Sunday, October 18, 2009

Egyptians upset over translations of poetry to Hebrew

Al Quds has a story about a new controversy in Egypt.

An Israeli publishing house is attempting to translate the works of famed Egyptian poet Iman Mersal, specifically her 2006 work Jughrafiya Badila (Alternative Geography). Egyptian intellectuals and authors are upset, because this implies some sort of normalization with Israel, which is of course a terrible thing for a country that signed a peace agreement with Israel thirty years ago.

Early reports that there was a direct agreement between her Egyptian publisher and an Israeli publisher seem to have been proven wrong.

As the article states, there seems to be a solution:

However, the National Center for Translation of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture found a solution, as stated by the President and university professor critic Gaber Asfour, who explained that he "will not be dealing with any Israeli publisher, because this is a kind of normalization, but we will seek the approval of publishers in English or French in countries other than Israel to get the right translation of it."

Interestingly, the Imad Mersal webpage on ArabWorldBooks.com mentions translations of some of her individual poems into Hebrew.