Polish authors bridge cultural gap between Europe and Arab world through translation

ABU DHABI, Polish authors are bridging the cultural gap between Europe and the Arab world by translating books into Arabic and vice versa.

Dr. George Yacoub, a professor at the University of Warsaw of Syrian origin, told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, at the 28th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, ADIBF, in Abu Dhabi today, that by publishing more books and showcasing movies this cultural gap can be filled, as it is very important to learn about cultures via theatre and film.

Professor Yacoub, who migrated to Poland 45 years ago, said that he has translated some books from Polish literature into Arabic, and also the works of Naguib Mahfouz, an Egyptian writer who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature, into the Polish language. “The most important for me was Witold Marian Gombrowicz, a Polish writer and playwright, and his play ‘The Marriage’, as well as books for children.”

He said that cultural differences between the GCC and EU is like a difference between East and West, however, dialogue can bridge these gaps.

Commenting on the similarities in cultures between Poland and the UAE, the Professor said, both nations love horses. The Polish love horses, we have the Arabian horse in Poland and horse breeds originating in Poland can also be found in the Emirates, he added.

Elzbieta Wierzchowska, a representative of the Polish Book Institute Krakow told WAM, “We brought with us around 500 books at the fair, as well as eight authors from Poland who will have several meetings on the premises of the book fair.

“We have a special programme for the children, which is prepared by the Adam Misch Institute, and we also brought a folk band, we hope to have new cooperation in the cultural sector during our maiden appearance,” she said, explaining that their focus is on children’s literature.

Celebrating Poland as the Country of Honour, ADIBF has introduced audiences to the 1,000-year history of Polish literature. These works, authored by Polish writers over the centuries, will open a platform for all to explore the cultural wealth of Poland.

The book fair is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC, from 25th April to 1st May, 2018.

Source: Emirates News Agency