Finding Tweets to Tell Stories: A Bit More on Our Curation Process

Last time we wrote about Translatedesk and the Out of Eden Walk project, our journey with Paul had just begun, as he walked camelside through Saudi Arabia, hugging the coast of the Red Sea. Four milestones in, he’s traded the camels for donkeys and is now on his way through Jordan. Although Paul has physically traversed only two countries, some of the tweets we’ve included have come from nearby Egypt and Israel, whose borders fall within the 100 mile radius from which we pull Tweets. We’ve since translated Tweets from... Read The Rest →

Our First Translations from Saudi Arabia’s Twittersphere

This month marks the beginning of our long collaboration with Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk, a seven-year journey in slow journalism, as Salopek literally walks around the world, tracing the history of human migration. We wrote about this walk previously when the project began, and we’re excited to announce that our first batch of translations is now live.  They come from the immediate vicinity of Paul’s 15th Milestone (each milestone occurs roughly every 100 miles), which he describes as “On the pilgrim trail from Cairo to Mecca”, and within... Read The Rest →

Translation as Means of Increasing Intellectual Production in the Middle East

What is the relationship between translation and intellectual production?  It is not obvious, you might think. Translation, by necessity, does not provide new insights but rather makes existing knowledge available in another language.  If everyone spoke English it would not really be an issue. Image courtesy of Hishaam Siddiqi on Flickr, CC Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivativeWorks. At Meedan we do think there is a deep link.  Let me try to explain why with some tidbits from the recent Arab Thought Foundation annual conference, FIKR9, that we were lucky to attend. For... Read The Rest →

Wanted: Thousands of shoes for Palestinian-British play about civilian suffering in Gaza

After a week of heavy snow, Londoners may well be reaching for those old sneakers long since discarded at the bottom of the cupboard.  But now a theater group has come up with another use for them – as the backdrop to a play  highlighting the civilian suffering in Gaza. A joint Palestinian-British troupe this week launched an appeal for thousands of pairs of second hand shoes to form part of the set design for a its production, ‘Go to Gaza – Drink the Sea’. Zeitgeist and Passion Pit Theatre... Read The Rest →

'Bloggers scream: We are searching for a real outlet for our thoughts, away from surveillance!'

Read the original Arabic article in Al Raya here.  Translated by Randa. Cairo- Al-Rayah Newspaper – Raymaa Abdel-Ghafoor: One of the events at the Cairo International Book Fair was a provocative symposium about “Blogs’ literature: Is it just a number of screams or scattered papers?” The symposium was run by the novelist, Youssef Al-Qaeed, in the presence of Shaban Youssef, the poet, and the young bloggers, Ghada Abdel-Aal, Mai Khaled, and Shady Asslan. Al-Qaeed mentioned that the subject of the symposium considers the ideology behind blogs, of which the new... Read The Rest →

'The renaissance has ended, only the police remain' – Al Akhbar review of 41st Cairo Book Fair in English

Read the original in Al Akhbar here. Translated into English by Asma. “The Cairo International Book Fair” didn’t retain anything of the golden age except some superlatives. While waiting for a real revival of the cultural institution to happen, and for what it needs of diverse intellectual and political conditions to take place, the 41st edition of the book fair witnessed some changes that deserve some reflection: Political and intellectual works have declined, leaving more space for various trends and generations of literary works. Mohammed Khir Pages of thousands of... Read The Rest →

Egyptian culture comes in for criticism at Cairo Book Fair – Islam Today translated to English

Read the Arabic original on Islam Today here. Translated into English by Mariam. Thinkers and intellectuals have criticized the level of the Egyptian culture and its current situation. During the conference on “Cultural services, between service and profit” which was held at the Cairo International Book Fair, participants considered the Egyptian culture to be in a bad shape. Dr. Said Allawandi (international relations expert at Al-Ahram Foundation) says that the Egyptian culture is currently suffering from a severe “malaise”, and that it no longer holds the position is used to.... Read The Rest →

Saatchi Gallery unveils 'vibrant' Middle East art scene in controversial exhibition – Times review in Arabic

Read original in Times Online here.  Article translated by Wesam Abd El Nasser. كشف النقاب: فن جديد من الشرق الأوسط يُعرض في جاليري سآتشي يكشف الجاليري الثاني لسآتشي عن الشرق الأوسط وعن مجده المثير للإهتمام. جوانا بيتمان من الواضح أن تشارلز سآتشي يستمتع بدوره كأكثر الناس استفزازاً فى عالم الفن، فمعرض إحساسه! الذي يُعرض بالأكاديمية الملكية ليس إلا أحد المعارض التي أثارت الغضب، فهو عرض قد يمثل الفن المعاصر، يقيم سآتشي الآن معرضاً للفن المعاصر من الشرق الأوسط يحتوي على عناصر قد تثير ردود فعل عدائية كبيرة داخل الأوساط الأصولية... Read The Rest →

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