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Arabic Literature (Modern), Jewish Writers in

(3,107 words)

Author(s): Sasson Somekh
For nearly fifteen centuries Judeo-Arabic was one of the most important languages used by the Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa. It was similar to the Arabic of the Muslims among whom the Jews lived, but differed in several respects, primarily the use by the Jews of Hebrew and Aramaic lexical elements. Written Judeo-Arabic differed even more because it used Hebrew rather than Arabic script. Hebrew script is used in nearly all Jewish Arabic texts, ranging from the casual to the most prestigious, from private correspondence to the works of Mai…

Farag, Murād

(496 words)

Author(s): Sasson Somekh
Murād Farag (Faraj), born in Cairo in 1867, was a lawyer practicing in the communal and general courts of his city of birth, a prominent leader of the Karaite community, and a writer, poet, and philologist. Between 1912 and 1935 he published four volumes of poetry composed in the traditional Arab mode ( Dīwān Faraj, 1912, 1924, 1939, 1935) as well as a volume of poetry and prose on Jewish themes entitled al-Qudsiyyāt (Sacred/Jerusalemite Topics; Cairo, 1923; Heb. ha-Qodshiyyot, Cairo, 192?). Many of the poems and other pieces in these volumes present Jewish ideas and aspi…