Sharjah ‘Translation Rights Centre’ Launches with $300,000 Translation Fund

Last week, Ahmed Al Amri, the director of the Sharjah International Book Fair, announced the opening of a $300,000 translation fund to celebrate the fair’s 30th anniversary.

Al Amri made the announcement about the new Sharjah Translation Rights Centre in Frankfurt, at the city’s mid-October book fair.

The Sharjah Translation Rights Centre will be sponsored in part by Etisalat, like the million-dirham children’s-book prize based in Sharjah. The Translation Rights Centre will also be supported by the American University in Sharjah.

Al Amri said that the opening year’s $300,000 in grants will be available to support translation deals concluded or initiated at the Sharjah fair. The funds will be available for any language pairs.

Sheikha Bodour al-Qasimi, President of the Emirates Publishers Association, said, according to the Frankfurt Fair Dealer:

We are proud to launch the SIBF Translation Rights Centre to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary. It will mark a significant gathering of international publishers and we will facilitate as many translation deals as we can, confirming Sharjah’s important role as an influential international book fair.

The Translation Rights Centre will also offer an expanded professional program, which is set to launch on November 14-15, on the eve of the 30th Sharjah International Book Fair. This professional program will include meetings, networking, and talks, and will bring together professionals from across the international rights community. According to the Fair Dealer, more than 50 publishers from 16 countries have confirmed their attendance.

All attendees will also receive a list of books currently available in Arabic that are recommended for translation, and all will have the opportunity to meet with Arab publishers.

Literary agent Toby Eady told the Fair Dealer:

Books don’t succeed unless they are very well translated. But brilliant and inspiring translation is not just the bedrock of international publishing, it is the key to better understanding between cultures. Opportunities to meet with publishing professionals from across the world, like the one afforded at Sharjah Translation Rights Centre, are invaluable in helping us break down the barriers. Hopefully, this will lead to more authors being translated and appreciated in more languages across the world.

The full guidelines for 2011 translation grants are set to be announced shortly via