Jabra Ibrahim Jabra

Aug 28, 1919 - Dec 11, 1994

Jabra Ibrahim Jabra was a Palestinian/Iraqi author, artist and intellectual born in Adana in French-occupied Cilicia to a Syriac Orthodox Christian family. His family survived the Seyfo Genocide and fled to the British Mandate of Palestine in the early 1920s. Jabra was educated at government schools under the British-mandatory educational system in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, such as the Government Arab College, and won a scholarship from the British Council to study at the University of Cambridge. Following the events of 1948, Jabra fled Jerusalem and settled in Baghdad, where he found work teaching at the University of Baghdad. In 1952 he was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities fellowship to study English literature at Harvard University. Over the course of his literary career, Jabra wrote novels, short stories, poetry, criticism, and a screenplay. He was a prolific translator of modern English and French literature into Arabic. Jabra was also an enthusiastic painter, and he pioneered the Hurufiyya movement, which sought to integrate traditional Islamic art within contemporary art through the decorative use of Arabic script.
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