Since its launch in 2010, Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) has released numerous translations of a variety of books as part of its efforts to expand the literary landscape of the region.
Publishing translations is an important part of the mandate at HBKU Press, which publishes a variety of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s and Academic titles, along with research articles, conference proceedings and journals. The purpose of translations is to help contribute to the cultural exchange of information and help build cross-cultural communication and co-existence that enhance the transfer of thought and knowledge between Arabic and other languages.
Translated volumes allow readers to cross cultural thresholds and find the common humanity in all our stories, while simultaneously discovering different cultures. With that goal, HBKU Press focuses on featuring translated works alongside showcasing Arab talent in order to enrich the Arabic literary scene and enhance cross-cultural communication.
Fakhri Saleh, Head of Arabic Publishing at HBKU Press explains that their mission is to select books to translate, whether they were published by us or other publishers, that focus on issues that concern Qatar, the Gulf region and the Arab World.
We choose books that are bestselling fiction works from around the world, award-winning books from different cultures, fiction works written by Arab women and men in different languages, etc. We focus on translating books that add to our knowledge, understanding of ourselves and of humanity. We see ourselves as cultural ambassadors showcasing our literary creativity and culture to other nations and while getting to know other nations’ culture at the same time.’
The most recently released translations by HBKU Press include one Spanish work titled, Games of the Late Age, and two translations from English, Poor Economics and Science and Islam.
Science and Islam, also a Non-Fiction, written by Ehsan Masood and translated by Ayham Al-Sabbagh, tells the story of one of history’s most misunderstood yet rich and fertile periods in science: the Islamic scientific revolution between 700 and 1400 CE. The stories, written in a compelling narrative, take the reader on a journey through the Islamic empires of the Middle Ages, and their contributions to science in Western Europe. The titles present a diverse variety of stories and information that cross cultural, socio-economic, and political borders.
Local filmmaker Mohamed Al Mahmeed said that as an avid reader, it is great to have such a variety of popular translated works available in Arabic,.
It allows me a glimpse into how others live around the world and it also helps to break down stereotypes and generalities that make me realize that humans, no matter where they are from, are more alike than they perceive. HBKU Press’s contribution to that global exchange of information is not only invaluable, it is laudable and very important.’
To date, HBKU Press has published over 60 translated works to and from English, Spanish, German, Turkish into Arabic. Among these works is the Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding award-winner Ashar Nissa’ (Diez mujeres/ Ten Women) by Saleh Almani, who is also the translator of Games of the Late Age, and other notable HBKU Press translated titles. The best-selling book, Wonder, written in English by RJ Palacio and translated into Arabic by HBKU Press in 2015, has also been made into major Hollywood motion picture to be released later this year.
For more information on HBKU Press, visit their website through this link.