Humphrey Davies holds a PhD in Near East Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He has spent 36 years working and living in the Arab world – 20 of these in Egypt, with lengthy periods in Palestine, Sudan and Tunisia. He works out of Arabic (both formal and four dialects: Egyptian Arabic, Sudanese, Tunisian and Palestinian).
His translations include Ala’ Al-Aswani's The Yacoubian Building, Naguib Mahfouz's Thebes at War and Sayed Ragab's 'El Far' (‘Rat’) – a short story in Egyptian Arabic, published in Banipal Magazine (Summer 2002)
In addition to his translation work, he has worked for the Ford Foundation in Cairo and Khartoum; for the Save the Children Federation; and for Oxford University Press. He is based in Cairo.