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A First: Classic Book on Hebrew Literature Translated into Arabic

A classic book on Hebrew literature by a former Hebrew University professor has been translated into Arabic–the first book on Hebrew literature to appear in that language.

The book, “A Brief History of the New Hebrew Literature, 1781-1939,” was written by Prof. Joseph Klausner, one of the pioneer teachers and researchers of modern Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University, and was translated into Arabic in the late 1950’s by the late Dr. Itzhak Shamosh, who was the first teacher of Hebrew-to-Arabic translation and a lecturer in modern Arabic literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The manuscript of the translation of Klausner’s book was found in the estate of Shamosh. After his death in 1968, the estate, including his library and his manuscripts, was given to the Hebrew University by his family.

Prof. Shmuel Moreh, lecturer in modern Arabic language and literature at the Hebrew University, found the manuscript of the translation in the estate, edited it, compared it with the original Hebrew, and added an introduction and an index. The book was published in Acre and has aroused interest among authors, lecturers and students of Hebrew literature in Egypt. Moreh says this is the first book on Hebrew literature that has ever appeared in Arabic.