BILLIG, LEVI (1897–1936), Arabist. Born in London, he compiled An Arabic Reader with Avinoam *Yellin (1931, 1963) which is still one of the best introductions to classical Arabic. In 1926 he was appointed the first lecturer in Arabic language and literature at the Hebrew University. Billig also studied Shiʿa and spent time in Persia for this purpose. During the Palestine riots of 1936 he was shot to death by an Arab terrorist while working in his home. His untimely death prevented him from finalizing a study of the theory of the Imams (the successors of Muhammad).
The Times (London, Aug. 22 and 25, 1936).
[Shelomo Dov Goitein]
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