Kalima was founded last year by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage, and is based on a simple premise: Most great works of world literature are currently not available in Arabic, making them inaccessible to most readers in the Arab world. Among last year's international selections for translation were American authors William Faulkner, Alan Greenspan, Frank Herbert, and Thomas Pynchon....You can fill out a form here. And let's discuss this topic in the comments too. I like the idea of great literature as a bridge between cultures. In this light, I would like to know what works in Arabic would be good for us Americans to read in English. Also, what kinds of books are most likely to bring different people together? Do you think the vivid pictures of the trials and triumphs of life in a particular place are most effective?
"The initiative invokes a comparison to 'Bait Al Hikma,' or House of Wisdom--a library and a translation center established by Harun Al Rashid in the 9th century. This intellectual center ignited learning and discovery in the Arab world which, in turn, became an essential factor in the making of the modern world. In that light, it is noteworthy to mention that the complete works of great American writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner--are inaccessible to Arab readers," added Dr. Tamim. "These writers paint a vivid picture of the trials and triumphs of life in America, and by putting works like these into the hands of Arab readers, we are restoring ancient bridges between our two cultures."
September 19, 2008
Kalima -- an organization based in the UAE -- wants Americans to nominate books for translation: