According to the Oman Observer, the two-day symposium—“Translating Omani Literature”—promises to tackle issues related to bringing Omani lit to Arabic and non-Arabic audiences.
This was news to me, as I didn’t realize that a significant amount of Omani literature had to be translated into Arabic. (In fact, I have yet to get a handle on Omani literature.) The Observer notes:
…several literary works of Omanis were not initially authored in Arabic. They were written in such languages and dialects as Swahili, Balushi, Lawati or Shihri, while some others were written in English, French, German and others languages.
The Observer has more details about the papers that will be presented; I’m hoping they’ll also provide updates from the conference.
Also: I just found this blog, “Lord of the Fjord: Writing My Way Around Oman,” which has an interesting piece about self-censorship and Omani writers. The “Fjord Lord” also links to a number of contemporary Omani writers who blog.
And: You can read Hussein al-Abri on the absence of Omani novels. He also blogs.
Swahili? Wow. This is fascinating! I wonder why they don’t write in Arabic.
If you are interested, I would like to bring your attention to the collection of Dhofari Fairytales I translated along with Omani students for my Fulbright. We are hoping to get the collection published outside of Oman (there are two other fairy tale collections that have also been translated into English, but their circulation is limited to Omani bookstores…which themselves are rarely visited, if anyone is aware of their existence even).
I could send you the reading list we compiled for the translation if you wish.
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