Poet, critic, literary and cultural historian, anthologist, and founder and director of East-West Nexus/PROTA, the Project for the dissemination of Arabic literature and Arab/Islamic culture and history, Mrs. Salma Khadra Jayyusi was born in East Jordan to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother. She grew up in Palestine in a cultivated home, surrounded by books on Arabic and Western culture, and listened endlessly to stories of Arab history and to the legends of courage, love, and charity in both Arabic and Western cultures which her mother chose to relate to her children. She is the founder and director of the Project of Translation from Arabic (PROTA), which aims to provide translation of Arabic literature into English. In 1990, Jayyusi launched her second project, East-West Nexus, which aimed to present classical and modern Arab and Islamic culture in English, through comprehensive and specialized academic conferences and studies by Arab and western scholars, in order to combat mistaken or stereotypical views about that culture. PROTA and East-West Nexus combined produced more than fifty volumes, eleven of which had an encyclopedic nature. She delivered tens of lectures and keynote speeches at conferences in many European, North American, and Arab capitals and cities. Jayyusi was the recipient of many awards and prizes in recognition of her achievements. A partial list of the awarding bodies includes the PLO (1991); Arab American University Graduates (1996); the Kuwait Ministry of Culture (2002); The Higher Council for Culture in Egypt (2006); the Algerian Ministry of Culture (2007); the King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz Prize (2008), and the Ahliyya University in Amman (2009).
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