• Philip F. Kennedy, New York University

    General Editor

    Philip F. Kennedy, the founding Faculty Director of the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, is Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Comparative Literature at New York University, and affiliate faculty member of NYU Abu Dhabi. As author or editor, Kennedy has published many writings on Arabic literature, including The Wine Song in Classical Arabic Poetry: Abu Nuwas and the Literary Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997); Abu Nuwas: A Genius of Poetry (Oxford: Oneworld 2005–in the series Makers of the Muslim World); On Fiction and Adab in Medieval Arabic Literature (Harrassowitz Verlag 2004—in the series Studies in Arabic Language and Literature); Islamic Reflections, Arabic Musings (co-editor with Robert Hoyland, Oxford: Oxbow for the E.J.W. Gibb Memorial Trust Series 2004); and Recognition in the Arabic Narrative Tradition: Discovery, Deliverance and Delusion (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). As a student, he studied in Oxford, Cairo, Madrid, Aix-en-Provence, and the United Arab Emirates.

  • James E. Montgomery, University of Cambridge

    Executive Editor

    1982 was a quiet turning-point in James Montgomery’s life. In this order, he: read some poems by the pre-Islamic poet Imruʾ al-Qays; met his wife; read sections from Kitāb al-Bukhalāʾ of al-Jāḥiẓ; discovered the wine poems of Abū Nuwās and was captivated by the panegyrics of al-Mutanabbī. These epiphanies are with him still. He dropped his study of Latin and graduated with a degree in Greek and Arabic from the University of Glasgow (1984); began a D.Phil. on the pre-Islamic panegyric at Balliol College, Oxford, from 1984-86, a work which he never finished (he hopes he still has the fruits of his labor in a box in his attic); married Yvonne in 1987; submitted a second Ph.D. on pre-Islamic poetry to the University of Glasgow in 1990. He has been revisiting Imruʾ al-Qays, al-Jāḥiẓ, Abū Nuwās, and al-Mutanabbī ever since. He has three wonderful children, Natasha, Sam, and Josh, and a Jack Russell called Reggie. He is Sir Thomas Adams’s Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity Hall, and the author of several books on Arabic letters, including Al-Jāḥiẓ: In Praise of Books (2013) and Loss Sings (2018), a collaboration with artist Alison Watt. His favourite place is the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides.

  • Shawkat M. Toorawa, Yale University

    Executive Editor

    After school in Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore, Shawkat M. Toorawa went to the University of Pennsylvania, where he discovered Arabic literature and took a B.A. (Hons) in Arabic and Islamic Studies, an M.A. in modern Arabic literature, and a Ph.D. in medieval Arabic literature. He has taught Arabic at Duke University, medieval French literature and Indian Ocean studies at the University of Mauritius, and Arabic and world literatures at Cornell University. He has also worked in a family import/export company in Kuala Lumpur and Port-Louis. In 2016, he joined Yale University as Professor of Arabic. Teaching and research interests include: the Qurʾan, in particular hapaxes, rhyme-words, and translation; the literary and writerly culture of Abbasid Baghdad; the Waqwaq Tree and islands; the eighteenth-century Indian author Azad Bilgrami; modern Arabic and world poetry; Creole-language Mauritian literature; translation; and SF film and literature. His life is made perfect by his wife Parvine, their daughters Maryam and Asiya, and the family cat, Cotomili. [Photo Credit: Lindsay France]

  • Sean W. Anthony, The Ohio State University


    Sean W. Anthony (Ph.D. University of Chicago 2009) is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the Ohio State University. His scholarship focuses on early Islamic history and the emergence of the literary traditions and canons of Arabic literature. Among his publications are Muhammad and the Empires of Faith: The Making of the Prophet of Islam (University of California Press, 2020) and Crucifixion and Death as Spectacle: Umayyad Crucifixion in Its Late Antique Context (American Oriental Society, 2015). He is also the editor and translator of The Expeditions: An Early Biography of Muhammad by Maʿmar ibn Rāshid (NYU Press, 2014), one of the earliest biographies of the Prophet Muhammad to survive until modern times.

