If you're in the Bay Area tomorrow, don't miss readings by translator Kareem James Abu-Zeid from three forthcoming works.
Translator-novelist Elliott Colla has suggested that there are a few core reasons why American readers pick up Arabic literature (in translation).
Laysh ("ليش") is a newly launched project from Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP) and TedXYouth@Doha that aims to open a discussion about reading among teens and young adults in Arabic and English: The film-based project was born during a collaborative brainstorming session between TedXYouth@Doha and BQFP. "Most literacy initiatives are aimed at primary school kids," according … Continue reading New Qatar-based Initiative ‘Laysh’ Mixes Reading, Social Media, and Film
This is a summer of political struggle. But it's also a summer when the Alef, Diwan, and Shorouk bookstore chains have been pouring out fun contests, free posters, writerly quotes, events, and literary tweets, and when new publishing houses, bookstores, and newspapers have been opening.
I don't know what sort of methodology Yahoo! Maktoob used in their survey about Arab reading habits. Their website seems to indicate---understandably---that they conduct surveys online. The press release does at least note that "The survey polled 3,503 people in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen."
And it may even be true---according to a new six-nation study published by the Ipsos Research Center---but these young Arabs with an appetite for reading are probably not Egyptians. A press release put out by the survey's authors reminds us of our old rag of a saying: Egypt writes, Lebanon publishes, Iraq reads.
Interesting--although someone could've told the producer that "man on the street" interviews don't have to be with men. In any case, I'm all for trying new ways of getting books out into the public. (Have I mentioned my future career as a subway women's-car hawker of Fizo, Farhana and 3alam Simsim books? Seriously, not much … Continue reading Alef Bookstores’ Knowledge Taxi – مكتبات أ تاكسي المعرفة
At first, I was cheered by this Q&A in the Arab Times with Dr Sajed Al-Abdali. Dr. Al-Abdali, a medical doctor, is also a champion of books. He has written a how-to guide called Clever Reading (which teaches tricks such as speed reading) and has been running a successful book club for the last several … Continue reading This Kuwaiti Doctor Will Get You to Read…Sort Of
'Tis the season of summer reading lists. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, and even TV stations clamor to suggest the books you should take to the beach, with an emphasis on the lighthearted, the fast-paced and the vampiric. As you might imagine, most of the Arabs who appear in these summer reading lists are not starring as … Continue reading How Do Arabs Fare on Summer Reading Lists?
Other bookshops offering summer discounts include Alef Bookstores and El Kotob Khan. And if you're World Cup-obsessed, don't forget that there are lots of great books about kora: I saw Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch at Alef, and I'm sure it's elsewhere as well. You can also read Mohamed al-Bisatie's Drumbeat to raise the level of … Continue reading AUC Press Also Offers Big Summer Sale, Celebration (in Cairo)
Poor Bibi has been tearing her hair at claims that the gap between the various 3meyas (local Arabic dialects) and fos'ha (standard literary Arabic) is anything unique in the world of languages. She says: All children have to deal with a gap between spoken and written language, some children more than others. Village dialects, for … Continue reading Reader Comments: The (Arabic) Children’s Book Discussion, Continued
AbdelRahman, Anna, and Maryanne have made me continue to wrestle with this question, which was raised by 7iber.com last week and discussed here. Clearly, as AbdelRahman notes, it won't be easy. Nevertheless. There's the world right in front of you; to stay sane, it helps to at least talk about it. So: What is the … Continue reading What Will Jump-start Reading in Arabic in the Arab World, Continued