Hussein Nassar, Professor Emeritus of Arabic Language at Cairo University and one of the most respected Arab scholars, was born in Assiut in 1925 and educated at Fuad Al-Awal University. After graduation, he pursued a distinguished career, spanning nearly half a century, at that University, which was re-named Cairo University. He became a university professor in 1969 and was the Dean of the College of Arts and Director of the Arabic Manuscripts Institute and the Egyptian Academy of Arts.
In addition to his numerous scholarly articles, Professor Nassar published more than 50 books dealing with different genres of Arabic literature, language arts, history and Islamic thought. His works include analyses and editions of ancient manuscripts, selections of poems, studies of the language riches of the Holy Qur’an and translations (from English to Arabic) of several important texts, such as D.S. Margoliouth’s Lectures on Arabic Historians, B. Lewis’s Land of the Enchanters, Egyptian Short Stories from the Earliest Times to the Present Day; J. Horovitz’s The Earliest biographies of the Prophet and their authors and three of Henry G. Farmer’s books: Sources of Arabic Music, History of Arabic Music and Music and Songs of the Arabian Nights.
His authoritative book [in Arabic]: The Arabic Dictionary; its Evolution and Development is one of the hallmarks of modern Arabic lexicography. First published in 1956, and reprinted several times, this classic text continues to be a major reference for students and researchers in this field. It is, however, only one of several examples of Nassar’s erudition and scholarship.
In addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Arabic Language and Literature, Professor Nassar’s seminal contributions earned him one of the highest recognitions in Egypt – the State Award of Appreciation. His other honors include invited lectureships and membership of learned societies. Despite his age, he still participates in Egypt’s cultural and academic activities and currently serves as Convener of the Egyptian National Council for Culture, Arts, Literature and Information. He is a corresponding member of the Arabic Language Academies of Iraq and Syria.
Professor Hussain Nassar was awarded Mubarak’s Prize for Literature in 2006.
Professor Hussain M. Nassar has been awarded the prize of Arabic Language and a leading scholar of the history and development of Arabic Lexicography
This was best exemplified by his authoritative text: The Arabic Dictionary; its Origins and Development, in addition to many other important books and articles on that subject, Professor Nassar has also edited several anthologies of pre-Islamic and Islamic eras.