‘An Essential Part of World Culture’: 19 Saif Ghobash Banipal Translations

In News by Dennis Abrams

With a mission of seeing contemporary Arab authors ‘take their rightful place in world literature,’ the Banipal Prize Trust names translations in contention for the award.
The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature will reach its 12th year in September.

The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature will reach its 12th year in September.

In addition to the prize activity of our article, readers in the London area will want to know about an inaugural lecture in what’s planned to be an annual event funded by Omar Saif Ghobash and family. “Blind Spots: A Millennium of Arabic in Translation—From Ibn Al-Haytham to William Faulkner to Don Quixote” is scheduled to be given by Palestinian author, translator, and University of Michigan professor Anton Shammas at 7 p.m. on October 14 at the British Library Conference Center.—Porter Anderson


By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2

‘To Speak for Themselves to a Global Readership’
The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature has announced that 19 eligible entries for the 2016 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation: 17 fiction titles and two poetry.

The trust was founded in September 2004 by the publisher of Banipal magazine. The goal is to promote the publication of Arab authors in English translation and live literature events in the UK.

The titles under consideration are:

‘Deepening and Enriching the Cultural Dialogue’

The award is aimed at “deepening and enriching the cultural dialogue” between the Arab world and the West, singling out Europe and North America for special consideration.

To achieve its goal, the trust supports English translations of contemporary Arab authors and publication of Banipal three times per year. Additionally, live literature events promote Banipal issues and Arab authors.

In its literature, the trust writes that Arab literature “is an essential part of world culture and human civilisation, and it is through literary translation that these works of contemporary Arab literature become accessible to the widest possible audience, can take their rightful place in world literature and speak for themselves to a global readership.”

The date for an announcement of the winner has not yet been made public.


Publishing Perspectives hopes you’ll want to #namethetranslator whenever writing or talking about translated literature, so that translators receive the credit they deserve for their work in world literature.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children’s publishing and media. He’s also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of “The Play’s The Thing,” a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.