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Sami Michael

סמי מיכאל

Sami Michael, one of Israel’s best-known authors, was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1926. At age 15, he joined a leftist underground movement acting against the regime in Iraq. In 1948, his activities were discovered and he fled to Iran, making his way to Israel a year later. After working for four years as an editor at Arabic-language dailies, he studied hydrology at the British Institute and joined the Israel Hydrology Authority where he worked for 25 years. During this time, he also studied psychology and Arabic literature at Haifa University. Michael has published novels, youth books, non-fiction and a number of plays. He has received many literary awards, including the WIZO Prize (Paris), the ACUM Prize, the Brenner Prize (2004), the Ze`ev Prize, an IBBY Award (Berlin), the Israel Prize, the President`s Prize (2005), the EMET Prize (2007) and the ACUM Award for Lifetime Achievement (2012). For his work for peace, he has been honored by the UN-supported Society for International Development, and the Association for Promotion of Peace in the Middle East (Italy). He has also been awarded honorary doctorates by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1995), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2000) and Tel A Aviv University (2002) for his literary work and contribution to inter-communal reconciliation. Since 2001, Michael has been the president of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

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