  • Huda J. Fakhreddine, University of Pennsylvania


    Huda J. Fakhreddine is Associate Professor of Arabic literature at the University of Pennsylvania.  She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English literature from the American University of Beirut and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations with a focus on Arabic and comparative literature from Indiana University, Bloomington. Her work focuses on modernist movements or trends in Arabic poetry and their relationship to the Arabic literary tradition. Her book Metapoesis in the Arabic Tradition (Brill, 2015) is a study of the modernist poetry of the twentieth century and the Abbasid muḥdath movement as periods of literary crisis and meta-poetic reflection. Her teaching and research interests include: the Arabic qaṣīdah as a space for negotiating the foreign and the indigenous, the modernist and the traditional, and its relationship to other poetic forms such as the free verse poem and the prose poem, translation studies, the politics of translation and its role in creating the image and status of Arabic literature, and especially poetry, in other languages. Her book The Arabic Prose Poem: Poetic Theory and Practice is forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press in 2020. Her translations of modern Arabic poems have appeared in Banipal, World Literature Today, Nimrod, ArabLit Quarterly and Middle Eastern Literatures. She is the co-translator with Jayson Iwen of Jawdat Fakhreddine’s Lighthouse for the Drowning (BOA editions, 2017), The Sky That Denied Me: Selected Poems by Jawdat Fakhreddine with Roger Allen (University of Texas Press, 2020), and Come Take a Gentle Stab: Selected Poems by Salim Barakat with Jayson Iwen (forthcoming, Seagull Books). Her book of creative non-fiction titled Zaman Ṣaghīr taḥt shams thāniyah (A Small Time under a Different Sun) was published by Dar al-Nahda, Beirut in 2019.

  • Lara Harb, Princeton University


    Lara Harb (Ph.D. New York University 2013) is an assistant professor at the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University.  Her research focuses on classical Arabic literature and literary theory. She is the author of Arabic Poetics: Aesthetic Experience in Classical Arabic Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020)which looks at medieval Arabic conceptions of poetic beauty and makes the novel argument that wonder became the defining aesthetic experience of poetic language in classical Arabic literary theory. Harb has published articles on ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī, Ibn Dāwūd al-Isfahānī, and the use of Persian in early Abbasid poetry. Harb grew up in Palestine. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University (2004). Prior to Princeton, she taught at Dartmouth College.

  • Maya Kesrouany, NYU Abu Dhabi


    Maya Issam Kesrouany is a scholar of twentieth-century cultural production from the Middle East, interested in the intersection between aesthetics, politics and communal ethics. Her interdisciplinary research engages Arabic literature, aesthetic theory, visual culture, comparative literary theory and cultural histories. Her current project investigates an international cosmopolitanism of cultural production in North Africa and the Levant in the twentieth century. Her research interests include nationalism and political imaginaries, cultural studies in the public sphere and critical translation theory. Her first book Prophetic Translation: The Making of Modern Egyptian Literature was published with Edinburgh University Press in January 2019. It explores translations of French and British literature and philosophy in twentieth-century Egypt, and challenges accounts of the birth of modern Arabic literature as a secular mode of reading. The careful readings of different transition styles and objectives propose examining reading practices as contingent expressions of communities of readers. Her current book project, Conversions with No Endings: Aesthetics and Politics in the Arab World, theorizes twentieth-century visual and literary production in Lebanon, Egypt and Syria in relation to the promotion of a cultural education in the public sphere. Before joining New York University in Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) as an assistant professor of Literature and Middle Eastern Studies, she was an assistant professor of literature at the American University of Sharjah and a Mellon fellow at the American University of Beirut.

  • Enass Khansa, American University of Beirut


    Enass Khansa joined AUB’s department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages in 2018 as an Assistant Professor. She earned her Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Georgetown University (2015) and held fellowships at Harvard University’s Aga Khan Program for Islamic Art and Architecture (2016-2017); and Harvard University’s Real Colegio Complutense (2015-2016), for UNESCO’s Santiago de Compostela Project, where she is still a member. Her research interests include medieval adab, anthological writing (4/10-6/12 c.) and manuscript edition. She is currently preparing a book manuscript on copious knowledge and the medieval concept of ikhityār. Prior to her academic tenure, Enass worked as a diplomat and as the Special Adviser to the Chair at The Atlantic in Washington D.C. Enass is the co-editor of LAL’s Arabic Literature for Youth Series (2020).

  • Bilal Orfali, American University of Beirut


    ​Bilal Orfali (Ph.D. Yale University 2009) is Professor and Sheikh Zayed Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut and previously held the M.S. Sofia Chair in Arabic Studies at the Ohio State University. He specializes in Arabic literature, Sufism, and Qurʾanic Studies. He co-edits al-Abhath Journal and Brill’s series Texts and Studies on the Qur’an. He is the author and editor of more than twenty books on Arabic Studies. His recent publications include The Anthologist’s Art (Brill, 2016), The Book of Noble Character (Brill, 2015), The Comfort of the Mystics (Brill, 2013), Sufism, Black and White (Brill, 2012), and In the Shadow of Arabic (Brill, 2011).

