Professor Husni Hussein was born in 1936 in Irak Borin in Naples, Palestine. After completing college education, he received a Diploma of Arabic Language and Literature from the Institute of Arabic Studies in Cairo and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in modern Arabic literature from Cairo University, Egypt. He worked for 40 years in the field of education, first as a teacher at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools and the Teachers’ Institute in Palestine, then as a teaching staff at different Arab universities in Algiers, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Jordan.
Professor Hussein was a prolific writer with varied interests in Arabic literature; he was also a leading scholar and historian of Palestinian literature. He published 8 books and numerous scholarly articles specifically dealing with contemporary Palestinian literature, including his widely cited 4-volume book, Poetry of the Palestinian Resistance. The latter book is an important study of the Palestinian literary movement during the British mandate and the subsequent Israeli occupation of Palestine. It analyzes the works of Palestinian poets in diaspora and the role of popular poetry in the Palestinian struggle for independence. Hussein also published critical reviews and biographies of Palestinian novelists and poets, such as Rashid Hussein, Hussein Al-Bihairi and Emile Habibi, and contributed extensively to other more general aspects of literature, both in Arabic and English. His other books included: Readings in International Resistance Poetry and Arab Travel Literature, in addition to translations of several classic literary and educational books.
He was a passionate defender of Palestinian liberation and regular participant in related conferences, symposia and official and Popular Palestinian festivities. He died in 2002 at the age of 66.
Professor Husni Mahmoud has been awarded the prize to literary criticism of Palestinian moern literature and Palestinian resistance. He has spent most of his academic career in the service of this domain.