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Cultural Excellence – 2010

Salma Khadra Jayyusi, a multifaceted luminary, born in East Jordan in 1926 to a Palestinian father and Lebanese mother, was steeped in culture from an early age. Growing up in Palestine, she was nurtured in a home adorned with books encompassing Arabic and Western heritage. Her mother’s tales of Arab history and cross-cultural legends left an indelible mark.

A stalwart in the literary world, Jayyusi was the visionary founder and director of the Project for the Translation from Arabic (PROTA). This groundbreaking initiative aimed to bridge linguistic barriers by translating Arabic literature into English.

In 1990, she embarked on her second mission, East-West Nexus, uniting Arab and Western scholars through academic conferences to dispel cultural misconceptions.

Jayyusi’s endeavors, PROTA and East-West Nexus, produced over fifty volumes, including eleven encyclopedic works. She passionately lectured across Europe, North America, and Arab capitals, fostering understanding between cultures.

Her contributions garnered numerous accolades, including recognition from the PLO (1991), Arab American University Graduates (1996), and the Kuwait Ministry of Culture (2002).

The Higher Council for Culture in Egypt (2006), the Algerian Ministry of Culture (2007), and the King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz Prize (2008) acknowledged her impact. In 2009, Ahliyya University in Amman honored her.

Salma Khadra Jayyusi’s legacy as a bridge builder between cultures continued until her passing in April 2023, leaving an indomitable mark on the world of literature and cultural exchange.