Farah Aboubakr

Lecturer in Arabic, IASH Affiliate (2023-24)


Dr Farah Aboubakr joined the University of Edinburgh (IMES and CASAW) as a Teaching Fellow in 2013.  She has been involved in course organisation, teaching (language and discursive modules) as well as developing materials on Arabic PG/UG programmes. She took the role of Course Organiser/ Developer of the MSc Advanced Arabic between 2013 and 2020 and contributed towards the teaching and development of  MSc in Arab World Studies, MSc in International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic (IRMEwA), and MSc Translation Studies (Arabic Portfolio). She has been teaching on team-taught discursive postgraduate and undergraduate courses, such as: Advanced Research Skills in Arabic, Critical Readings in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Modern Arabic Literature,  Modern Middle Eastern History , Research Methods and Problems in IMES and Islamic and Middle Eastern Culture. She has also held a number of roles since she joined IMES, such as Student Exchange Officer, Career Adviser/ Officer for the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Postgraduate and Undergraduate Year Abroad Coordinator and Year Abroad Committee Chair. 

Before joining the University of Edinburgh, Dr Farah Aboubakr was Senior Tutor of Arabic at the Language Centre (the University of Manchester); Freelance Translator and Lexicographer on the new edition of the Arabic-English-Arabic Oxford Dictionary (Oxford University Press); and Team Leader of the Senior Intensive Arabic course designed for professional linguists in the UK government as well as Convenor of Culture and Language Teaching of Levantine Dialects (Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese) at Communicaid Ltd.


  • Ph.D. (2014): “The Palestinian Folktale as a site of Framing Palestinian Collective Memory and National Identity” - The Department of Translation & Intercultural Studies - The University of Manchester.
  • M.A. (Distinction) 2004: Translation and Interpreting (Arabic-English-Arabic) - The University of Salford. Dissertation entitled: “The Translation of Wordplay, Irony and Satire in the Pessoptimist by Emil Habiby.
  • B.A.(Hons) 2002: English Language and Literature - Mohammed V University, Morocco.

Research summary

Throughout her PhD career and following obtaining her degree, Dr Farah Aboubakr has been actively engaged with research within the area of Arabic literature, language and translation, particularly Palestinian literature and popular culture. Her research interest in interdisciplinary and crosses the boundaries of the following disciplines: Translation and Cultural Studies, Popular Culture, Middle East and Palestine studies. 


  • Cultural translation: (media & literary)
  • Memory Studies & Oral Literature
  • Linguistics and Lexicography.

Affiliated research centres

[Book] The Folktales of Palestine: Cultural Identity, Memory and the Politics of Storytelling (2019), London: I.B Tauris & Bloomsbury featuring in SOAS Palestine Studies Centre Series. (https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-folktales-of-palestine-9781788314268/)

[Journals] “Peasantry in Palestinian Folktales: Sites of Memory, Homeland and Collectivity” (2017), Marvels & Tales 31, No 2, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, pp 217-238. (https://muse.jhu.edu/article/680306)

[Dictionary] Oxford Arabic Dictionary (2014), Bilingual Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (https://global.oup.com/academic/product/oxford-arabic-dictionary-9780199580330?cc=gb&lang=en&)

- Nominated for the EUSA Teaching Award (Student-led Teaching Award) in the categories of Outstanding Course and Teacher of the Year between 2014 and 2021 at the University of Edinburgh.

- Awarded Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) Visiting Research Fellowship in Berlin.

- Awarded The Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL) and The Palestinian American Research Centre (PARC) research funds for a project entitled: "Palestinian Transgressive Voices: Cultural Memory and Performative Arts in the Diaspora and Palestine".

- Passed the 2nd stage of The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship Competition.

- The book, The Folktales of Palestine: Cultural Identity, Memory and the Politics of Storytelling (2019) was nominated for Palestine Book Award.

- Awarded Fellowship Research Grant by Palestinian Association Research Centre for research entitled: The Folktale as a Site of Framing Palestinian Collective Memory and Identity in Speak, Bird, Speak Again (1989), Qul Ya Tayer (2001).

- Awarded full-bursary by The University of Manchester, entitled Graduate Teaching Fellowship, to study towards a PhD in Translation and Intercultural Studies.


- Awarded the Karim Rida Said Foundation scholarship to study for a Master's Degree in Translation and Interpreting at Salford University.