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Dr Mohamed Ahmed

Affiliated Researcher

DFG Postdoctoral Fellow
Visiting Researcher, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Associate Member, St. Edmund's College, University of Cambridge

01223 761976


Mohamed studied Semitic languages and Modern Hebrew language and literature at Mansoura University, Egypt, where he graduated with a Master's degree in Modern Hebrew Studies in 2010. He then went on to complete a DAAD funded PhD at Leipzig University, Germany, in 2015. His dissertation focused on Arabic use in nine Hebrew novels written between the 1950s and 2010s by three Iraqi Jewish authors.

Between November 2009 and April 2010, he was the recipient of a scholarship from the DAAD as a guest scholar at the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture, Germany, and in 2016, he was granted a research stipend from the Thyssen Stiftung Foundation to work on a postdoc project entitled: "Code-switching in Religious, Secular and Philosophic Judeo-Arabic Texts" at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. This project investigates the phenomena related to mixed language texts in general and code-switching in particular regarding data from Judaeo-Arabic texts.

Research Interests

Mohamed research interests lie in the areas of bilingualism, sociolinguistic variation between Arabic and Hebrew, code-switching in Modern Hebrew and medieval Judaeo-Arabic texts, the typology of written code-switching and Ottoman Arabic.

Research Projects

Mohamed mainly works with Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner on Arabic letters of The Prize Paper Collections in the National Archives in Kew Gardens, in a project entitled: "From Tuscany to Alexandria: Arabic letters in the Prize Paper Collections", funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation). An edition and historical and linguistic analysis of the Arabic Prize Papers will contribute to this wider project and thus research in a variety of fields. The focus of this project is on linguistic issues, but through the envisaged editions this will also enhance understanding of the transnational economic and cultural history of the 18th-century, in particular with regard to the research on inter-religious trade between Europe and the Middle East.

Together with Professor Geoffrey Khan and Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner, Mohamed also is working on an edition of a corpus of 18th/19th-century Judaeo Arabic correspondence from Ottoman Egypt. Letters in various Genizah collections, such as Cambridge, Manchester, and Paris, provide ample material for a comprehensive edition.

Key Publications


2019 The Use of Arabic in Modern Hebrew Texts, Edinburgh University Press (contract signed)

2018 Iraqi Jews: From Baghdad to Exile [in Arabic], EMDCO: Cairo

Books in preparation

2020 Code-Switching in Secular, Philosophic and Religious Judaeo-Arabic Texts

2020 Late Judaeo-Arabic Correspondence of Ottoman Traders (with Prof Geoffrey Khan and Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner)

2019-20 Arabic Letters in the Prize Paper Collections (with Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner) (in preparation)

Journal Articles and Book Chapters (peer-reviewed)

2019 'The Epistolography of Ottoman Arabic', Handbook and Reader of Ottoman Arabic (accepted)

2019 'A Yemenite Judaeo-Arabic Letter by Ezra Ha-Sofēr, transcription and translation', Handbook and Reader of Ottoman Arabic (accepted)

2018 'Maimonides' Middle Arabic in his Judaeo-Arabic Commentary on the Mishna' (submitted to Journal of Al-Abhath, American University of Beirut)

2018 '19th-century Mercantile Correspondence in the Rylands Genizah Collections' (with Esther-Miriam Wagner) in "The Hebrew and Jewish Collections of the John Rylands Library", Journal of Semitic Studies Supplement Series (accepted)

2018 ­'XML Annotation of Hebrew Elements in Judaeo-Arabic Texts', Journal of Jewish Languages (accepted)

2018 'Codes across Languages: On the Translation of Literary Code-Switching', Multilingua

2018 'Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic in Iraqi Hebrew Novels: A Lexicological Study', AIDA 12, (accepted)

2018 'An Initial Survey of Arabic Poetry in the Cairo Genizah', Journal of Al-Masāq

2017 'From Tuscany to Egypt: 18th-c. Arabic letters in the Prize Paper Collections' (with Esther-Miriam Wagner), Journal of Semitic Studies 62/2, 389-412

2016 'Arabic Codes in Hebrew Texts: On the Typology of Literary Code-Switching', Journal of Jewish Languages, Volume 4, Issue 2, Brill. Pp: 203-230.

2016 Two Languages, One Text: Cultural Translation in Iraqi Jewish Fiction, in A. Engelhardt et al., (eds): "Ein Paradigma der Moderne", pp 221-235, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 2016.

2015 'Tel Aviv Mizrah: The Potential of Iraqi Cultural Identity within Two Generations (with Ashraf Elsharkawy)'. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 14:3, pp. 430-445, DOI:10.1080/14725886.2015.1032024.

