Mzekala Shanidze is a linguist who serves as a professor emeritus at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and is a correspondent member at the Academy of Science.
She was born on 16 January 1926 in the city of Tbilisi. In 1943, she entered Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, the faculty of philology; however, shortly after the faculty of oriental studies was separated from the faculty of philology, she enrolled herself into the group of Semitic languages. After graduation from the university (1948-1951), she started pursuing a postgraduate education and became a postgraduate student of Academician Giorgi Tsereteli and started specializing in Old Hebrew languages. She spent two years as a post-graduate student in Petersburg; in 1952, she defended her doctoral candidate thesis on the topic the Issue of Pharyngeal Sounds in the Ancient Hebrew Language. As regards her doctoral dissertation, she defended it in 1974 with the topic of the dissertation being “Old Georgian Translations of The Book of Psalms (it was published in 1979).
In 1952-1954, she delivered lectures in the ancient Hebrew language at Tbilisi State University. In 1953, she started working at the Department of Manuscripts at Simon Janashia Historical Museum and at the university department of Old Georgia Language. In 1958-1968, she worked at the Department of Semitic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies, while in 1968-2002, she headed the Department of Old Georgian Philology at the Institute of Manuscripts.
Ms. Shanidze presented reports at different science conferences and forums in Paris, London, Brussels, Moscow, Petersburg, Yerevan, Batumi, Sokhumi and Tbilisi. In addition, she gave lectures in Old Georgian language in Petersburg (1996, 1997 and 1998). She also delivered lectures at the Summer School of Tbilisi State University and that of National Center of Manuscripts. For the purposes of studying newly discovered manuscripts, she visited St Ekaterine Monastery at Mount of Sinai thrice (1996, 2002 and 2009). She is a co-author of the newly discovered trilingual catalogue at Mount Sinai, which was published in 2005 and is a translator of the English section of the catalogue.
Mzekala Shanidze is an author of more than 150 works in the field of Georgian Morphology, Lexicology, and textual criticism. Some of her works were published abroad, in France, Holland, and Germany.
Ms. Shanidze is an owner of the Order of Honour (1996), Akaki Shanidze Prize (1990) and is a laureate of Ivane Jvakishvili Prize (2011). In 2016, she was awarded title of honorary doctor at Ilia State University.