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Recently modern Arabic literature seems to have made several long strides all at once. It is interesting to note that in the 20 years from 1947 to 1967 a mere 20 titles from modern Arabic literature appeared in English translation. In the next 20 years the situation improved slightly with 84 titles being published in translation between 1967 and 1988. I do not have figures for the yearly number being published these days, but the position has greatly improved.
1. Growing up abroad as an Arab.
2. Media influence on Arabs abroad and back home.
3. New ideas that changed Arab’s view on society and the world.
4. Arab politics and it’s effect on generation X’s view point of the world.
5. Latest news from around the globe that effect Arabs.
6. Arabs' contribution to society and the world. (ie. science, technology, etc). Great place to write a profile of a colleague or friend who deserves recognition.
7. History, what have Arabs done that shaped the world?
8. Cartoons and art work by great Arab talent.
intelligent, passionate, interesting, funny, knowledgeable and courageous people… using the web to make their voices heard.
Books to be translated will include Al Sultan al-Ha'er (The Perplexed Sultan) by renowned Egyptian writer Tawfiq al-Hakeem, The Mural of Mahmoud Darwish by famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, and Morals of the Muslim by leading Islamic thinker Muhammed Al-Ghazali.
As part of its presence in the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Foundation will celebrate the first edition of the Arabic translation of three of German author Adolf Muschg's books at a workshop to be hosted tomorrow (17 October). During the event, Muschg will share his perspectives on the importance of translation as a vital tool for enhancing global understanding.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation will also organise a Book Presentation review that will feature Mohammed by Tilman Nagel. The event will mark the release of the first Arabic edition of the book prepared by Arab philosopher and translator Radwan Al Sayed.
Yalo by Elias Khoury
The New Year of the Revolutionary Bread Making Machine by Hassan Daoud
Adama by Turki al-Hamad
Woman at Point Zero (Imra’a ‘ind Nuqtat al-Sifr) Nawal As Sadaawi
The Last Chapter by Leila Abouzeid
Aunt Saffiya & the Monastery ( خالتي صفية والدير ) by Bahaa Taher
The Secret Life of Saaed the Pessoptomist by Emile Habiby
Black Magic by Hamdy el-Ghazzar
Wild Thorns by Sahar Khalifa
Leaves of Narcissus (Awraq Al-Narjis) by Somaya Ramadan
The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif
It is a measure of the unpopularity of the proposed legislation that not a single writer declined to contribute on the grounds that they in fact supported it. Whereas 42 of the best novelists, essayists, memoirists, poets and journalists around sent us the uniquely powerful contributions you will read on this site.
Ghassan Nasr was the runner-up with his translation of the late Palestinian writer Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s last novel The Journals of Sarab Affan (Syracuse University Press). In the judges’ view: “As is to be expected with the writings of this poet-novelist, the Arabic text is couched in language of exquisite beauty, and Ghassan Nasr succeeds admirably in transferring the nuances of the original to an English version that is a pleasure to read.”
Nancy Roberts’ translation of Egyptian novelist Salwa Bakr’s The Man from Bashmour (American University in Cairo Press) was highly commended. The jury was “deeply impressed by Bakr’s courageous novelistic exploration of Egypt’s complex relationship with its Christian (Coptic) community during the 9th century AD.” The text uses complex levels of discourse, “and the translation project has therefore been a significant challenge, one that has been met with great success by the translator.”
The English versions of the poems “replicate, deliberately so, the structures of the original poems that parallel them on the opposite page, and yet they can be read in their English forms as wonderful transfers of the images and music of the Arabic poems. It goes without saying that this is a major achievement.”
If translation in any form is a beautiful, treacherous and radical art -- a bit like alchemy, or shape-shifting, or dancing, or dying, or writing poems -- then translating the classics is more beautiful, and more treacherous, and more radical. It’s a kind of epistemological time travel. You have to convey, wholly and purely, the writer’s way of expressing and understanding the world. You are thrust into a vortex of inexact equations and surreal paradoxes. In transforming someone’s words, you risk destroying them, turning them into a pile of babble or ashes or dust. I say this as someone who writes in only one language -- in the translation world, I am a limbless girl watching the ballet. It makes me weep. I can feel how to pirouette with my phantom limbs.
Layla’s psychological, social, and political growth takes place in the context of the years from 1946 to 1956 — years that witnessed the revolt against the British and the Palace, the Free Officer’s Revolution of 1952, Jamal Abdul Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal, and the Israeli-British-French attack that followed.
The same novel is now “an impossibility,” al-Zayyat said a few years ago [in the mid 1990s]. When she wrote it she shared with her audience a common language and a common vision. But things have changed. According to her, “roads to salvation are blocked; the common ground of shared values seem to break down into multiple different sets of values according to the varied social strata; the common sensibility and its language is no more; people lacking national unity are divided and subdivided until each is turned into an insular island.” One Egyptian critic recently wrote that his female students don’t see themselves in the heroine of The Open Door. They no longer believe that what Layla achieves by the end of the book is possible for them.
asking specific questions, carefully selected by a few friends, which concern the status of Egyptian girls and women, in particular, and Egyptians, in general. The objective is to develop a dialogue stemming from the responses to better understand ourselves and those around us.
Le Clézio became popular in France in the 1970s and 80s with novels set across the world. His big breakthrough came in 1980 with Desert, an award-winning novel of French colonialism seen through the eyes of a Tuareg woman in the Sahara. Since 2000 he has focused on stories of childhood and post-colonialism, drawing on his own family stories.
The Nobel jury said Le Clézio "stood out as an ecologically engaged author", citing his novels Terra Amata, The Book of Flights, War and The Giants. They called him an "explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilisation".
His acceptance speech at the ceremony in December is likely to have a political slant. A defender of Creole writers who face problems getting published, he said yesterday he would use the speech to campaign for the promotion of young writers outside the metropolitan elite. He is also vocal about war, women's rights and child prostitution in the developing world.
Among Le Clézio’s most recent works are Ballaciner (2007), a deeply personal essay about the history of the art of film and the importance of film in the author’s life, from the hand-turned projectors of his childhood, the cult of cinéaste trends in his teens, to his adult forays into the art of film as developed in unfamiliar parts of the world.
Last week, Jordan’s grand mufti, Noah Alqdah Samas, the kingdom’s highest religious authority, called [Islam] Samhan an enemy of religion for his poetry, some of which included lines comparing his loneliness to that of the prophet Yusuf in the Quran...
All this comes as something of a surprise to Samhan, whose book, In a Slim Shadow, published eight months ago, is a collection of his best work over the past decade. The ministry of culture even bought 50 copies.
warned: “One shouldn’t judge poetry based on literal terms, otherwise many of the poets would be declared apostates."
I was struck initially by the book’s title, the Arabic word for “storyteller.” It seems to be the first time a novel has come out from a major press [in the US] with an Arabic title
"They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature."
Salih Altoma notes that of the 322 translations of works of fiction from Arabic into English since the end of the Second World War, nearly two-thirds have been published since 1988... Furthermore, works selected fortranslation from the Arabic are overwhelmingly by Egyptian writers (170 out of the 322 recorded by Altoma).
a few dedicated publishers – principally Quartet, Saqi, University of Texas Press, and AUC Press – have an ongoing commitment to building up a collection of Arabic-language literature… a number of the publishers are based in the Arab world itself. This reflects a laudable effort on the part of local publishers, who recognise that if their counterparts in the West do not show an interest, it is up to them to challenge this cultural marginalisation and seek out a Western readership.