Aida Bamia

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Aida Adib Bamia
Born Jerusalem
Nationality Palestinian
Citizenship United States
Alma mater University of London
Employer University of Florida
Known for Scholarship in Arab literature and Arab to English translations.

Aida Adib Bamia is professor emeritus of Arabic language and literature at the University of Florida in Gainesville.[1] She is a specialist in North African literature.[2] Her work on Arabic literature has helped to bring quality translations to English readers.[3]


Bamia is Palestinian,[2] and was born in Jerusalem.[4] In 1948, her family moved to Egypt.[4] She received her Ph.D in 1971 from the University of London.[2] From 1972-1973, Bamia received a Ford Foundation grant to work on a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).[2]

In 1985, she began teaching at the University of Florida.[4] Prior to being hired in Florida, Bamia taught at various universities in Algeria.[4] Later, Bamia pursued and received American citizenship and she considers herself an Arab American.[4]

Bamia's research has focused especially on Muslim women writers from the Middle East.[5] She has found that women have contributed to culture and literature, even in early Islamic times and she hopes to combat stereotypes about these women through her writing and research.[5] She has also focused her research efforts on the oral poetry traditions of Maghribi women of North Africa.[6]

She was the editor of Al-Arabiyya, the journal of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic (AATA).[7] She was also a president of AATA in 1993.[8]

She is the author of The Graying of the Raven: Cultural and Sociopolitical Significance of Algerian Folk Poetry (AUC Press 2001).[9] The Graying of the Raven won the Middle East Award from the American University in Cairo Press in 2000.[6]

Her translation work has been nominated for awards. In 2014, she was nominated for the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for her translation of The Arch and the Butterfly by Mohammed Achaari.[10]

Currently, she is a visiting professor at the University of Michigan.[11]


  • "Refusing to Melt in Their World", World and I
  • The Inheritance, Sahar Khalifeh, Translator Aida Bamia, American University in Cairo Press (December 30, 2005) ISBN 978-977-424-939-6
  • Papa Sartre, Ali Bader, Translator Aida Bamia, (AUC Press 2009).
  • The Graying of the Raven: Cultural and Sociopolitical Significance of Algerian Folk Poetry (AUC Press 2001).
  • "Feminism in Revolution: The Case of Sahar Khalifa". Tradition, Modernity, and Postmodernity in Arabic Literature. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV. 2000. ISBN 9789004117631. 


  1. ^ "Arabic Studies". College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. University of Florida. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Jayyusi, Salma Khadra, ed. (1992). Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 722. ISBN 9780231075084. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Hibbard, Allen (2010). "Translation of Modern and Contemporary Literature in Arabic". In Maier, Carol; Massardier-Kenney, Francoise. Literature in Translation: Teaching Issues and Reading Practices. Kent State University Press. p. 223. ISBN 9781612775395. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Trascript of Aida Bamia Interview in English". George A. Smathers Libraries. University of Florida. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Feminist Writers in the Mideast are Contributing to Women's Rights". College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. University of Florida. April 1997. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Clas Term Professors". College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. University of Florida. 2001. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages". NCOLCTL. 1995. Archived from the original on 27 February 2004. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "AATA Administration". American Association of Teachers of Arabic. Archived from the original on 10 November 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Aida Bamia". The American University in Cairo Press. Archived from the original on 15 April 2005. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon Wins 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Translation Prize". Jadaliyya. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Aida A. Bamia". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 16 July 2015.