Friday Finds: ‘Arabic Readers Are Devouring’ Books Translated from Chinese?

China was the guest of honor at this year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which closed May 2, and the Chinese pavillion reportedly had 300 titles cross-translated between Arabic and Chinese:

Calligrapher writing names in Sini (Chinese-style Arabic) at the China stand. Photo: Chip Rossetti.

It was 2015 when the Emirates was guest of honor at the Beijing International Book Fair, and that was also a year when Morocco’s Ministry of Culture, which marked its first time at BIBF, made a preliminary agreement with China’s General Administration of Press and Publication to translate 25 works of Moroccan authors in literature and humanities.

Indeed, in the last five years, there have been an increasing literary movement between Arabic and Chinese. Also in 2015, Chinese-Arabic translator Mai Ashour suggested there was a “growing popularity” of Chinese literature in Egypt.

Now, according to official Chinese news, “Arabic readers are devouring autobiographies by Chinese entrepreneurs like Robin Li, Jack Ma, Pony Ma and Ren Zhengfei. At the Cairo International Book Fair earlier this year books about the Belt and Road Initiative also proved popular.”

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