In honor of the Year of Culture Qatar France 2020, Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) has released several newly translated books in Arabic that were originally published in French and acquired from prominent French publishers. The books, which vary in genres and target audience, are a part of HBKU Press’s overarching initiative to build bridges between nations though cross-cultural communications and to participate in the knowledge economy
“Every year, HBKU Press plans its publishing schedule to align with Qatar’s chosen partner country for the annual Year of Culture,” explains Amani Al-Banna, who is in charge of copyright exchange at HBKU Press. “This includes participating in copyright exchange whereby we purchase translation rights for important works from the chosen country, and we also promote the sale of translations rights for original work that we publish to foreign publishers from that country as well.”
The newly published books include an in-depth look at a French football legend and various French learning materials for children, now available for the first time in Arabic.
Football enthusiasts will be enthralled with the exclusive biography of Paris Saint-Germain F.C. superstar, Kylian Mbappé. This stunning self-titled book follows this iconic young player’s meteoric rise to fame including rare images and exclusive interviews collected by the journalists of France Football. It traces the ascent of this raw talent to superstardom depicting how he aspired to achieve everything he’d ever dreamed of, setting no limits to the boundaries of his success, and becoming a world champion twice over.
Additionally, several non-fiction titles have been released for children of all ages. The Book of Trees (Kitab Al-Ashghar/Le Livre Aux Arbres) and The Book of Birds (Kitab Al Toyour/Le Livre des Oiseaux) from French publisher Belin Education, are two great resources for aspiring naturalists. Filled with fun facts and detailed anatomic illustrations, each book has over 200 facts about various trees and birds.
From the French publisher Nathan, HBKU Press has translated two books from the Discover and Learn series: The Science of an Egg (Al Beydaa/La science est dans l'oeuf) and The Science of a Lemon (Al Liymoon/La science est dans le citron). A wonderful collection in Arabic for budding scientists everywhere, these books include ten fun and easy experiments that explore basic scientific principles using everyday items found in our daily environment. The final two books in this series, The Science of Water (Al Maa’/ La Science est dans l'eau) and The Science of Paper (Al Wara’/La Science est dans le papier) will be released in late 2020.
Also from Nathan, HBKU Press previously launched the final two books in a series of three parenting books translated from French to Arabic. How to Manage Your Child’s Emotions Calmly (Fard Saytara Al-Walidin Bi-Leen), Daddy for the First Time (Ab Li-Mara Al-Owla), and How to Control Anger (Fawrat Al-Ghadab; 2019) aim to help parents everywhere navigate their child’s emotions and their role as parents in thoughtful and nurturing ways.
HBKU Press also launched François Charles Mauriac’s critically acclaimed novel, The Kiss for the Leper (Qubla Lal-Abrous) at the 2020 Doha International Book Fair. It follows the ill-fated, maladroit, misshapen, misbegotten young man Jean Péloueyre, heir to an extensive estate in southern France. Arabic readers will follow Jean, the very antithesis of a hero who is very much in need of saving, on his dramatic journey. When his father arranges for him to marry a young girl, Naomi, upon the suggestion of the village priest, he is delighted by the prospect of finally being in love but weary since the girl agrees to marry him without having seen him first.
Jean and his young bride, leprous, unenlightened souls, find redemption in the punishment that makes them—and us—whole.
“Translated works allow readers to cross cultural thresholds to discover new perspectives and ways of thinking, while highlighting key figures from other countries. In that way, we see ourselves as cultural ambassadors showcasing our literary creativity and culture to other nations while getting to know other nations’ cultures at the same time,” Al-Banna said.
The Year of Culture program was established by Qatar Museums and aims to convey Qatar to an international audience. Through a variety of exhibitions, festivals, competitions and events, their programs promote mutual understanding, recognition, and appreciation between countries. They invite people to explore their cultural similarities, as well as their differences.
The Year of Culture Qatar France 2020 contains a series of events celebrating the relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of France through cultural partnerships between French and Qatari organizations, institutions, and individuals also in collaboration with the Embassy of Qatar in Paris, the Embassy of France in Doha and The French Institute.
HBKU Press’s catalog of works is available in bookstores across Qatar and on Amazon Kindle as eBooks. Hard copies can also be purchased and delivered in Qatar through the Rafeeq and Snoonu applications. For sales regarding these books, please contact HBKU Press at firstname.lastname@example.org
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