Doha: The Sheikh Hamad Prize for Translation and International Understanding (SHATIU) annually selects a new language in addition to Arabic and English with the aim of encouraging translation from and into Arabic as well as cultural exchanges between different nations.
In its 5th edition, the award selected the Malayalam language from among the competing languages, and it was the first time that works published in Malayalam were honored by an Arab country.
The Islamic Publishing House (IPH) won the Sheikh Hamad Award in the Achievement category. Abdul Kabeer, the laureate, said: “It gives me great pleasure and pride to have such a prestigious award especially from Qatar and on behalf of Father Amir HH Sheikh Hamad, a visionary leader who has contributed so much to building a modern country. , and fostered cultural relations and understanding between nations.
Kabeer praised the role of the Sheikh Hamad Prize in encouraging writers to contribute to human civilization and make it rich and fruitful. He said the award restored the Islamic heritage of Baghdad’s “House of Wisdom”.
“She rebuilt the cultural bridge of the golden age of Islam. This will certainly help foster cultural engagement and understanding between nations, ”he said. The peninsula.
Asked about any other organization promoting cultural exchanges between Malayalam and Arabic, Abdul Kabeer said: “This is the first time that our language, Malayalam, has been honored by an Arab country. Although it is a state language and not as widely spoken as Hindi and Urdu. We feel honored and very obligated for this generosity.
He added that the IPH had also won many awards before, such as the Mahatma Gandhi University Prize for the production of the Islamic Encyclopedia, the CN Ahmed Moulavi Prize for the same encyclopedia, the prize for the design of the cover for ‘Road to Makkah’ from the Government Book Development Committee, S A Kareem Prize etc.
Regarding the works presented for the nomination of the Sheikh Hamad Prize, Abdul Kabeer pointed out that they have proposed several works translated from Arabic into Malayalam, in particular; “Women on the Wings of Dreams” by Fatema Nernissi; Collection of Contemporary Omani Poems by Hilal Al Hajri; Animals in the Koran by Ahmad Bahjat; The Life of Muhammad by Mohammed Husain Haikal, The Culture of the Preacher by Dr Yousuful Qardawi and Preaching and Scholar Notes by Hassan Al-Banna.
“Along these titles, we have offered examples of articles and translations of creative works that I have produced and published in some academic journals and Arabic literary magazines,” added Abdul Kabeer.
When asked how he learned about the Prize, Abdul Kabeer said: “I first learned about this from my Palestinian friend Najwan Darvesh, editor-in-chief of the cultural section of the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper. . He sent me the application form and the details of the conditions. Then, after a month, a team from the Arab and International Relations Forum led by Dr Hanan Fayadh traveled to Kerala and held a press conference announcing the details of the award which was widely publicized in local media.
Regarding his career, contributions and the languages in which he translates from and to, he pointed out that he has now worked with IPH as Editor-in-Chief since 2010. Prior to joining IPH, he was Editor-in-Chief of periodical of the weekly Madhyamam, a prestigious magazine. in Kerala as well as in the Gulf region.
He also worked for the Interior Ministry of Qatar between 1987 and 2006 and his career is journalism which he practiced since 1970 where he worked as editor in chief at Prabodhanam, a socio-cultural-religious weekly where he worked. for 15 years.
In the field of translation, he said: “I translate articles as well as literary works from Arabic, English and Urdu”, adding: “I have a regular column in the supplement of review of Omani Al-Tafahom magazine. Every month I review a book published in one of the Indian languages, for this magazine. Also, I write in Nizwa magazine, Oman. My articles and translations have also been published in Doha Magazine; Al-Arabi magazine, Kuwait; Nawafid, Saudi Arabia; Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper and Alwatan newspaper, Oman ”.
Speaking about the Islamic Publishing House (IPH) and its role in introducing Islamic and Arab culture, Abdul Kabeer explains that IPH is the oldest Muslim publishing house in Kerala, established in 1945. “ It was created to publish authentic literature on Islam. and Muslims. The publishing house was due to celebrate its platinum jubilee this year, but has been forced to postpone it due to the coronavirus pandemic. ”
Regarding the major achievements of IPH, he said: “It is a leading and most acclaimed publishing house in South India with over 1000 titles in Malayalam. Some of the major works published by IPH include serious studies translated from Arabic, English and Urdu, such as Tafheemul Koran by Maulana Sayyid Abul A’ala Moudoodi; Collections of hadiths such as Sahih Bukhari, Tirmidhi; autobiographies of Melcome X, Mohamed Ali Clay, Cat Stevenson (Yousuf Islam), Dr Yousuful Qardawi and Hasan Al Banna; Road to Makkah (Muhammad Asa), Preaching of Islam (TW Arnold), Biography of the Prophet, Contemporary Fatwas (Halal and Haram of Dr Yusuf Qaradhawi), Social Justice of Said Qutub, Fiqh-us-Sunnah of Sayyid Saabiq, Animals in the Quran by Ahmad Bahjat, and many other valuable titles.
Abdul Kabeer described the role of IPH, as a cultural ambassador between India and the Arab world, as most of the translated works are from Arabic, translating both classical and modern Arabic works into the local vernacular. .
When asked if there is a dearth of Arabic and Islamic publications in Malayalam, he pointed out that Malayalam is rich in both original and translated Islamic books. The rarity lies in the translations of creative Arabic works such as modern fictions, poetry, drama and novels.
Abdul Kabeer further pointed out that he has translated so many Arabic fictions and poems written by eminent writers like Nizar Qabbani, Mahmoud Darvesh, Qasim Haddad, Al Thayib Salih, Saif Al Rahbi, Hilal Al Hajri, Azhar Ahmed, Ghalib Al Halsa. Among the Qatari writers; Bushra Naser, Huda Al Naeimi, Zakiya Malullah and Kulthum Jabr.
He added that there were Arabic-Malayalam dictionaries and IPH published in 2016 a voluminous Arabic-Malayalam dictionary which includes over 1,500 pages. The author of the same dictionary, KP F Khan, completed another inverted one, the Malayalam-Arabic-English dictionary.
Abdul Kabeer proudly spoke about the major achievement of IPH which is his Islamic Encyclopedia project. The 13th volume of which was released last October by the famous director Adoor Gopala Krishnan who declared that he would help to eradicate misunderstandings.
The challenge facing IPH is also the completion of this project which requires a huge sum. So he said that IPH wanted philanthropists to sponsor the project for it to run smoothly.