Acclaimed author, activist Sami Michael dies at 97

Portrait of author Sami Michael, May 5, 2004 (Flash90)
Portrait of author Sami Michael, May 5, 2004 (Flash90)

Author Sami Michael has died at the age of 97, Hebrew-language media reports.

Michael, born in Baghdad as Kamal Salah, became active in the underground Communist movement in Iraq after the rise of pro-Nazi and antisemitic elements in the country, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

He was forced to flee the country in 1948, and moved to Iran, before immigrating to Israel a year later.

Michael won dozens of awards for his literature, including the Prime Minister’s Prize for Hebrew Literary Works and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

His best known works include “Victoria” and “A Handful of Fog.”

A public campaigner for a Palestinian state and civil rights, Michael did not shy from public criticism of the government, Ynet says.

He is survived by his wife and two children. His sister Nadia is the widow of executed Israeli spy Eli Cohen, Kan reports.

Most Popular