Last week Egypt's National Centre for Translation announced the short lists for the ninth Refaa Al-Tahtawi Translation Awards.
According to the centre's director Anwar Mughith, the award — worth LE100,000 — is a way to pay tribute to the “unknown knights” of cultural exchange, who build “permanent bridges connecting civilisations”.
Five books have been shortlisted: a new, contemporary translation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron by Abdallah Al-Ati and Essam Al-Sayed, Anwar Mohamed’s first translation from the Russian of the 1923 classic The Diary and Reminiscences of Mme Dostoevsky and three scholarly works: Jean Aitchison’s A Practical Introduction to Contemporary Linguistics translated by Abdel-Kerim Gabal; Hank Johnston’s States and Social Movements translated by Ahmed Zayed; and Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen’s New Waves in Philosophy of Technology translated by Shawki Galal.
The award’s Youth and Scientific Culture subcategories, worth EGP 25,000 each, include Simon Critchely’s introduction to continental philosophy in the “Very Short Introduction” series, the Malaysian educator Syed Farid Al-Attas’ Ibn Khaldun and Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution by Chris Peterson, Gayle Pergamit and Eric Drexler.
This article was first published in Al Ahram Weekly