  • Maurice A. Pomerantz


    Maurice A. Pomerantz (Ph.D. University of Chicago 2010) is Assistant Professor of Literature at New York University Abu Dhabi.  Prior to joining NYUAD in 2013, he taught Classical Arabic literature at NYU in the department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies since 2008. Pomerantz’s scholarship focuses mainly on Arabic belles-lettres, its historical contexts, and modern interpretations. His first monograph is entitled Licit Magic: The Life and Letters of al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād (d. 385/995) (Brill, 2017). He has also is the editor of two recent volumes in Arabic and Islamic studies, The Heritage of Arabo-Islamic Learning (Brill, 2016), and In the Presence of Power: Court and Performance in the Pre-Modern Middle East (NYU Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph that traces the later history of the maqāmah genre in Arabic.

  • Mohammed Rustom, Carleton University


    Mohammed Rustom is Professor of Islamic Thought at Carleton University. An internationally recognized scholar whose works have been translated into over ten languages, he specializes in Islamic philosophy, Sufi literature, Quranic exegesis, and cross-cultural philosophy. Professor Rustom is author of The Triumph of Mercy: Philosophy and Scripture in Mullā Ṣadrā (2012), co-editor of The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary (2015), author of Inrushes of the Heart: The Sufi Philosophy of ʿAyn al-Quḍāt (2022), and editor/translator for LAL of ʿAyn al-Quḍāt’s masterpiece of philosophical mysticism, The Essence of Reality: A Defense of Philosophical Sufism (2022).

  • Chip Rossetti

    Editorial Director

    Chip Rossetti has a Ph.D. in Arabic literature (specializing in modern Iraqi fiction) at the University of Pennsylvania, and did his undergraduate degree in Greek and Latin at Harvard. Before his second career in academia, he worked for a number of years as an acquiring editor at US publishers such as Basic Books, Wiley, and Little, Brown. From 2005 to 2007, he was the senior editor at the American University in Cairo Press. His translations include Sonallah Ibrahim’s Beirut, Beirut; Magdy El Shafee’s graphic novel Metro; Ahmed Khaled Towfik’s sci-fi novel Utopia; and Three Poems by Syrian poet Liwaa Yazji (with Samantha Kostmayer Sulaiman.) In 2010, he won a PEN America Translation Fund grant for his translation of Muhammad Makhzangi’s short story collection Animals in our Days.

  • Lucie Taylor

    Assistant Editor

    Lucie Taylor holds a B.A. in Arabic and French from Brasenose College, Oxford University, and is currently working towards an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies at NYU. She has studied Arabic in Egypt and Jordan. Before joining the Library of Arabic Literature, she worked in marketing and publicity at Oxford University Press.

  • Stuart Brown

    Digital Production Manager

    In between failing as a musician and failing as a linguist, Stuart Brown has somehow managed to make something of a success of digital publishing. He consults with publishers around the world, specialising in multilingual texts. He has worked with, amongst others, Sanskrit, Portuguese, and a dead Australian aboriginal language from the Sydney Bay area (name unknown). He lives in Oxford, UK, and in his spare time travels, plays the piano not as well as he used to, and inches his way ever closer to finishing a PhD on the sociolinguistics of Brazilian Portuguese.

  • Amani Alzoubi

    Fellowship Program Coordinator and Arabic Website Coordinator

    Amani Alzoubi is the Fellowship Program Coordinator and Arabic Website Coordinator for the Library of the Arabic Literature. Prior to this, she served as a training and translation executive for a governmental agency in the UAE and has experience in the private sector in the United States and in her native Jordan. She holds a Bachelors degree in French and English Literature and a Masters in Public Administration, both from Jacksonville State University in Alabama.


