Kurd Ali, Muhammad Farid

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kurd Ali, Muhammad Farid


Born 1876, in Damascus; died there, Feb. 4, 1953. Syrian scholar, educator, and public figure.

Kurd Ali was the son of a Kurdish landowner of modest means. He graduated from a French mission school in 1892 and later studied journalism. He was influenced by M. Abdo, M. Kamil, and other figures of the Egyptian Enlightenment.

Kurd Ali founded a sociopolitical and literary journal, Al-Muktabas, in Damascus in 1908. The journal was banned by the Turkish authorities because of its anti-Turkish orientation. He was instrumental in the founding of the Arab Academy of Sciences in Damascus in 1919 and was its first president. He wrote numerous monographs and articles on the history, philosophy, and literature of the Arab countries, including The History of Syria (vols. 1–6, 1925–28), The Old and the New in Arabic Literature (1925), The Roots of Wahhabism (published 1956), as well as his Reminiscences (vols. 1–4, 1948–51).


Sami Dahan. “Muhammad Kurd Ali (1876–1953). Notice biographique.” In Mélanges Louis Massignon, vol. 1. Damascus, 1956.
Jabri, Shafiq. Muhammad Kurd Ali Cairo, 1957. (In Arabic.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.