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Shammas, Maurice

(353 words)

Author(s): Deborah Starr
Maurice Shammās, also known as Abū Farīd, is an Arabic poet, journalist, and dramatist who began his career in Egypt before settling in Israel. Shammās was born in 1930 to a Karaite family (see Karaism) in Cairo and was raised in the city’s old Jewish quarter, the Ḥārat al-Yahūd. His family spoke Arabic, as was common among members of the Karaite community of the ḥāra, and he was educated in Arabic-speaking schools. As a young man, he worked as a journalist for al-Shams, an Arabic Jewish weekly, and for   al-Kalīm,the biweekly Arabic newspaper of the Karaite community. As he describe…