  • Marcel Kurpershoek

    Senior LAL Fellow, 2018 and 2019

    Marcel Kurpershoek is a Dutch Arabist and diplomat. Among his publications are the five volume Oral Poetry & Narratives from Central Arabia (Brill, 1994-2005), The Short Stories of Yūsuf Idrīs (Brill, 1981), and a travelogue of his fieldwork, Arabia of the Bedouins (2000) that became the basis for the Al Arabiya television documentary series The Last Traveler (in Arabic, 2016). In the Library of Arabic Literature he has published Arabian Satire: Poetry from 18th-Century Najd by Ḥmēdān al-Shwēʿir (2017) and Arabian Romantic: Poems on Bedouin Life and Love by ʿAbdallah ibn Sbayyil (2018). He has served in many diplomatic postings, including as the Netherlands ambassador to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Poland and, his last assignment, as special envoy for Syria. He is currently Senior Humanities Research Fellow at New York University Abu Dhabi. He studied in Cairo and at Leiden University where he held a chair in Arabic literature and politics while serving as Middle East and North Africa director at the Foreign Ministry (1997-2002).

  • Bilal Orfali

    Senior LAL Fellow, 2019

    ​Bilal Orfali (Ph.D. Yale University 2009) is Professor and Sheikh Zayed Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut and previously held the M.S. Sofia Chair in Arabic Studies at the Ohio State University. He specializes in Arabic literature, Sufism, and Qurʾanic Studies. He co-edits al-Abhath Journal and Brill’s series Texts and Studies on the Qur’an. He is the author and editor of more than twenty books on Arabic Studies. His recent publications include The Anthologist’s Art (Brill, 2016), The Book of Noble Character (Brill, 2015), The Comfort of the Mystics (Brill, 2013), Sufism, Black and White (Brill, 2012), and In the Shadow of Arabic (Brill, 2011).

  • Mohammed Rustom

    Senior LAL Fellow, 2019

    Mohammed Rustom obtained a Ph.D. in Islamic philosophy and Quranic studies from the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations in 2009, and is currently Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Carleton University. An internationally recognized expert on Islamic philosophy, Sufism, and Quranic hermeneutics, his works have been translated into Albanian, French, German, Persian, Spanish, and Turkish. Professor Rustom is the author of the award-winning book The Triumph of Mercy: Philosophy and Scripture in Mulla Sadra (2012), co-editor of The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary (2015), translator of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s The Condemnation of Pride and Self-Admiration (2018), and author of Inrushes of the Spirit: The Mystical Theology of ‘Ayn al-Qudat (in press). As Library of Arabic Literature Senior Fellow at NYU Abu Dhabi, Professor Rustom worked on a translation and Arabic edition of ‘Ayn al-Qudat’s highly original work in philosophical mysticism, Zubdat al-haqa’iq (The Quintessence of Reality).

  • Humphrey Davies

    Senior LAL Fellow, 2015 and 2018

    Humphrey started life as a translator at the beginning of the millennium, following a career in the Arab World with community development and grant-making institutions. He has previously translated contemporary fiction and non-fiction in Arabic, including works by Elias Khoury, Naguib Mahfouz, Alaa Al Aswany, Bahaa Taher et al, as well as LAL’s four-volume Leg over Leg by Aḥmad Fāris al-Shidyāq (2014), and has co-authored, with Madiha Doss, an anthology in Arabic of Egyptian writings in colloquial, Al-ʿAmmiyyah al-Miṣriyyah al-Maktūbah – Mukhtārāt min 1401 ilā 2009. During his 2015 fellowship, he worked on Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded by Yūsuf al-Shirbīnī (2016) and Risible Rhymes by Muḥammad al-Sanhūrī (Fall 2016). In Darfur by Muḥammad ibn ʿUmar al-Tūnisī will appear in May 2018, and under his Spring 2018 fellowship, he worked on a translation of al-Jawbarī’s Book of Charlatans (edition, Manuela Dengler).

  • Robert Hoyland

    Senior LAL Fellow, 2018

    Robert Hoyland is Professor of the Late Antique and Early Islamic Middle East at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, having formerly taught at the universities of Oxford and St Andrews.  He had published on various aspects of the emergence of Islamic civilization and has also conducted archaeological work in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and currently Azerbaijan. He is the author of Seeing Islam as Others Saw it (1997), Arabia and the Arabs from the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam (1999), and In God’s Path: the Arab Conquests and the First Islamic Empire (2014).

