The Emirates Literature Foundation, in partnership with The Executive Council of Dubai, hosts the Dubai Translation Conference. The event celebrates the ideals of the National Reading Law, launched in the United Arab Emirates in 2016, and is another step towards enriching the quality of Arabic literature, promoting the creative legacy of the language to non-Arabic speakers and inculcating an appetite for reading, in an effort to create a new generation of literate and open-minded readers and a culturally and intellectually cohesive community.
MEET THE SPEAKERS
Author of the bestselling ‘The Map of Love’…
Author of the bestselling Booker Prize-shortlisted The Map of Love, Ahdaf Soueif was recently named ‘one of the 100 people with most influence on the English reading public’ by the Guardian.Soueif’s other books include the highly-acclaimed In the Eye of the Sun, a collection of short stories, I Think of You and a collection of her essays, Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground. She translated Mourid Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah from Arabic to English.
She writes articles for the Guardian and a weekly column (in Arabic) for the Egyptian daily, al-Shorouk.
Soueif is also a political and cultural commentator.
Algerian poet and novelist; recognised as one of the ….
Ahlem Mosteghanemi is recognised as one of the world’s most successful Arabic writers and an immensely influential figure in the Middle East.
At the age of just 17, Mosteghanemi became a household name in Algeria with the poetic daily show Hammassat (Whispers) on national radio.
In 1973, she became the first woman to publish a compilation of poetry in Arabic. Years later, she published her novel Zakirat el Jassad (Memory of the Flesh), a phenomenal success that earned her Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature. The book was followed by two more novels to complete the trilogy, each one a bestseller and now considered Arabic classics.
Her latest novel is The Dust of Promises.
Award-winning translator of Arabic fiction and history…
Nancy Roberts is a freelance Arabic-to-English translator who has worked with bestselling Arab authors including Ahlem Mostaghanemi’s, whose novels The Dust of Promises and Chaos of the Senses Roberts translated.
She has also translated Salwa Bakr’s The Man From Bashmour, for which she received a commendation in the Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Translation, Ezzat El Kamhawi’s prize-winning House of the Wolf, and Laila Aljohani’s Days of Ignorance.
Her areas of experience are modern Arabic literature, current events and Islamic thought, history and law.
She lives between Amman, Jordan and Wheaton, Illinois.
Highly-regarded as an expert on Arabic dialects…
Professor Clive Holes was a key speaker at the Emirates Literature Foundation Nabati Conference in 2014 and now, he is back.
Highly-regarded as an expert on Arabic dialects, Professor Holes has written several books on the language, particularly focused on the United Arab Emirates. His books include The Nabati Poetry of the United Arab Emirates, Colloquial Arabic of the Gulf, among numerous others. His most recent book looks at the effect of dialect on culture and society.
Professor Holes is Emeritus Professorial Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford. He was formerly Khalid bin Abdallah Al-Sa’ud Professor for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford.
He is also a Fellow of the British Academy.
Firas Al Shaer
Author of three biographies including the upcoming…
Firas Al Shaer
Firas Al Shaer has had a long association with the Emirates Literature Foundation as its official translator.
He graduated from Yarmouk University in Jordan with a BA in English Language and Literature, and he has an MPhil in Linguistics from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
Al Shaer founded both the International Institute for Studies and Scriptor Translation in Dubai. He has extensive work experience in media, translation, training and teaching Arabic to non-native speakers.
He has translated several collections of standard Arabic and Nabati poetry. He also writes book synopses, book reviews and executive summaries for the region’s decision-makers.
Al Shaer is the author of the biographies Challenging the Sun, Father’s Jerusalem and the upcoming When the Paint Dries.
Managing Editor of the University of Sharjah Journal…
Dr Ghanim Jasim M. Samarrai is the Head of the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Sharjah and Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation.
Dr Samarrai is the author of A Critical Reading of the Browningesque Legacy in Modern American Poetry and Western Impact on Modern Arabic Poetry. He has also edited and translated books on a varied topics.
Dr Samarrai has been the Managing Editor of the University of Sharjah Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences and Vice-president of the Amman-based APETAU (Association of Professors of English and Translation at Arab Universities) since 2003. He is also a co-author of Synthesis, an international literary journal published in India.
He is also a member of numerous international literary associations.
Translator of more than 20 works from Arabic to English…
Humphrey Davies has tackled translation of Arabic works from almost every era. He has translated books from the 1600s, such as Yusuf al-Shirbini’s Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded; the 1800s, including works by Muhammad ibn ʿUmar al-Tunisi and Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq; to the modern era, such as works by Alaa Al-Aswany, Elias Khoury, Baha Taher, Hamdi el-Gazzar, Muhammad Mustagab and Mourid Barghouti.
Before publishing his first translated work in 2003, Davies worked for community development and research organizations in several countries around the Middle East. He has received the Banipal Prize twice as well as the English PEN.
Davies read Arabic at the University of Cambridge and received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Before publishing his first translation in 2003, he worked for community development and research organizations in Palestine, Tunisia, Sudan and Egypt.
Davies now works at the American University in Cairo.
McLoughlin has enjoyed a long storied career with…
Leslie McLoughlin is synonymous with Arabic translation. He was captivated by the language as a child when his father used ‘exotic’ Arabic words learnt during the war.
Following his Arabic studies, McLoughlin served for three months in the Trucial Oman Scouts, based in Sharjah. He was appointed Director of Studies at the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies (MECAS), Shemlan, Lebanon in 1960’s and 70’s. He also lectured in Arabic and Islamic studies at universities in the UK and USA.
McLoughlin has interpreted for HM the Queen and the UK Government from 1983-2009. He details these experiences and his journey into the world of translation in his memoir, Confessions Of An Arabic Interpreter.
He was a consultant for Oxford University Press in the latest edition of the Arabic-English dictionary.
Professor of Arabic at the University of California…
As Professor of Arabic at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr Michael Cooperson spends his days teaching Arabic classes bursting with excited students. When not teaching, he translates books from Arabic to English.
Dr Cooperson has published two monographs on early Abbasid cultural history, Classical Arabic Biography and Al-Ma’mun.
His varied translations include Abdelfattah Kilito’s The Author and his Doubles, Khayri Shalabi’s The Time-Travels of the Man Who Sold Pickles and Sweets, Jurji Zaydan’s Brothers at War, and Ibn al-Jawzī’s Virtues of the Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.
Dr Cooperson is currently a fellow of the Library of Arabic Literature at NYU Abu Dhabi, where he is working on a translation of al-Ḥarīrī’s Maqāmāt.
Recepient of the Owais Award in Literary Criticism…
Muhsin al-Musawi is Professor of classical and modern Arabic and comparative studies at Columbia University. Described by the Chronicle for Higher Education as the leading Arab critic, his contributions cover many fields and direct literary study along new paths.
Al-Musawi’s teaching and research interests span several periods, trends and genres. He has written numerous books including Scheherazade in England; The Society of One Thousand and One Nights; Anglo-Orient: Easterners in Textual Camps; The Postcolonial Arabic Novel: Debating Ambivalence; Arabic Poetry: Trajectories of Modernity and Tradition; /Reading Iraq: Culture and Power in Conflict and The Islamic Context of the Thousand and One Nights.
Most recently, he has written The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters, Arab Struggle with the Past and The Popular Memory of the Societies Thousand and One Nights (in Arabic).
Al-Musawi received the Owais Award in Literary Criticism in 2002.