This past weekend, novelist Layla al-Ammar set off a search for bilingual Arabic-English books:

A search turns up a decent number of classic works in bilingual editions. Nearly all of the Library of Arabic Literature hardcovers, for instance, are produced in bilingual facing-page editions. The Arab Renaissance: A Bilingual Anthology of the Nahda, ed. Tarek al-Ariss, was also produced in two languages.

Poetry collections are also often produced bilingually, and you can read collections by Mahmoud Darwish, Nizar Qabbani, Amal al-Jubouri, Dunya Mikhail, and Abdul Wahab al-Bayati bilingually, as well as a number of multi-author anthologies.

Yet there were far fewer contemporary prose works produced bilingually, and even fewer that remain in print. Please do add others in the comments.

A non-exhaustive list of bilingual Arabic-English literary works:

Classic works

Most of the Library of Arabic Literature catalog.

The Arab Renaissance: A Bilingual Anthology of the Nahda, ed. Tarek al-Ariss, which includes work by Butrus al-Bustani (1819–83), introduced and translated by Stephen Sheehi; Fahmi al-Mudarris (1873–1944), introduced by Muhsin al-Musawi and translated by Anna Ziajka Stanton; Esther Moyal (1873–1948), introduced and translated by Lital Levy; Muhammad ʿAbduh (1849–1905), introduced and translated by Tarek El-Ariss; Mikhail Naimy (1889–1988), introduced and translated by Margaret Litvin; and Farah Antun, introduced and translated by Ghenwa Hayek, among others.

Classical Poems by Arabic Women: A Bilingual Anthology, ed. Abdullah al-Udhari

Contemporary poetry anthologies

Victims of a Map: A Bilingual Anthology of Arabic Poetrytr. Abdullah al-Udhari

The Palestinian Wedding: A Bilingual Anthology of Contemporary Palestinian Poetry, ed. Abdelwahab M. Elmessiri

Single-author poetry collections

The Butterfly’s Burden, by Mahmoud Darwish, tr. Fady Joudah

Instructions Withinby Ashraf Fayadh, tr. Mona Kareem and others

Dusting the Colour from Roses: Bilingual Collection of Arabic Poetryby Ghazi Algosaibi, edited and translated by Heather Lawton and A.A. Ruffai 

Arabian Love Poemsby Nizar Qabbani, tr. Bassem Frangieh and Clementina R. Brown

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran: Bilingual, English with Arabic translation, by Khalil Gibran, translated by Jamil Elabed

Hagar Before the Occupation / Hagar After the Occupation, by Amal Jubouri, translated by Rebecca Gayle Howell’ and
Husam Qaisi

Love, Death, And Exile: Poems Translated from Arabic, by Abdul Wahab Al-Bayati, translated by Bassem Frangieh

The Perception of Meaning, by Hisham Bustani, translated by Thoraya El Rayyes

Prose anthologies

Emerging Arab Voices: Nadwa 1

Modern Arabic Short Stories: A Bilingual Reader, ed. Ronak Husni and Daniel Newman

Modern Arabic Short Stories: An Arabic-English Reader with exercises, ed. and translated by Ali Almanna

An Anthology of Iraqi Short Stories, edIbrahim Haider Farhan and Bushra Juhi Jani

Encounter/تلاقي, ed. Ismail Fayed and translated by Nariman Youssef

Single-author collections

The Scent of Winter, by Mahmoud Abdul Wahhab, translated by Ramadhan Sadkhan and Fred Pragnell

Yasser Arafat Looked at Me and Smiled:Diary of a Fighter, by Yussef Bazzi

The Perception of Meaning, by Hisham Bustani, translated by Thoraya El Rayyes

3 thoughts on “English & Arabic: A List of Bilingual Books

  1. Pernille Myrvold also wrote to suggest different language pairings for bilingual texts; if anyone wants to take on a different (Arabic-French, Arabic-Tamil, Arabic-Chinese) language pair….

    Like

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