In a grand celebration held in the Taha Hussein Hall at the National Centre for Translation and in the presence of a large group of top translators of the Russian language, director of the National Centre for Translation Anwar Mogheith opened the activities of Translator's Day under the auspices of the Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem.
The event featured a seminar titled ‘Literature, Orientalism and Politics’ organised within the framework of celebrating the start of Egypt-Russia year in 2020, an initiative launched by presidents Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Vladimir Putin.
The event started with the screening of a documentary on the history of the National Centre for Translation and the role of its founder, Dr. Gaber Asfour, as well as the words of translator Amal Al-Roubi and the great Syrian translator Thaer Deeb.
Attending were actors Mahmoud Hemeida, Ezzat El-Alayli, scriptwriter Mustafa Moharram, director Mohamed Fadel, deputy director of the Russian Cultural Centre Alexei Bukin, Secretary-General of the African Union for Soviet and Russian University Graduates Sherif Gad, and cinematographer Mahmoud Abdel-Samie, the head of the Film Society.
Anwar Mogheith, Iman Yehiya, Sherif Gad and Tarek Mohamed from the Book Organisation (Photo courtesy of the Russian Cultural Centre Media Office)
In his speech, Mogheith pointed out that the Egyptian-Russian relations have an asset that contributes to supporting future cooperation between the two countries, adding that the centre is planning a group of events, including hosting a number of Russian writers to sign their translations and introduce them to the Egyptian public.
Translator Anwar Ibrahim, who moderated the seminar, talked about the broad history of Egyptian-Russian relations and the importance of the role of Russian Orientalism in the study of the Orient's sciences and the role of Sheikh Mohamed Ayyad El-Tantawi, the first teacher of Arabic in Russia.
Translator Iman Yehiya expressed his optimism about the future of translation from Russian into Arabic for many reasons, the most important of which is the return of Russia as a major player on the Arab political and cultural scene in addition to the notable increase in the number of students and speakers of the Russian language.
According to Nabil Rashwan, an expert in Egyptian-Russian relations, "The dilemma that we suffer from is that translation is dependent on politics and thus increases and decreases according to the level of political relations. We also face a serious problem which is the difficulty in obtaining property rights, which makes the translation process difficult."
At the end of the celebration, a set of books was signed, among them was the book by writer Youssef Idris on the Russian orientalist and translator Valeriya Kirpichenko, translated by Professor Iman Yehya.