“Since the late 1970s there have been new tendencies in the area of translation from Arabic into Hebrew, with the appearance of three publishers specializing in this domain: Mifras, Andalus, and Maktoob. These three publishers have subscribed to a similar aim: to expose the Jewish reader to Arab culture. As the Andalus website states, “In spite of Israel being in the heart of the Arab world, Hebrew-reading Israelis are hardly exposed to Arab culture…. The current number of translations is tiny and random, [and] Andalus wishes to work to fill this void with a translation enterprise that will cover wide aspects of Arab culture and creative activity.” In addition to this aim, which is shared by the three publishers, in Maktoob in particular we see a desire to establish a new model of translation to replace the existing one. This is evidenced mainly in the adoption of rigorous modes of action which are meant “to change the ‘normal’ balance of power between Israeli society and the Arab world: not to stress what the Israeli commentator thinks about Palestinian society or the Arab world at large, but to promote the possibility of giving voice to the Palestinian poet or the woman author from the Arab world herself, who write through their own eyes about life in their country, with all its sweetness and bitterness.”
One of the central principles of Maktoob’s translation model is to obtain copyright and maintain a dialogue with the authors while implementing a literary practice aligned with Maktoob’s philosophy. In addition to this dialogue with the authors, Maktoob relies on a binational translation accomplished with a binational and bilingual team of translators. Through these activities, the Maktoob model seeks to expunge any vestiges of the Orientalist approach, explicit or implicit, while making Arab culture an active element in the translation enterprise”.
Read the full article at Acade | Literature, Humanities & the World.