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South-South Translation Grants

South-South Translation Grants

Titles from India, Turkey and Iran
Friday 26 October 2007 by Natasha Mullins


A pervasive structural feature of globalisation is that information tends to flow predominantly in one direction - from the rich “core” countries to the "periphery" of poorer countries in the East and South. Although South-South or East-East exchange of knowledge may often be of far greater social and intellectual value, due to cultural, historical, economic, or linguistic commonalities, economic and infrastructural factors often impede such exchange. Next Page Foundation’s South-South Translations initiative seeks to counterweigh this trend by supporting publishing into Arabic that makes available quality works from countries that share historical, cultural or linguistic ties with Arabic speaking countries such as Turkey, Iran and India.


This initiative provided quality publishers from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Palestine with grants to support publishing and translation into Arabic of books originally created in the above mentioned regions and countries, with the aim of sharing knowledge, information and ideas that will ultimately prompt public dialogue and discussion. The project also intended to support cross-border cooperation between publishers in Arabic to ensure better distribution and ensure wider access to the supported books. To facilitate publishers’ choice, the Next Page Foundation is providing lists of titles recommended for translation from Turkey, Iran and India.

Tender information

The tender was open for invited publishers from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Palestine. The tender is now closed.


17 titles with 6 publishers from 5 countries were short-listed for the grant scheme as detailed in the table below. 3 titles were cancelled due to poor translation quality, copyright problems or other reasons. While the program was aiming at supporting translations directly from the original, the lack of translation capacity in the Arab world forced publishers to often make use of English as a bridge language. All translations into Arabic were subject to an independent quality evaluation comissioned by Next Page prior to being published.

Country Publisher Translated from Title Author Status
1 Syria Cadmus Publishers Turkish The Flea Palace Elif Shafak published
2 Lebanon Arab Scientific Publishers English Spirituality in the Land of the Noble Richard Foltz published
3 Syria Cadmus Publishers Turkish Mom and Dad Will Pay You a Visit at Their Convenience Ayfer Tunc published
4 Syria Cadmus Publishers English The Mossadegh Era Sephr Zabih published
5 Syria Cadmus Publishers English The Image of Arabs in Modern Persian Literature Joya Blondel Saad published
6 Syria Cadmus Publishers English Ancient Persia Josef Wiessehofer published
7 Lebanon Jarrous Press English Religious Minorities in Iran Elis Sanasarian canceled due to poor evaluation of translation quality
8 Lebanon Dar Kredieh Turkish Gender of History Tarihin Cinsiyeti published
9 Lebanon Dar Kredieh Turkish Waiting for the Barbarians various published
10 Egypt Mahrosa Turkish The Political Horizon of Islamic Thought Zerrin Kurtoglu published
11 Egypt Mahrosa English The Conceits of Civil Society Neera Chandhoke published
12 Syria Cadmus Publishers English A Life Less Ordinary Halo Baby Haldar published
13 Syria Cadmus Publishers Turkish City in Crimson Cloak Asli Erdogan published
14 Lebanon Dar Kredieh Turkish The Spectral Home Asuman Suner published
15 Lebanon Dar Kredieh Turkish Smell of Fried Bonito Engin Geçtan published
16 Lebanon Arab Scientific Publishers English Picturing Iran, Art, Society and Revolution by Shiva Balaghi canceled due to poor evaluation of translation quality
17 Syria Cadmus Publishers English Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life : Hindus and Muslims in India by Ashutosh Varshney canceled by the publisher