This volume grew out of a collaborative endeavor by scholars from academic institutions in Israel and abroad who joined together to commemorate the work of Prof. Shmuel Moreh (1932–2017), an eminent scholar of Arabic culture. Their contributions correspond to Moreh’s fields of interest: Arabic poetry, prose, drama, and historiography, and bring to the fore new materials, findings, and intriguing insights related to themes ranging from the classical period to modern times.

We would like to thank all those who contributed chapters to the book. Some of these chapters are the by-product of a conference on modern Arabic literature held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on March 19, 2018. We are grateful to Esther Meir-Glizenstein, Haya Bambaji-Sasportas, Orit Bashkin, Samīr al-Ḥājj, Raymond Moreh, and Fruma Zachs, who participated in the conference and provided valuable advice and critiques which enriched the discussions in this volume. Sadly, one of the volume’s contributors, Professor Michael Winter, a renowned scholar of social history of the Middle East, passed away in September 2020 at age 86. He managed to complete his intriguing chapter on “The Sufi personality of the Egyptian historian ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Jabartī” before his death.

We are indebted to the Alice and Jack Ormut Chair in Arabic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which assisted us in the process of preparing this volume. An earlier draft of the work was completed while we were staying at the Institut für den Nahen und Mittleren Osten, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, in 2019. We remain deeply grateful to Professors Ronny Vollandt and Andreas Kaplony for offering us a stimulating environment in which to pursue our work.

A special note of appreciation goes to the anonymous readers for their expertise and constructive comments. Thanks are also due to Belina Neuberger, who skillfully edited the book. Last but not least, we are deeply grateful to the editorial staff at Brill Publishers, especially Maurits van den Boogert, Teddi Dols and Pieter te Velde for their professional guidance and encouragement.

Meir Hatina and Yona Sheffer

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