Anton Shammas was one of six children born to a Palestinian father, Hanna Shammas, and a Lebanese mother, Hélène Bitar, who moved to Fassuta in northern Palestine in 1937 to teach at the local girls' school. In 1962, the family moved to Haifa where Shammas studied in an integrated Jewish-Arab high school.[1] In 1968, Shammas moved to Jerusalem and studied English and Arabic literature and art history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[1]

Shammas left Jerusalem in 1987 and now lives in the United States, where he is a professor of Comparative Literature and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan.[2]

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