Mahamoud Yusuf Makki was born in Qina (Egypt) in 1929, obtained his BA in Arabic Language from Cairo University in 1949 and Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from Madrid Central University in 1955. He held different positions in Egypt, Spain and elsewhere. After graduation, he joined the Cultural Relations Administration of the Egyptian Ministry of Education and was Egypt’s Cultural Attaché in Spain, Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies in Madrid and Professor of Arabic Language and Literature in Madrid Central University. He also served as Director of the Translation Department of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, professor in Kuwait University and visiting professor in several Arab universities as well as the Center for Oriental Studies in Mexico. In 1977, he became professor of Andalusian literature in Cairo University, where he established and chaired the Department of Spanish Language and Literature until his retirement in 1979.
Professor Makki is a leading scholar of Andalusian literature and the author of numerous books and articles dealing with Arabic, Spanish and Latin American literature. Of particular importance are his books on The Influence of Islam and Arabs in the European Civilization and his groundbreaking text on the Andalusian historian Ibn Hayyan, his edition of Diwan ibn Darrag Al-Ghastali and his translations of several works of Spanish and Latin American literature and poetry.
In addition to King Faisal International Prize for Arabic Literature, Makki was awarded Alfonso medal and Order of Excellence from Spain, and the Literature and Arts Prize and Republican Order from Egypt. He is a member of the Arabic Language Academy in Cairo, the Royal Academy of History in Madrid, and the Royal Academy of Arts in Barcelona and Cordoba. He is also chairman of the Egyptian Society for Spanish Studies.