Syriac Cultural Directorate Mourns Great Scholar and Historian Benjamin Haddad

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s General Directorate of Syriac Culture and Arts mourns the great scholar and historian Benjamin Haddad, who passed away on the morning of Monday 17 June 2024, due to an incurable illness at a hospital in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s Dohuk Governorate.

The Directorate, in the person of its General Director, its cadres and employees, extends its sincere condolences and sympathy to his family and admirers, as well as to the Syriac literary family for the loss of such a great scholar, writer, poet, historian and polymath, the likes of whom history rarely produces. We also pray to the Lord that the deceased may be showered with His vast mercy in His heavenly kingdom, and that his family be inspired with patience and solace.

  • Biography:
  • Benjamin Michah Joseph Haddad was born in Alqosh in 1931.

He worked in the field of comparative language studies, was interested in history, heritage, and folklore, and wrote for literary purposes in both Syriac and Arabic.

He has more than twenty books, treatises, and publications in the fields of heritage, international affairs, poetry, translation, and investigative research.

  • He is the author of the eight-volume “Encyclopaedia of Monasteries,” which is a historical, geographical, national, scientific and spiritual study, dealing with more than 1,200 existing and extinct monasteries throughout the ancient Orient – from China and Afghanistan to North Africa, and from Asia Minor in the north to Oman and Yemen in the south.
  • He published a dictionary “Rawd al-Kalam” (School of Speech), which is in two large volumes and contains more than 1,200 pages. It is the first extensive Arabic-Syriac dictionary published on an alphabetical and etymological basis.

In December 2023, he was honoured with the Union of Syriac Authors and Writers’ award on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Union’s founding.

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