Arabic and Hebrew: The Politics of Literary Translation

In Growth Markets by Olivia Snaije

This article is part of a series on publishing in the Middle East which is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. By Olivia Snaije Anyone involved in the art of translation knows the delicate balancing act it entails: remaining faithful to the original text but allowing the work to stand on its own in its new incarnation. It also …

Does Translation Have the Power to Change the World?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Israel and the Arab World . . . never the twain shall meet? Perhaps. But if anything has the power to change people’s minds, books do. Israel and the Arab World…never the twain shall meet? Perhaps, but — as discussed in today’s lead story — literary translation between the two cultures will surely help each side understand …

Have Western Publishers Been Too Slow to React to Political Change in the Middle East?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

In the past publishers cashed in on dramatic events in or originating in the Middle East. So what’s different this time? By Edward Nawotka In today’s lead story about Arabic literature in the West, literary agent Yasmina Jraissati notes that Arabic literature is present on the main territories, but its presence is faint. Given the importance of the Arabic language …

How Visible Is Arabic Lit on the International Scene?

In Growth Markets by Guest Contributor

This article is part of a series on publishing in the Middle East which is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. By Yasmina Jraissati As a literary agent specialized in representing Arabic literature for world translation rights, I am often asked how visible Arabic literature is on the international scene. This question most of the time translates into: …

Following Recent Events, Will You Explore the Mid-East and North Africa for Opportunities in 2011?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

The landscape for publishers to explore the Middle East and North Africa for opportunities has never been better. By Edward Nawotka Earlier this month on Publishing Perspectives Egyptian e-book publisher Ramy Habeeb argued that Western publishers had a responsibility to bring “pluralism” to the Middle East publishing community, something they can do by participating in the rebirth of the free and open …

Updates from Egypt: Cairo Publisher’s Offices Attacked

In Arabic Publishing by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije The chairman of one of Egypt’s largest publishing houses, Dar El Shorouk, said Mubarak loyalists tried to attack the offices of his independent newspaper, Al Shorouk, today in the upscale neighbourhood of Mohandeseen. In a telephone interview, Ibrahim El Mouallem said that pro-regime protesters attempted to storm the building but the guards, journalists and neighbours were able …

Arab, Western Publishers Have a Responsibility to Egypt

In Growth Markets by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka For obvious reasons, if you want customer service this week from Kotobarabia, Egypt’s predominant e-book store, you’re out of luck. The lifting of censorship will bring a flood of new books, but it’s up to Arab and Western publishers to ensure there’s a pluralism of views. Ramy Habeeb, founder and CEO of Kotobarabia, who spoke to us from …

Should Extremist Views Be Available to Readers in Egypt?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Now that Egypt is close to eliminating censorship and opening its citizenry to a plentitude of political and religious views, the question arises of whether or not it is appropriate to have books with the most extreme views on sale in bookshops. In today’s lead story, Ramy Habeeb argues against censorship, saying that all points-of-view should be …

In the Age of Censorship vs. Instant News, This is When We Need Literature the Most

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka “I believe society has a right to defend itself, just as the individual has the right to attack that with which he disagrees.” — Naguib Mahfouz As discussed in today’s lead story, the mounting revolution in Cairo has shut down the Cairo International Book Fair. Meanwhile, those interested in developments are dependent on impromptu and conventional news …