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Anton Shammas

Anton Shammas

Sector : Cultural Figures , Writers

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : United States
  • Gender : Male
  • Born in : 1950
  • Age : 65
  • Curriculum vitae :


Was born in Fassuta, a Christian Arab village in the Galilee, Northern Israel, is a writer and translator.

Anton Shammas was born to a Lebanese mother who moved to Fassuta in 1936 to teach French at the local girls' school. His father was Hanna Shammas, a barber and shoemaker. He was one of six children.

In 1962, Shammas and his family moved to Haifa where he studied in an integrated Jewish-Arab school. In 1968, Shammas moved to Jerusalem and studied English literature and art history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was one of the founders of the Arabic magazine "The East" (Arabic: الشرق), which he edited from 1971 to 1976. His first poem was published in the literary supplement of Haaretz newspaper.

In 1974, Shammas published his first anthology of poetry in Arabic, "Imprisoned in my Own Awakening and Sleep" (Arabic: اسير يقظتي ومنامي ), as well as an anthology of Hebrew poems, "Hardcover" (Hebrew: כריכה קשה). In 1975, Shammas began to work for Israel Television, producing Arabic language programs. He also wrote for the Hebrew newspapers. Some of his articles explored the problem of Arab identity in a Jewish state. In 1979, he published his anthology "No Man's Land" (Hebrew: שטח הפקר). Shammas is known mainly for his writing in Hebrew and Hebrew translations of Arab literature, such as the work of Emile Habibi. His acclaimed Hebrew novel Arabesques (1986) was translated into several languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, although it has never appeared in Arabic. Shammas has also translated Arabic poetry into English. Shammas now lives in the United States, where he is a professor of Middle Eastern literature at the University of Michigan.


Achievements and Awards

Awards 1991 Whiting Writers' Award Published Work Prose Arabesques, a novel in Hebrew (Arabeskot) (1986)

The Biggest Liar in the World, a children's book in Hebrew (1982) Poetry Imprisoned in My Own Awakening and Sleep, poems in Arabic (1974) Hardcover, poems in Hebrew (1974) No Man's Land, poems in Hebrew (1979) Plays Ghassil Wijjak ya Qamar (Wash your Face, Moon) (Arabic), for The Arab Theater, Haifa (1997) Stuffed Ducks, a play in progress (Hebrew and English), for River Arts, Woodstock (1989) Ta'ah bil-hayt (A Hole in the Wall), a bilingual play for young adults (Arabic and Hebrew), Haifa Theater (1978-79) Short stories Arabesque, Harper's Magazine, March 1988 The Retreat From Galilee, Granta 23 (London), Spring 1988 Translations Hebrew into Arabic Miriam Yalan-Shteklis, Selected Poems and Stories (for children)(1972) Ka-Tzetnik, Star Eternal, (1975) David Rokeah, Selected Poems (1977) David Avidan, Selected Poems(1982) The Doe Hunt, Hebrew short stories (1984) Arabic into Hebrew Three novels by Emile Habiby: The Opssimist (1984), Ekhtayyeh (1988), Saraya (1993) Arabic into English Three poems by Hilmy Salem (Banipal, No. 7, Spring 2000) Three poems by Salman Masalha (Banipal, No. 7, Spring 2000) Two poems by Mahmoud Darwish (Banipal, No. 4, Spring 1999) Three poems by Taha Muhammad Ali (Banipal, No. 2, Summer 1998) English into Arabic and Hebrew Dario Fo, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, an adaptation for "The Arab Theater," Haifa (1996) Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, a bilingual translation into Arabic and Hebrew for "Haifa Theater," Haifa (1984, 1994) Harold Pinter, The Dumb Waiter and Victoria Station, (1986) Edward Albee, The Zoo Story, for Beit Hagefen Theater, Haifa (1987) (Arabic) Athol Fugard, The Island, for Haifa Theater, (1983) Bab al-Shams, Elias Khoury, Hebrew translation published by Andalus, Tel-Aviv

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