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Classical, Middle Eastern, and Asian Languages and Cultures

Sami S. Chetrit

Sami S. Chetrit

Associate Professor of Hebrew
Coordinator, Modern Hebrew language program

Queens Hall, Room 345F1
Phone: 718-997-5574

PhD, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

A renowned Hebrew poet and writer, Sami Chetrit is an inter-disciplinary scholar and teacher. He's been teaching for the last fifteen years courses on Hebrew modern language and literature, culture and politics of Israel. 

Research Interests

I'm a Moroccan Jew, raised in Israel and now reside in NYC with my wife and three children. So when asked to fill out a formal form, under race/ethnicity, I never find a "category" for myself, which is not at all so bad, so under "other" (aren't we all...), I write down different self-definitions, depends on the mood of the day. At times I write North African-American, and at times Arab-Jew, or just Middle Eastern, but really, most of the time I just try my best to be a human being, a citizen of this fractured planet.

Words are my breath. I write therefore I exist. I've been writing almost in every genre that I know of: poetry, prose, screenplay, academic research, op-ed and more. I've published numerous articles and books on culture, literature and politics in Israel. Current books: Yehudim (Jews), a poetry book. 2008. Nahar Books, Israel. Ein Habuba (Doll's Eye), a novel. 2007. Hargol-Am Oved publishers, Israel. The Mizrahi Struggle in Israel: 1948-2003 (Hebrew), published in March 2004, by Am-Oved / Ofakim Series; and SHIRIM BE'ASHDODIT (Poems in Ashdodian), poetry form 1982 to 2002, published by Andalus, Tel-Aviv, 2003. Three of these books are in different stages of translation into English to be published in the US.

In my recent research work I focus on Mizrahi (i.e., Middle Eastern Jewish) modern literature, during the Israeli era, since 1948. I'm mainly looking into political poetry of second generation Mizrahim.

I also do documentary films (when I got the time...). With Eli Hamo I co-directed the documentary "The Black Panthers (in Israel) Speak," and I am now completing a new documentary "Come Mother" on my mother's generation of Moroccan women in Israel.


Here at Queens College I teach Hebrew language on all levels, Hebrew Literature and Israeli Media, both in Hebrew and in translation. 

I've been teaching Hebrew language, literature and writing for many years, for all ages. Ever since I came to this country, five years ago, I've been teaching my topics at UCLA, UC Berkeley, Sapir College in Israel, and now Queens College CUNY, which have recently became my academic home!

For more biography, articles and poetry, please visit:


Doll's Eye is a novel in Hebrew.

Poems in Ashodian is a collection of poetry written between 1982 and 2002.

Al-Nidal al-Shaky Fi-Israil written in Arabic.

Mizrahi Struggle in Israel


 Office Information

Yunzhong Shu
Department Chair
Location: Queens Hall, Room 215
Phone: 718-997-5570
Fax: 718-997-5577

Faculty and Staff Information


Professorial Vacancy

The Department invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Korean humanities, to begin in the fall semester of 2019. Click here for more info.

Language Placement

Upcoming Language Placement Exams

Spring 2019

Arabic: Please ​contact Professor R. Shareah Taleghani, the Arabic language coordinator, ​at to schedule a placement exam. Upcoming in-person exam dates:

  • January 22, 12-2 pm (QH 245D)
  • January 28, 12-1 pm (QH 245D)

Chinese: Please contact Professor Xiao Li, the Chinese language coordinator, at

Ancient Greek: Please contact Professor Nicholas Cross, the Ancient Greek language coordinator, at

Hebrew: Please contact Professor Deborah Gruber, the Hebrew language coordinator, at

Japanese: Please contact Professor Mari Fujimoto, the Japanese language coordinator, at

Korean: Please contact Professor Seongyeon Ko, the Korean language coordinator, at

Latin: Please contact Professor Nicholas Cross, the Latin language coordinator, at

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