Professor Abd Al-Sattar Al-Halwaji was born in Manzala, Dakhaliya Governorate, Egypt, in 1938. He concurrently obtained a bachelor’s degree of Arabic Language and a Diploma of Education from the College of Arts at Cairo University and the College of Education at Ain Shams University, respectively, in 1959. Thereafter, he obtained an MA from London University (1963) and a Ph.D. from Cairo University (1969) in Library Sciences.
Professor Al-Halwaji is an expert in Islamic libraries, ancient manuscripts and the development of book craft during early Islamic eras. One of his best-known books on this subject is Al-Makhtout Al-Arabi (The Arabic Manuscript), an excellent research into the evolution of Arabic manuscripts, calligraphy, and book craft during the first four centuries of Islamic history. Al-Halwaji has also written many other books and research articles on the history of Islamic books and libraries. In addition, he edited an ancient text on book craft attributed to almu’iz ibn Badis, and translated World Survey of Islamic Manuscripts and Introduction to the History of Muslim East: A Bibliographical Guide by Sauvaget and Cahen.
Professor Al-Halwaji’s career as Professor of Library Science at Cairo University extended over many years, during which he assumed administrative offices such as Chair of the Department of Library Science and Documents and Vice-Dean of the College of Arts. He also taught for some time in Saudi Arabia. He is presently Professor Emeritus at Cairo University and Member of the Publications and Writers Committee of the Supreme Council for Culture in Egypt.
In addition to King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies, he received the Cairo University Prize for Humanities and Education in 2006.