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On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, the Faculty of Humanities at An-Najah in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Culture held the International Translation Day Symposium as part of the Palestinian Translation Forum activities organized by the Ministry.

The symposium hosted Mr. Khaled Al-Nasri, Palestinian poet and owner of Al-Mutawassit for Publication, Mr. Ra Page, Founder and CEO of Comma Press in the U.K, the Swedish publisher Per Bergström and other international translators and publishers as well as Ms. Hoda Hajjo from the Ministry of Culture and Ms. Lama Faqeeh, Coordinator of the Palestinian Translation Forum.

The symposium was attended by Dr. Abdul Khaliq Issa, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Dr. Ihsan Al-Deek who moderated the event and a number of University heads of departments as well as a group of An-Najah staff and students.

In the opening speech, Dr. Issa welcomed the guests and thanked the Minister of Culture, Mr. Ihab Bseiso for always supporting An-Najah.

Ms. Faqeeh talked about the Forum goals and activities. She mentioned that it is an annual event that started in 2017 and aims to convey the Palestinian cause to world languages.

In her speech, Ms. Hajjo commended the cooperation the Ministry has with An-Najah National University and congratulated An-Najah administration for celebrating 100 years of innovation and excellence.  

Mr. Page talked about his experience in translation and publication as he has edited over 20 anthologies, as well as overseen Comma's Reading the City series, which has previously featured the Book of Gaza and the Book of Khartoum and is set to focus on Cairo, Tehran and Damascus over the next year.

Mr. Bergström mentioned that since 2002 he has been running the press Ramus that publishes translated poetry and fiction and is the most well reputed Swedish press for contemporary translated poetry. He is also the artistic director of Malmo International Writer's Stage which is one of the most well-known and respected literary scenes in Sweden.

Mr. Nasri concluded with a brief about Al-Mutawassit, which is an Arabic publication house in Italy established in 2015. He talked about his interest in translation of books that tackle important issues of the Arab World referring to examples of books translated to Arabic and published by Al-Mutawassit. He also talked about the importance of translation in the cultural context and having University departments dedicated to editing and publication in Arab World universities.

At the end of the meeting, the guests answered the attendees' questions on the discussions.

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