Abu Dhabi: Celebrating the occasion of International Translation Day, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), organized a special panel discussion of a renowned French novel.
The Kalima Reading Club event, organized in collaboration with Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, explored ‘La Quarantaine’, written by Mr. Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, translated into Arabic by Jordanian writer Noha Abu Arqoub and published the Kalima Translation Project.
The special event which was hosted by Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, was part of the ALC’s cooperation with the leading educational institutions in the region. The event also supported the ALC’s mandate to enrich and promote the Arabic language through culture, education, research and the arts.
Panelists who took part at the special event, moderated by Ms. Eman Turki, Editorial Projects Manager at ALC, included;
- Mohamed Ait Mihoub, Tunisian author and Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and
- Professor Hana Sobhi, Professor in French Language and Literature at Sorbonne University
The ALC Chairman further added that, “To support consolidating cultural ties between civilizations, we launched the Kalima Project, which is an ambitious initiative to revive and support the translation movement in the Arab world. Our belief is that it advances the effective cultural work undertaken in Abu Dhabi and strengthens its leadership on the cultural map regionally and internationally, supporting a new generation of translators, as well as enriching culture and science in the Arabic language.”
‘La Quarantaine’ was one of four French literature works selected by the Kalima Project that examine pandemics, alongside ‘Le Hussard Sur le Toit’ by Mr. Jean Giono, ‘La Guerre Insaisissable’ by Mr. Jean-Marc Moura, and ‘Géopolitique du Moustique’ by Mr. Erik Orsenna and Isabelle De Saint-Aubin.
The novel narrates the fate of three late 19th century travelers who are sailing to Mauritius to claim their family inheritance. Enroute, a smallpox epidemic breaks out among passengers and crew, forcing them all into quarantine on a small, uninviting island. The stay soon becomes a bitter imprisonment experience, exacerbated by behaviors and mindsets of the passengers.
JEAN-MARIE GUSTAVE LE CLÉZIO
Le Clézio, a Nobel Literature Laureate, was born in Nice, France in 1940. Growing up, Mr. Le Clézio was exposed to many different cultures within his environment, which shaped his literary works.
NOHA ABU ARQOUB
The book’s translator, Noha Abu Arqoub, is a Jordanian writer who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages from Yarmouk University in Jordan.
Ms. Noha Abu Arqoub’s other translated works include;
- ‘El Escritor y el Otro’ by Carlos Liscano, ‘Obras Completas Y Otros Cuentos’ by Augusto Monterroso
- ‘The Human Cannon’ by British playwright Edward Bond
- ‘L’Alphabet du Matin’ by Alice Rivaz
- ‘El Regreso del Joven Príncipe’ by Argentinian author Alejandro Guillermo Roemmers and
- ‘También Esto Pasará’ by Milena Busquets
INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION DAY
Celebrated on September 30 every year, the International Translation Day honors language professionals and to acknowledge the global importance of translation.