In Memoriam: Muhammad Yusuf Najm
|Muhammad Yusuf Najm
The American University of Beirut, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Arabic Language and Literature announced the passing away of Muhammad Yusuf Najm, Professor Emeritus of Arabic at AUB.
Known for his grace, elegance, and sharp sense of humor, Najm was a professor for over 50 years, teaching Arabic literature to students at AUB for over 25 years, as well to students at Harvard University in 1972 and at Kuwait University in 1969.
Professor Najm was born in Palestine in 1925 and earned his BA and MA (Arabic Literature) from AUB, in 1946 and 1948, respectively. He received his PhD in Arabic Language and Literature from Fouad Al-Awwal University in Cairo in 1954.
Professor Najm held several teaching positions at International College (IC) and AUB where he served as Professor of Arabic Literature from 1964 to 1990 and was named Professor Emeritus in 1992. He also served as librarian of the Arab League Institute for Graduate Studies in 1953-54 and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Welfare Association of Geneva.
His legacy to Arabic literature lies in his numerous published works, primarily on Arabic theater, fiction, and modern Arabic poetry as well as three works of literary criticism and two translations of British literary criticism. Among his many contributions to Arabic literature are, The Play in Arabic Literature and Al-Mounsef, or, The Novel in Arabic Literature. He also co-wrote three anthologies of Arabic literature.
Professor Najm held memberships in several cultural committees and organizations. His contributions to the study of Arabic literature have been acknowledged in a number of prizes throughout his career, including the Arab League Cultural Department’s Prize for Literary Studies in 1956 and 1958, and the prestigious King Faysal International Prize for Arabic Literature.
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