Samir Naqqash - Biography
Samir Naqqash (b. Baghdad 1938, d. Petah Tikva 6 July 2004) was an Iraqi Jewish novelist, short-story writer, and playwright who immigrated to Israel.
Samir Naqqash received his degree in Arabic literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was well known in the Arab world and among the Iraqi community in Israel, but only one of his works was translated into Hebrew. Naqqash won the Israeli Prime Ministerial Award for Arabic literature.
Naqqash often called himself an Arab who believed in Judaism. In the documentary "Forget Baghdad" (2002), he said that he had not wanted to go to Israel but was taken there in handcuffs by the Jewish Agency. He never felt at home in Israel and continued to publish and write in Arabic. He saw himself as part of the great tradition of Arabic folklore and literature. He was often criticized for his Arabic sounding first name but he refused to change it. After his death, Iraqi expatriates declared their wish to have him buried in Iraq, reasoning that he has shown more dedication to Iraq than any other expatriate.
- Art, etc. / Exiled from Babylon, Obituary in Haaretz by Neri Livneh, 6 August 2004
- Marking the Passing of Samir Naqqash, by David Shasha, Kedma, 22 July 2004
- Mizrahi Wanderings, by Nancy Hawker, New Left Review25, January-February 2004