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Dr. Aida Fahmawi Watad researches modern Arabic literature and lectures at the Al-Qasemi Academy in Haifa. She graduated summa cum laude from Haifa University, Department of Arabic Language and Literature in 2009. Her research interests include poetics of the modern qasida; the problem of identity in the context of cultural, political and human activity; Palestinian thought and literature; poetic activity by Arab and Palestinian women.
She has participated in numerous conferences and has published extensively in the above-mentioned fields. She is a member of the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journal Al-Majma‘. At the Al-Qasemi Academy she has held a number of positions, including head of the Department of Arabic Language and Literature, advisor to the President of the Academy for women's empowerment, and dean of students. In the years 2010-2017 she also worked at Haifa University.
One of her most significant publications is the book Fi ḥadrat ghiyabih: Tahawwulat qasidat al-huwiyya fi shi‘r Maḥmoud Darwish (In the Presence of His Absence: Transformations in Maḥmoud Darwish’s Identity Poems). In 2017 she founded the “Akthar min Hayat” (“More Than One Life”) readers’ club, in which she hosted numerous Arab and Palestinian scholars and writers (in person and over Skype). It has become one of the most important Palestinian cultural platforms, and has attracted broad interest on the part of the public as well as in scholarly circles.
Her essay, Elias Khoury as the moral intellectual in the Children of the Ghetto trilogy, was published in Banipal 67 – Elias Khoury, The Novelist (Spring 2020).