Deema Shehabi | Brief Biography


Deema Shehabi | Brief Biography

Deema Shehabi  Brief Biography

Deema Shehabi | Brief Biography

Deema Shehabi is a Kuwaiti poet, essayist, and translator. She was born in Kuwait and spent her childhood there before moving to the United States to pursue her education. Shehabi is widely regarded as one of the most important voices in contemporary Arab American literature and is known for her work exploring themes of identity, belonging, and cultural displacement.

Shehabi received her Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. After completing her education, she returned to Kuwait where she worked as a translator and cultural commentator.

In 2009, Shehabi published her first collection of poetry, “Thresholds,” which was well-received by both critics and the general public. The collection explored themes of cultural identity, displacement, and the experience of being a Kuwaiti woman living in the United States. The poems in “Thresholds” were widely regarded as powerful and evocative, and helped establish Shehabi as a major voice in contemporary Arab American poetry.

In addition to her poetry, Shehabi is also known for her essays and translations. She has published numerous essays on Kuwaiti culture, politics, and history, and has translated works by several prominent Arab writers into English. Her work as a translator has helped to bring the works of these writers to a wider audience and has helped to deepen understanding and appreciation of Arab literature and culture.

Shehabi’s work has been widely recognized and has earned her several awards and honors. In 2011, she was awarded the prestigious Lyrics Prize for Poetry, and in 2014, she was named a United States Artists Fellow. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies and has been translated into several languages.

Overall, Deema Shehabi is a powerful and important voice in contemporary Arab American literature. Her work explores themes of identity, belonging, and cultural displacement, and helps to deepen our understanding of the experiences of Arab Americans. She is a highly regarded poet, essayist, and translator, and continues to be a prominent figure in the Arab American literary community. 0 0 0.


Deema Shehabi’s official website:
“Thresholds” by Deema Shehabi (2009)
“United States Artists Fellowship” website:
“Lyrics Prize for Poetry” website:
Interview with Deema Shehabi on the “Words Without Borders” podcast: ***

N.B. The article originally belongs to the book entitled ‘Biographies of Writers Around the World‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

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  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
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