works and bringing them to the attention of the world. In 1977, she published a two-volume critical literary history of Arabic poetry, Trends and Movements in Modern Arabic Poetry. She hopes that by continuing to introduce books such as the above to the world, readers can gain a better understanding of the richness of Arabic literature.

Other Works Edited by Salma al-Khadra Al-Jayyusi

Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.

The Legacy of Muslim Spain. Leiden; New York: E. J. Brill, 1992.

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