This post is also available in: العربية
Amazon has launched more than 12,000 Arabic titles on Kindle. The range includes classic Arabic authors like Naguib Mahfouz and Nizar Qabani, bestselling writers like Al Aswad Yaliko Biki for Ahlam Mostaghanemi and the winner of the 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, Harbo Alkalbi Athania for Ibrahim Nasrallah.
The store will also carry a range of translated English bestsellers, like Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Puffin) and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Pottermore).
David Naggar, vice president of Kindle, said: “We are excited to make Arabic language Kindle books available to the hundreds of millions of Arabic speakers around the world. This is another step in our ongoing work to provide more choice and selection to readers.”
Bassam Chebaro, CEO of Arab Scientific Publishers, publishers of Dan Brown in Arabic, said: “We are thrilled to offer our leading Arabic language book selection to Kindle customers around the world. We’ve already seen great interest from our finest authors, writers, and scholars, to publish their Arabic titles for Kindle.”
Gulf bookseller Jashanmal does not feel threatened by the move. Siju Ravi, Division Manager, Jashanmal Books, said it would not affect them. “Lots of English books are available in different e-reading platforms and still our business is healthy and readers are coming to the stores regularly.”
He said the stores did sell print versions of the authors in question and he believes customers will still be happy to keep buying print even if digital is available. Does he think Amazon’s move will make it harder for physical bookstores in the Gulf? “Not really. We still have lot of customers for printed books and nowadays, more teenagers are preferring to read printed books which is a good sign in this part of the world.”