Dr. Bilal Orfali is a Lebanese scholar of Arabic language and literature. He currently serves as the M.S. Sofia Chair in Arabic studies at the Ohio State University. He was previously an associate professor of Arabic studies at the American University of Beirut. He is considered an expert on Arabic prose and poetry, especially during the 10th century.
Orfali earned a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the American University of Beirut in 2000, 2001 and 2003 respectively. He then went on to earn a Master of Philosophy in 2006 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 2009, both from Yale University. Orfali is currently a professor of Arabic studies at AUB, while also having served as a visiting scholar at the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey from 2011 to 2012. He also serves as the director of the AUB's intensive CAMES summer program for Arabic language education.
Co-editor, E. J. Brill's book series Text and Studies on the Qur'an. Member of Editorial Board of Al-MACHREQ: Revue Catholique Orientale. Sciences, Lettres, Arts. Member of Editorial Board of Abhath."The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia," taken from Encyclopedias About Muslim Civilisations by Aptin Khanbaghi (ed), pgs. 25-26. Translated by Yasmeen Hanoosh. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009.
“The Sources of al-Thaʿālibī in Yatīmat al-Dahr and Tatimmat al-Yatīma,” Middle Eastern Literatures (2013).
“A Lost Maqāma of Badīʿ al-Zamān al-Hamadhānī (?),” Arabica 60 (2013).
“fann al-ikhtiyār fī l-adab al-ʿarabī al-klāsīkī,” al-Machreq (2012), 587-599.
“A Sketch Map of Arabic Poetry Anthologies,” Journal of Arabic Literature 43 (2012), 29-59.
“Ghazal and Grammar: al-Bāʿūnī’s Taḍmīn Alfiyyat Ibn Mālik fī l-Ghazal,” In the Shadow of Arabic: The Centrality of Language to Arabic Culture. Ed. Bilal Orfali. Leiden: Brill, 2011, 445-494.
“The Works of Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī,” Journal of Arabic Literature 40 (2009), 276-321.
“An Addendum to the Dīwān of Abū Manṣūr al-Taʿālibī,” Arabica 56 (2009), 440-449.
“The Art of the Muqaddima in the Works of Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (d. 429/1039),” in The Weaving of Words: Approaches to Classical Arabic Prose. Ed. Lale Behzadi and Vahid Behmardi. Beirut: Orient Institut, 2009, 181-202.
Seeking Solitude, A short Sufi Guidebook: Khalwat al-ʿākifīn (Selections from Salwat al-ʿārifīn). Bilal Orfali and Gerhard Bowering. Beirut: Dar al-Machreq, 2013.
The Comfort of the Mystics: A Manual and Anthology of Sufism. Gerhard Bowering and Bilal Orfali. Leiden, Brill, study 48p, text 688p.
A Disputation over a Fragment of the True Cross: A Medieval Arabic Text from the History of Christian-Jewish-Muslim Relations in Egypt. [Critical edition with introduction, study, translation, and notes]. Stephen J. Davis, Bilal Orfali, and Samuel Noble. Beirut: Dar al-Machreq, Recherches, 2012, 112p.
Sufism: Black and White, A Critical Edition of Kitāb al-Bayāḍ wa-l-Sawād by Abū l-Ḥasan al-Sīrjānī (d. ca.470/1077). Bilal Orfali and Nada Saab. Leiden, Brill, 2012, study 59p, text 510p).
In the Shadow of Arabic: The Centrality of Language to Arabic Culture. Studies presented to Ramzi Baalbaki on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday. Ed. Bilal Orfali. Leiden: Brill, 2011, 572p.
Zād safar al-mulūk of Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī [Critical edition with introduction, study, and notes]. Ramzi Baalbaki and Bilal Orfali. Beirut: Orient-Institut (Bibliotheca Islamica 52), 2011, study 34p, text 153.
Sufi Inquiries and Interpretations of Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī (d. 412/1021) and a Treatise of Traditions by Ismāʿīl b. Nujayd al-Naysābūrī (d. 366/976-7) [Critical edition with introduction and study]. Bilal Orfali and Gerhard Böwering. Beirut: Dar al-Machreq, 2010, study 25p, 134p.
Sufi Treatises of Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī [Critical edition with introduction and study]. Gerhard Böwering and Bilal Orfali. Beirut: Dar al-Machreq, Recherches, 2009, study 30p, text 176p."Between the Qur’an, Prose and Poetry: al-Tha‘alibi on the Registers of Speech," part of The Qur’an and Adab Traditions at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, April 24–26, 2012.
"The Arabic Adab Anthology: Site of Literary Hybridity?" part of Literary Hybridity; Transmission, Translation, Variation in the Medieval Mediterranean at the 4th International Conference of Mediterranean Worlds in Istanbul, September 5, 2012.