Monem Mahjoub (1963) is a Libyan linguist, philosopher, poet, historian, and political critic. He holds a MPhil degree from Hassan University in Morocco and a PhD from Cairo University in Egypt. Mahjoub has made enormous intellectual and literary contributions to a variety of Libyan and Arab institutions and scientific centers.
In countless articles and more than 25 books, he has tackled issues ranging from language, history and religion to humanism, cultural development, and politics. Some of the most recent books in his extensive bibliography include Manifesto Against Islamic Priesthood (2016), The Question of Entity (2015), Readings in Peace and War (2015). With Mahjoub’s multifaceted writing covering poetry, his first collection of poems The Book of Illusions in Beirut in 1989, followed by Recital (2003) were published in Tunisia.
Majoub founded the Tripoli-based newspaper 'Al-Jadeed' (1986-1988), the monthly publication 'Fadaat' (2002-2010) and has taken leading roles, including Editor-in-Chief of the magazines 'Al-Mostaqil' and the 'Lisan al-Arab', the latter of which he has been , and remains, in charge since 2012. In 2010, after being nominated by the Libyan Arabic Language Compound, Majoub received the State Prize for his book Pre-Language: Sumerian Roots of Arabic and Afroasiatic Languages (2008).
As a result of his critical publications on Muslim fundamentalism, Mahjoub has received physical and verbal death threats from supporters of fanatical militias in Libya and Egypt, ultimately leading him to seek refuge with ICORN. Thanks to a partnership between Passa Porta and VUB (Free University of Brussels), Mahjoub found shelter in Brussels, where he could work in safety on a book of philosophical essays about identity and an essay on the twelfth-century Arab scholar Avempace (Ibn Bajja). In terms of his poetry contributions, Mahjoub has been a guest at the Passa Porta Festival 2021 and published Dutch translations of his poetry in Poëziekrant (Ghent). He was the ICORN Resident in Brussels between 2020 and 2022.
To read more about Mahjoub’s work, please visit his personal blog.