skip to content

Dr Mohamed Ahmed is a Research Associate at the Unit, working mainly on the Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic fragments, focusing on the non-Jewish literature preserved in the Cairo Genizah.  

He studied Semitic languages and Modern Hebrew language and literature at Mansoura University, Egypt, where he graduated with 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. 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 Judaeo-Arabic Texts" at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

Research Interests

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

Research Projects

Mohamed works with Prof Geoffrey Khan and Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner on a number of historical and linguistic projects, including 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). Another project is 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.

Mohamed is the Principal Investigator for the European Research Council-funded project ‘Arabic Poetry in the Cairo Genizah’ (2020–25), which will allow him to lead academic teamwork to expand his work on Arabic Poetry in the Cairo Genizah comprehensively. The project aims to make the entirety of Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic poetry in the Cairo Genizah accessible to both academic scholars and the public in a comprehensive database and critical editions. The project hopes to reveal, through the study of poetry, hitherto hidden aspects of social and cultural history of the Jews in the Middle East with regard to literacy, education and intercommunal relations. The goal is to explore hierarchies, interpersonal relationships and the social function of poetry in medieval and early modern Egypt through the study of Genizah poetry.

Mohamed also works on an edition, translation and linguistic analysis of Judaeo-Arabic letters from the Prize Papers Collection. The edition will introduce previously unexplored Algerian Judaeo-Arabic documents from the Prize Papers Collection, which constitute a unique chance to study the history, language and culture of Jewish trading across the Mediterranean and North Africa during the late 18th century.

Key Publications


2019  The Use of Arabic in Modern Hebrew Texts. Edinburgh University Press.

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


Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters 

2018 ‘An Initial Survey of Arabic Poetry in the Cairo Genizah’. In Al-Masāq 30 (2), pp. 212–233.

2018 ­‘XML Annotation of Hebrew Elements in Judaeo-Arabic Texts’, Journal of Jewish Languages 6, pp. 221–242.

2018 ‘Codes across languages: on the translation of literary Code-Switching’, In Multilingua, 37 (5), pp. 483–514.

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 4 (2), pp. 203–230.

2016 ‘Two Languages, One Text: Cultural Translation in Iraqi Jewish Fiction’, in A. Engelhardt et al. (eds.): “Ein Paradigma der Moderne”,221–235, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 


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.


Creative writing

Under the pen-name Mohamed Al-Temawy, Mohamed’s Arabic debut novel was printed with support from the ‘1001 Titles’ initiative, UAE in 2018. Recently, he has submitted a manuscript of his second novel, and he is currently working on another two manuscripts. Also, his first Arabic poetry collection was published in 2018. The collection was shortlisted for ‘Yousuf Zidan Youth Literary Creativity Award 2019’. His second poetry collection has been submitted for publication.