Ian McEwan – Author
"In the past centuries, Arab sciences constituted a valuable resource that enriched western intellectual heritage with many treasures of knowledge. That's why "Kalima" initiative deserves recognition and praise by undertaking the responsibility to reproduce those knowledge treasures."
Milan Kundera – Author
"I have always been fascinated by the Arab world, and what added to this fascination is my little knowledge of it. I am very impressed by your initiative to translate distinctive literary works into Arabic, and I hope this will encourage the emergence of a similar initiative on the European side to translate Arabic literature."
Phil Rosenzweig - Author (The Effect of Halo)
"It is a great honor to have my book, The Halo Effect, among the first business management works that have been translated into Arabic by "Kalima" initiative. My book is an unusual book in the field of business management, as it challenges the traditional way of thinking, and invites managers and researchers to adopt an examining and clear critical way of thinking. I am pleased that "Kalima" Initiative offers the ideas of my book the opportunity to spread throughout the Arabic-speaking world. Overall, I wish this initiative every success in their very valuable endeavors."
Jim Chris - British Author
"I was captivated by the Arabic language with its aesthetics during my stay in Sudan in the late sixties of the last century. For me, as a novelist, almost every book I write owes the harmonious rhythms to the Arabic language. It is, therefore, regrettable that this musical, open, and unique language is not among the twenty-eight languages to which my books have been translated so far. But I, like many other fellow authors, live on this hope. With the "Kalima" Initiative announcing its plans to translate important works, authors in English - and perhaps in other languages - will become more familiar to the Arabic-speaking populations, and Arab readers can become more familiar with the ideas and aspirations of other societies. This is truly wonderful news. It has come at the right time. Arts, especially literature, can sometimes bridge those rifts and disagreements caused by cultural misunderstandings, and contribute to a reconciliation between peoples."
George Saliba, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science at Columbia University
"Every renaissance achieved by any civilization throughout its history one way or another was preceded by or accompanied with a translation movement. Whether in Baghdad in the ninth century or in Europe during the Middle Ages, and later in the Renaissance Era, translation movements in all cases produced wonderful periods of cultural prosperity."
Philip Seib, Professor of Journalism and Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California
"Books establish bridges between civilizations. "Kalima" initiative will make a significant contribution to building these bridges. This project is an invaluable step towards removing unnecessary barriers between the cultures of the world."
Roger Allen, Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania
"We are living in an era where the world is becoming increasingly complex, and the gap between cultures and civilizations of this world is growing. Thus, translation movements emerge as a very important tool to ward off the negative effects of those misfortunate currents and trends that have failed to realize and value the richness of human diversity, In this context, "Kalima" initiative seeks to build bridges between different cultures of the world in the hope that they keep in touch with each other through their cultural life and intellectual contributions."
Chris Doyle - Board Director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU)
"When the Arab-Islamic civilization reached the pinnacle of its prosperity, it was because of the efforts made by its scientists and intellectuals and others in the translation movement from other peoples' civilizations and cultures, and then building on that and adding to it to achieve their own progress. Translators played a huge role in that renaissance, thus deserving precious rewards for their skills. At present, Arabs can achieve further development by investing in this kind of intellectual programs that would help scientific and cultural centers throughout the Arab world and provide them with the latest works produced by world thought leaders in various fields."
"Translation is not only a basic skill. It is peoples' instrument to acquire the precious treasures produced by intellectual currents and inventions worldwide, to use them as a platform for further development and progress."
Khaled Hroub - Cambridge Arab Media Project Director
"What is stated in the United Nations report on human development in the Arab World for the year 2002 was distressing, particularly the part stating that what Spain translated in one year equals the books the Arabs translated during the last millennium. This piece of information shocked many Arabs, opened their eyes on a very bitter reality, and caused a deep wound in the Arab intellectual sentiment. Despite this, we do count on "Kalima" project to prove this information wrong by translating hundreds of foreign books every year into Arabic. It's doubtless that the ambitious initiative of "Kalima" is capable of bridging the gap which not only made the Arab Translation Movement lag behind its peers, but also deprived Arab societies from keeping pace with the steady growth of modern intellectual and knowledge currents, and from benefiting from its diversity".
David Mack - US Ambassador (retired)
"Both Arabic and Western historical documents continue to preserve the role played by Arab translators during the Abbasid civilization in Baghdad. The works they translated from Greek, Persian, Hindi and other languages into Arabic played a fundamental role in the development of Islamic civilization, which has been for centuries the world's richest civilization with its cultural treasure that laid a solid foundation for the economic prosperity and scientific achievements in that civilization. The benefits of these cultural treasures were not limited to the Arabs alone. Europeans also benefited from them to propel themselves out of the dark ages when they started collecting Arabic writings from various cities in the Islamic world, from Baghdad to Andalusia, in order to enrich their intellectual capital, which had an impact on the start of the European Renaissance. To do that, they translated Arabic works into various European languages, and in this way, i.e. translation, the civilizations of the world can enrich each other in the course of human development.
My wife and I congratulate "Kalima" Initiative in Abu Dhabi, and we will continue to follow its development with great interest. We are also looking forward to a prosperous intellectual life in the world."