  • Tim Mackintosh-Smith

    Senior LAL Fellow, 2018

    Tim Mackintosh-Smith is a fan of Arabic travel literature, and the author of several books of his own travels. Of these, his trilogy on Ibn Baṭṭūṭah (Travels with a Tangerine, The Hall of a Thousand Columns, and Landfalls) retraces the Moroccanʼs wanderings around three continents. Timʼs work has earned him the 1998 Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Award and, appropriately, the Ibn Baṭṭūṭah Prize of Honour, awarded in 2010 by the Arab Centre for Geographical Literature. He has also co-written and presented a BBC TV series on Ibn Baṭṭūṭah, described by the Guardian as “marvellous, memorable television.” Tim has delivered the Hamilton A.R. Gibb Lectures at Harvard, and his writing has been anthologized in a number of collections, from The Picador Book of Journeys to The Howard Marks Book of Dope Stories. His next forthcoming book, for Yale, is an overview of almost 3,000 years of Arab history: it “rebalances” that history, seeing Islam as part of it, not the start of it. He is currently at work for the Library of Arabic Literature on a new edition and translation of ʿAbd al-Laṭīf al-Baghdādī’s Kitāb al-Ifādah, an eye-witness account of late twelfth-century Egypt and its devastating famines. Tim is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain. He has been based for more than a third of a century, through thick and thin, in the Yemeni capital Sanaʼa.

  • Dwight F. Reynolds

    Senior LAL Fellow, 2018

    Dwight F. Reynolds is professor of Arabic language & literature in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After leaving the U.S. as a high school exchange student to Sweden, he wandered, studied, and worked his way through more than 40 countries before returning to California and completing a B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at UCLA. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Folklore & Folklife at the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. His research and publications deal with Arabic literature, Arab folklore, oral epic traditions, medieval Arabic autobiography, and a variety of different musical traditions of the Middle East and medieval Muslim Spain. He is the author of Heroic Poets, Poetic Heroes: The Ethnography of Performance in an Arabic Oral Epic Tradition (1995), Arab Folklore: A Handbook (2007), co-author and editor of Interpreting the Self: Autobiography in the Arabic Literary Tradition (2001), The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Vol. 6: The Middle East (2002), and The Cambridge Companion to Modern Arab Culture (2015). He is currently completing a translation of selected biographies of singers from the 10th-century Kitāb al-Aghānī for the Library of Arabic Literature and working on a book titled The Musical Heritage of Al-Andalus.

  • Michael Cooperson

    Senior LAL Fellow, 2015-17

    Michael is Professor of Arabic at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include the cultural history of the early Abbasid caliphate, Maltese language and literature, and time travel as a literary device. During his fellowship in 2016-2017, he translated the Maqāmāt of al-Ḥarīrī and worked as volume editor on new LAL projects.

  • Joseph E. Lowry

    Senior LAL Fellow, 2017

    Joseph E. Lowry is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. Lowry is a Library of Arabic Literature Senior Research Fellow for Spring 2017. He is working on an edition and translation of the Taʾwīl Mukhtalif al-Ḥadīth by the celebrated 9th-century litterateur and intellectual Ibn Qutayba (d. 889 CE). The first part of the work offers a critical survey of theological personalities and trends in the ninth century, oriented around attitudes toward traditions (hadiths) from the Prophet Muḥammad. The second part demonstrates a wide variety of literary approaches to the interpretation of individual prophetic hadiths. Lowry is also writing a book that explores the literary dimensions of legal passages in the Qur’an. Lowry edited and translated the Epistle on Legal Theory by Muḥammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī, the earliest preserved work on Islamic legal theory, for the Library of Arabic Literature. He is also a member of LAL’s editorial board.

  • Sophia Vasalou

    LAL Fellow, 2017

    Sophia is a Senior Lecturer and Birmingham Fellow in Philosophical Theology at the University of Birmingham. Her books include Moral Agents and their Deserts: The Character of Mu‘tazilite Ethics (2008), which won the Albert Hourani Book Award in 2009, and Ibn Taymiyya’s Theological Ethics (2015). She has previously held research fellowships at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, the Orient-Institut Beirut, and Oxford Brookes University. During her LAL fellowship, Vasalou prepared a translation of al-Ḥawāmil wa-l-Shawāmil, a question-and-answer anthology written by 4th/10th century authors al-Tawḥīdī and Miskawayh.

  • Shawkat M. Toorawa

    Senior LAL Fellow, 2015-16

    Shawkat was Associate Professor of Arabic Literature at Cornell University while on Fellowship; he is now Professor of Arabic Literature at Yale University. His research interests include literary aspects of the Qur’an, the literature of ninth- and tenth-century Baghdad, modern poetry, and Arabic belles-lettres in South Asia in the eighteenth century.


    Julia Bray (University of Oxford)

    Michael Cooperson (University of California, Los Angeles)

    Joseph E. Lowry (University of Pennsylvania)

    Tahera Qutbuddin (University of Chicago)

    Devin J. Stewart (Emory University)