Amazon’s Kindle Now Supports Arabic

Amazon announced Tuesday that the the book giant had entered the Arabic ebook market, starting with a selection of more than 12,000 titles via their Kindle devices and Kindle app:

On its opening day, the initial “bestsellers” list was dominated by Egyptian titles. These included books such as Ahmed Khaled Towfik’s Utopia — which has regrettably fallen out of print in its English translation — as well as several works by Egyptian superseller Ahmed Mourad, books by Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, work by social satirist Ezzedine Choukri Fishere, and Khaled al-Khamissi’s Taxi.

The Kindle offerings also boasted International Prize for Arabic Fiction-winning works, including Youssef Zeidan’s popular Azazeel and Ibrahim Nasrallah’s 2018 winner, Dog War II.

Those who are interested can find popular works such as the Arabic translations of Dan Brown novels, Fire and Fury, and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter.

But there are also more unexpected delights: Readers can get Radwa Ashour’s Granada trilogy for $3.82, and a $2.51 copy of Ibrahim Aslan’s lovely modern classic حجرتان وصالة‬.

In the news release, Amazon features comments from the publisher of Arab Scientific, Bassem Chebaro, as well as mega-seller Ahlam Mostaghanemi, whose works have long been available online, in pirated editions:

“We are thrilled to offer our leading Arabic language book selection to Kindle customers around the world,” said Bassam Chebaro, CEO of Arab Scientific Publishers. “We’ve already seen great interest from our finest authors, writers, and scholars, to publish their Arabic titles for Kindle.”

Also:

“Finally, my work will reach Arabic readers across the world,” said Ahlam Mosteghanemi, best-selling author. “I am thrilled that Amazon has opened this service, breaking the distances between the Arabic book and its readers.”

It’s hard to know how this will affect the ebook sales of Arab publishers such as Egypt-based Kotobi and KotobArabia, or Google Play, and it was whether some titles will only be available in certain countries.

Readers can find the new Kindle books at https://www.amazon.com/b/?node=7735197011&ref=KIE_AR_prl.

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5 comments

  1. I have 7 romantic book’s in Arabic looking for publishing from outside Egypt if anyone cares please send me or call me thanks

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  2. The really fun thing is the dictionary support – the app (and presumably the devices) come equipped with a basic morphological processor and dictionary. I’d say it gets things about 70% right, but it’s great to be able to look up a word (Arabic-English or Arabic-Arabic) with a single click. The A-E seems to be based on the recent Oxford dictionary, which is normally $15/month or whatever you have to pay your chiropractor to fix you up after hauling the physical version around.

    The REALLY cool thing for anyone teaching Arabic is that any plain text document can be converted to Kindle via the email service. So a teacher can assign a reading that students could take advantage of the dictionary capability in order to read.

    This also means that huge text compilations like Al-Maktaba al-Shamela are ALSO accessible (you see some ‘pre-converted’ items in the Amazon store for free) – so, like Project Gutenburg, you can access that huge library of pre-modern texts for free. It’s easy to do entirely from mobile – download the .epub from Shamela, rename the file to something NOT .epub (.png works), send it to your Kindle conversion email, and it should show up in your library. Or use a conversion program like Caliber if you’re using a computer.

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