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Mani, Ezra


MANI, EZRA (1913–2005), Israeli lexicographer. Born in Bagdad, Iraq, where he received his elementary education in Jewish schools and in the Ahiever youth movement, whose goal was to spread the Hebrew book, he immigrated to Israel in 1934, taught Arabic, enlisted in the idf in 1948, and served in the Intelligence Department of the idf, in which he was a colonel. Though he did not receive any academic training, he is the author of The Mani Dictionary on Arabic military terms and of their Hebrew equivalents, including 10,000 entries based on Arabic documents, military reviews, tv, films, and colloquial Arabic from several Arab countries. This dictionary aids Intelligence operations and to date only exists in a computerized on-line internal idf edition. His work is considered highly original by international standards. Mani received the Israel Prize in 1976 for services to Arabic linguistics and was the first military officer to have won this prize.

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