Monem Mahjoub is a Libyan linguist, philosopher, poet, historian and political critic. He received a Master of Philosophy degree at Hassan University in Morocco and a PhD at Cairo University. He has published countless articles and more than 25 books tackling issues ranging from language, history and religion to humanism, cultural development and politics.
Mahjoub has made enormous intellectual and literary contributions to a variety of Libyan and Arab institutions and scientific centers. He was the founder of the Tripoli-based newspaper Al-Jadeed (1986-1988) and of the monthly publication Fadaat (2002-2010) for thought, culture and criticism. Among the many leading roles he has taken, he was Editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine Al-Mostaqil and is currently Editor-in-chief of Lisan al-Arab magazine, a role he has undertaken since 2012.
The most recent books of his extensive bibliography include Manifesto Against Islamic Priesthood (2016), Actuality and Interpretation (2): The Logos Heirs (2005) and The Question of Entity (2015), and Readings in Peace and War (2015). Poetry has also been part of Mahjoub's multifaceted writing for a long time. In 1989, he published his first collection of poems, The Book of Illusions in Beirut, followed by Recital (2003) published in Tunisia. In 2010, he received the State Prize for his book Pre-language, Sumerian roots of Arabic and Afroasiatic languages (2008) after being nominated by the Libyan Arabic Language Compound.
As a result of his critical publications on religious fundamentalism, Mahjoub has received several threats in recent years from supporters of fanatical militias in Libya and Egypt. He ultimately sought refuge with the ICORN network. In 2019, he did a six month residency in the ICORN city of refuge of Krakow. Since early 2020, thanks to a partnership between the International House of Literature Passa Porta and the Brussels university VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Mahjoub has found temporary shelter in Brussels. During his time as ICORN writer in residence, he is working on a book of philosophical essays about identity and a study of the twelfth-century Arab scholar Ibn Bajja (Latin: Avempace).
To read more about Mahjoub’s work, please visit his personal blog https://mahjoubinfo.wordpress.com/