|Biographical detail : ||Scholar who brought together Arabic and English literature
A pioneering academic Fatma Moussa Mahmoud explored and strengthened connections between the literary cultures of Egypt and Britain and scholarly produced output that was prodigious.
She wrote about the contemporary Arab literary scene. She was an early translator of Noble prize-winning author, Naguib Mahfouz’s, Miramar in 1978. Moussa’s translation of King Lear into Arabic (1985) was performed at the Egyptian National Theatre in 2004 to tremendous acclaim.
On having completed her PhD (1957) in London Moussa returned to Cairo University. She was now publishing articles and books on aspects of English literature that related to Egypt. In 1974 she published ‘The Modern Egyptian Novel’ and a collection of her Arabic essays, ‘Bain Adabain’, and ‘Between Two Literatures’.
In 1972 Moussa was seconded to Saudi Arabia and was involved in the establishment of higher education for women.
As professor emeritus at Cairo University after 1992, she edited an encyclopaedia on the theatre, chaired the committee for English translation at the Higher Council for Culture and was the leading light of Pen, the international association of writers, in Egypt.
Fatma Moussa Mahmoud was born in Cairo, the eldest child of a merchant from Upper Egypt. She was a voracious reader from her early childhood.