Karmi and his family were forced to flee in the 1948 Nakba. They eventually settled in the neighbourhood of Golders Green, in London, England. Karmi joined the British Broadcasting Corporation Arabic Service and served as a broadcaster for nearly 40 years.
He was the creator, writer, and presenter of a weekly literary program called Qawlun ala Qawl (Saying on a Saying) devoted to Arabic poetry and proverbs.
The program was the longest running in the history of the British Broadcasting Corporation Arabic Service. Foreign many years he also wrote a column in Huna London (London Calling), which the embassy in Saudi Arabia used to distribute on behalf of the British Broadcasting Corporation Arabic Service.
In 1969 Karmi was awarded an Administration Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to the British Broadcasting Corporation. He returned to the Middle East, to Jordan, in 1989 and spent his remaining years working on eleven dictionaries, one Arabic-English, the rest English-Arabic.