The Abu Dhabi translation project
As part of efforts to transform the emirate into the cultural lodestone of the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, or Adach, has chosen 100 books to be translated into Arabic. Among them are Alan Greenspan's memoir, ``The Age of Turbulence,'' John Maynard Keynes's ``The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money'' and Milton Friedman's ``Capitalism and Freedom.'' The goal is to translate 100 titles every year.
Adach has formed a nonprofit organization called Kalima (Arabic for ``word'') to undertake the translations and expand Arabic-language publishing in the United Arab Emirates.
About 10,000 books have been translated into Arabic in the past millennium, according to a 2003 study by the United Nations Development Program. The demand has been small, partly owing to the historical tendency to focus most reading on religious texts and classical poetry. Some 300 new translations appear each year, so Kalima's further 100 titles represents a substantial addition.
Kalima will buy rights, pay translators and enlist established Arabic-language publishers in the Persian Gulf region and North Africa to print and distribute the books.
Labels: Abu Dhabi