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Qassim Saudi


The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair featured a dialogue session titled ‘German Literature in the Arabic Context’, with the participation of the Egyptian Translator Dr. Samir Grace and Karam Youssef, publisher and owner of Al Kotob Khan for Publishing & Distribution, to shed light on contemporary German books, which are translated into different languages under its translation project, Litrix.

The session focused on promoting Arabic translation of German Literature to make more books in German accessible to Arabic readers, and highlighted dozens of translated books written by German authors in the fields of fiction and non-fiction, poetry and knowledge.

Dr. Grace praised the cultural value of the project and its importance to the Arab reader, who, through the project’s translations, has learned about a new generation of young German novelists and poets.

He presented a number of books translated as part of the project, including, the novel The Piano Teacher by Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek in 2005, The Profession of Killing by Norbert Gstrein, My Year as a Murderer by Friedrich Christian Delius and The Crying Animal by Michael Kleeberg.

He pointed out that the unique feature of this project is that it supports translation of books written by authors who are mostly unknown to the Arab world. It does not focus on certain marketing and commercial requirements, but rather on presenting the contemporary German Literature to the Arab World. It organises various programmes and translation workshops in a number of Arab countries with the aim of increasing the number of German-to-Arabic translators and bringing to the publishing market new generation of translators who can enrich the cultural scene in the Arab World with the top German titles.

For his part, Youssef highlighted the importance of this project and its multi-language creative workshops for young people. Launched in 2004, Litrix focuses on a single language for several years at a time, adding a new cognitive value to the cultural landscape in the Arab World.