LEILA Research

The LEILA Research project, led by Literature Across Frontiers in partnership with ArabLit and iReMMO, and supported by the Anna Lindh Foundation, was implemented in 2021 as an initial research phase of the multi-year project LEILA – Arabic Literature in European Languages which aims to create tools and structural dynamics to promote, translate and circulate contemporary Arabic literature.

The outcomes of the LEILA Research project are essays on Arabic literature written by ArabLit founder Marcia Lynx Qualey, English translation of a report on the Arab book market published in the original Arabic version by the Arab Publishers Association, commissioned by iReMMo who also convened a meeting of experts to formulate guidelines for the planned website to be launched in the framework of the LEILA project.

The studies, commissioned and published by Literature Across Frontiers, map translation of Arabic literature into selected European languages—Czech, Dutch, Finnish, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, English and the co-official languages of Spain—over the past decade partially update a mapping of translation flows in the Euro-Mediterranean region conducted in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Translation Programme launched in the late 2000s under the auspices of the Anna Lindh in cooperation with two main partners. Literature Across Frontiers and Transeuropéennes. The project resulted in a set of studies on translation between the languages of Europe and the South East Mediterranean, and a series of workshops and conferences formulating a strategy for translation in the region. The Anna Lindh Foundation subsequently organised several meetings of a core group of experts and two Euro-Mediterranean translation conferences: in Slovenia in 2016 and in Tunis in 2017. The present studies and the LEILA project, mentioned above, will provide a new impetus for continued Arab-European cooperation in the field of books and translation, alongside other initiatives.

The LEILA project is implemented by a consortium of partners led by the Paris-based iReMMO – Institut de Recherche et d’Études Méditerranée Moyen-Orient, which includes Al Jumhuriya – an online platform for Syrian voices based in Germany, ATLAS – Association pour la promotion de la traduction littéraire in Arles, the international arts venue Bozar in Brussels through its Mahmoud Darwish Chair, and Editions Elyzad, a Tunisian publisher working in French.

Photo: ArabLit