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Contributor

Humphrey Davies

Contributor

Humphrey Davies

Humphrey Davies was an award-winning translator of some twenty works of modern Arabic literature, among them Alaa Al-Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building, four novels by Elias Khoury, including Gate of the Sun, and Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq’s Leg over Leg. He also made a critical edition, translation, and lexicon of the Ottoman-period Hazz al-quhuf bi-sharh qasid Abi Shaduf (Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded) by Yusuf al-Shirbini and compiled with a colleague an anthology entitled Al-‘ammiyyah al-misriyyah al-maktubah: mukhtarat min 1400 ila 2009 (Egyptian Colloquial Writing: selections from 1400 to 2009). He read Arabic at the University of Cambridge, received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, and, previous to undertaking his first translation in 2003, worked for social development and research organizations in Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine, and Sudan. His awards included the inaugural Banipal Prize for Arabic literary translation for Gate of the Sun. 

Articles by Humphrey Davies

Two Million People in the Square: Scenes from the Revolution
By Magdy El Shafee
The people say: Step down now!
Translated from Arabic by Humphrey Davies
Learn
from “Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded”
By Yusuf al-Shirbini
Yusuf al-Shirbini wrote his primary work, Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded [Hazz al-Quhuf bi-Sharh Qasid Abi Shaduf], in or shortly after 1686. His only other known work is a homily…
Translated from Arabic by Humphrey Davies
Annihilation
By Gamal al-Ghitani
“The most important Arab novelist today.”—Naguib Mahfouz
Translated from Arabic by Humphrey Davies
from The Assembly of Secrets
By Elias Khoury
This is how the story began.On that day, which was the sixth of January, 1976, Madame Sarah Nassar died, aged eighty-odd years. The death was expected. The only one to be taken by surprise was Ibrahim…
Translated from Arabic by Humphrey Davies
from Yalo
By Elias Khoury
TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: “Yalo” is the story of an interrogation, by a nameless officer, of Daniel Habil Abyad, a young man of Assyrian Christian background who is accused, among other crimes,…
Translated from Arabic by Humphrey Davies
from Gate of the Sun
By Elias Khoury
What should I say about Umm Hassan?Should I mention the tears, or the memories, or say nothing?Seated in the backseat of the little blue Volkswagen, she was looking out the window and seeing nothing.“We’re…
Translated from Arabic by Humphrey Davies
Shooq
By Sayed Ragab
Translator’s note: Shooq means “longing” and is also a woman’s given name. Following custom, Shooq’s mother and father are referred to in the story by the honorifics Umm…
Translated from Egyptian Arabic by Humphrey Davies
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