About this initiative

Kalima was created to address a thousand year old problem - the translation drought in the Arab world which has resulted in few great pieces of foreign writing being translated into Arabic. Currently in most Arabic countries, 'quality works' of world literature or academia are only available in their original language, restricting access to these books to a select group of society.

However, during Europe's ‘Dark Ages’ and until the end of the first millennium, knowledge flourished thanks to the many translations of important works into Arabic. 

Kalima wants to revive this Golden Age of translation and to reunite the Arab world's fragmented book industry. This will be done by bringing together publishers, literary agents, authors, translators and distributors to increase the number and choice of books available to Arabic readers.

Kalima continually seeks to establish a strong relationship based on trust and understanding with international authors and publishing houses.

The project is ably led by a team that includes the Acting Director of the National Library Department, Director of the National Library Programme Management Department and Director of the Kalima project along with a Judgement Committee.

In addition, the Science committee consists of ten members of translation specialists and experts, taking into account multidisciplinary and multilingual aspects