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Issue 22 - February 2006

Friday 24 February 2006

Completion of the first round of South-South Translation Grants

The first round of the South-South Translation grants program has been closed and seven titles have been awarded funding. The South-South translation grants program supports the flow of knowledge and information from countries with cultural, historic and political ties to the Arab world into 10 Arabic speaking countries. The first round of grant-giving was for titles from Iran and Turkey, while future rounds will include titles from India and Eastern Europe.

Grant awards for the first round were as follows:

  1. Shiva Balaghi and Lynn Gumpert: Picturing Iran - Art, Society and Revolution, edited from Persian into Arabic by Arab Scientific Publishers
  2. Richard Foltz: Spirituality in the Land of the Noble, from Persian into Arabic by Arab Scientific Publishers
  3. Elif Shafak: The Flea Palace, from Turkish into Arabic by Cadmus Publishers
  4. Ayfer Tunc: Mom and Dad will Pay You a Visit at their Convenience, from Turkish into Arabic by Cadmus Publishers
  5. Sephr Zabih: The Mossadegh Era, from Persian into Arabic by Cadmus Publishers
  6. Joya Blondel Saad: The Image of the Arabs in Modern Persian Literature, from Persian into Arabic by Cadmus Publishers
  7. Josef Wiessehofer: Ancient Persia, from Persian into Arabic by Cadmus Publishers

For more information or to apply for the grants’ program please visit The next deadline to apply is March 31, 2006.

New Books Published

(JPG) Modern Novellas from Jordan and Palestine. The structure of the Novella: Study, Texts and Anthology (Azminah Publishers, Amman 2006), supported by the Arabic Project Pilot

The book represents a collection of 10 modern novellas from Jordan and Palestine, combined with a study of the novella by Dr. M.Ubyda-Allah. This is the first publication in Arabic on the theory of the novella. The theoretical part introduces the concept of the novella, compares it with other forms of writing, formulates its place in international literature, and explains its structure. Written in Arabic, the book also aims to reach audiences beyond the borders of Jordan and Palestine.

(JPG) Besnik Mustafaj, Heat and Crickets (Gjinkallat e vapes), transl. into Bulgarian by Marina Marinova (Stigmati, Sofia 2006), supported by the East Translates East Publications project

This is the second novel by the famous Albanian writer and essayist, Besnik Mustafaj, who is at present the minister of foreign affairs of Albania, also co-founder of the Democratic Party, and one of the ideologists of the Adriatic Charter. Heat and Crickets is a remarkable allegory of totalitarianism, designed in a mythopoetic mode. Instead of stereotyped anti-utopian imagery, related to terror, violence, and lack of freedom, Mustafaj’s novel ‘encloses’ his characters into some strange place in the countryside, ‘haunted’ by invisible crickets, whose perennial buzz, together with the unbearable heat, leads to collective madness. The translation of the novel is highly sensitive towards the poetics of the original. The design, made by Yana Levieva, is also exquisite, which contributes to the overall quality of publication. No doubt, Heat and Crickets will become a key spring event in the Bulgarian book market.

(JPG) Choijiljav Choisamba, Occupation of Batu-khan, transl. into Russian by Choijiljav Choisamba (Idea Press, Moscow 2006), supported by the East Translates East Publications project

This is the first original Mongolian study on Batu-khan invasion of Kievan Rus’. The author investigates the positive consequences of the Mongolian campaigns on European territories, which included building of Muscovy as a state, development of a postal road network, a census, fiscal system, and military organization. This is not just an exotic hypothesis, serving the interests of Mongolian historiography, but already a serious claim of leading historians who credit the Mongolian regime with contributing to the rise of modern Russia.

(JPG) Miroslav Mihajlović, Molilese. Medelaha El Galija (JRJ Zemun, Belgrade, 2005), bi-lingual: Romani / Serbian supported by the Grants program of the VORBA project

Molilese is a collection of children tales presenting morals and beliefs from the Romani tradition. Children can find in the book a mystic land complete with heroes known from the world classic, but the value of the work is in the author’s endeavor to expose the sensibility of the Romani culture. The text can be easily transformed into a scenario for children’s performances: the beginning of each tale introduces a song or music appropriate for reading or performing. The fabulous illustrations done by Vlada Aleksić contribute to the richness of the texts and thus, each story is a multitude of meanings expressed by words, sounds and colors.
The book has been produced by Multimedia Center – Trstenik, the first of its kind, a Romani artists’ organization that unites prominent figures in different arts with Romani background that work with Romani youth in out-of-class activities in Serbia and Montenegro. The publishing and promotion of Molilese, one of the few Romani children’s books produced recently in Serbia, is part of a long term strategy of Multimedia Center – Trstenik to bring the Romani child and their books together through artistic activities.