Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai recently (October 28, 2007) shared more than a dozen plans which are part of the $10 billion education initiative to revamp the education process in the Arab world.
In this speech he challenged Arab publishers and translators to publish 1,000 new books every year. Addressing publishers at one of the sessions, he said they would get "full support and attention" of the foundation.
"Are you ready to translate and publish a thousand books a year? Then buckle up, and let's go," Shaikh Mohammad said. "We are ready for the challenge."
I am not sure where the well-rounded figure of 1,000 books a year comes from but this annual target must have warmed the hearts of Arab writers and translators.
I wonder how many of these books might come from the emirate of Fujairah?
I don’t know how many books exist in Arabic that have a Fujairah focus but Amazon.com, with a search for Fujairah, gives an idea of what books exist in English and other languages.
At the time of searching 269 listings showed up, although a closer look reveals only 20 books or digital downloads (do these count in the Sheikh’s reckoning?) on subjects such as gas market trends, oil trading, petrochemicals, archaeology, bunkering, refineries, oil terminals, desalination shrimp farming and only one book which is an overview viz. Fujairah: An Arabian Jewel.
The rest of the search results are interesting one line references to Fujairah in travel books and volumes on piracy, cruise shipping, radio stations etc.
So there’s plenty of scope for writers to ‘buckle up’ and write good quality books that might be translated into Arabic, thus fulfilling the Sheikh’s literary dream.
Image: Fujairah: An Arabian Jewel by Peter Hellyer.