2014 'Hebrew and Arabic in Contact. Deviation and Interference in Iraqi Jewish Fiction', Miscelánea de Estudios Árabes y Hebraicos. Sección Hebreo 63. pp.11-25.

2010 'Fictional Issues in Hebrew works of Iraqi Jewish Novelists' [In Arabic], Mansoura University, Faculty of Arts' Journal, Vol. 46, January 2010, pp.  979-1010.

Book Reviews and Conference Proceedings

2018 Review: 'Mordechai Akiva Friedman, A Dictionary of Medieval Judeo-Arabic: In the India Book Letters from the Geniza and in Other Texts. Ben-Zvi Institute, Jerusalem, 2016. xx, 1017 pp. isbn 978 9 65235 194 4'. Journal of Jewish Studies. (accepted)

2015 Review: 'Lital Levy, Poetic Trespass: Writing between Hebrew and Arabic in Israel/Palestine. Princeton University Press. 2014', Bulletin des Simon Dubnow Instituts für Jüdische Geschichte und Culture XVI (2014 [2015]. pp. 11-15.

2014 Coding Arabic Place Names in Iraqi Jewish Hebrew Fiction. In On-line Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Poetics and Linguistics Association.

2014 Review: Moshe Behar/Zvi Ben-Dor Benite (eds.), Modern Middle Eastern Jewish Thought. Writings on Identity, Politics, and Culture, 1893–1958, Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis University Press 2013, ca. 280 pp., in: Bulletin des Simon Dubnow Instituts für Jüdische Geschichte und Culture XV (2013 [2014]. pp. 11-14.

2013 Arabic Use of the Iraqi Jewish Novelists: A Stylistic Analysis of selected Early and Late Hebrew Novels., in Simon-Dubnow-Institut f. jüdische Geschichte u. Kultur an d. Universität Leipzig. (2013). Bulletin XIV: 2012. Leipzig: Leipziger Uni-Vlg. pp. 42-45.

Lectures, Conferences and Workshops

Lecture: 'Arabic elements and Arabic interference in modern Hebrew texts written by Iraqi Jewish authors', Semitic Philology Seminar of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge, 30 October 2017.

Lecture: 'Cultural Translation in Iraqi Jewish Fiction: Possibilities and Problems', Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, 2017.

Presenting at the AIDA 12 international conference: Judaeo-Arabic in Modern Hebrew Texts: A Lexicological Study. France, 30May - 2 June, 2017.

Presentation at the academic conference: "Jüdische Sprachen, Jüdische Kulturen", LMU München: Judaeo-Arabic in Modern Hebrew Texts: A Lexicological Study, 12-14 July 2016, Munich University, Germany.

Presentation at "Arabic in the Ottoman Empire" International Workshop: The Art of Arabic Correspondence in the Ottoman Empire, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (FAMES), University of Cambridge, 21-22 April 2016.

Presentation at the Main Forum of the International Conference: Code-switching in Exophonic Texts: The question of readership at Kent University, UK. PALA 2015 – Poetics and Linguistics Association Annual Conference, 17 July 2015.

Workshop Presentation - Hebräisch, at the Workshop "Begriffe Jüdische Geschichte", Simon Dubnow Institut for Jewish History and Culture, Leipzig, Germany. 29 September 2014.

Presentation at the Main Forum of the International Conference: Moving From East to East, Writing from Right to Right: Coding Arabic Place in Iraqi Jewish Hebrew Prose at the Maribor University, PALA 2014 – Poetics and Linguistics Association Annual Conference, 17 July 2014

Presentation at the Workshop Forum of the International Conference: Stylistics as an approach to Exophonic texts, PALA 2014 – Poetics and Linguistics Association Annual Conference, 19 July 2014

Presentation at the International conference "Israeli Studies": Two Generations, Three Identities: Cultural Identity of Iraqi Jews as reflected in 'Tel-Aviv East' trilogy by Shimon Ballas. Heidelberg, April 2012.

Electronic Resources

Fragment of the month, March 2018: T-S Ar.37.127: Judaeo-Arabic Poetry in the Cairo Genizah.

Fragment of the month, December 2017: T-S Ar. 51.86a: Shi‘ite and Karaite – a Fatimid Mélange.

Non-academic Works

2018 Livorno, An Arabic Historical Novel, Thaqafah & Arab Scientific Publisher: Beirut (forthcoming)

2018 Sufi Alienation, a poetry collection (in Arabic), Rawafed: Cairo.

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