LEILA: Arabic Literature in European Languages is a three-year project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union aiming to create tools and structural dynamics to promote, translate and circulate contemporary Arabic literature by addressing the whole ecosystem of literary translation in Europe with three key actions: bringing together a network of experts from the Euro-Arab literary field, providing capacity-building opportunities for translators, and publishing of a catalogue of recommended titles New Books in Arabic.
The project will be implemented by a consortium of partners led by the Paris-based iReMMO – Institut de Recherche et d’Études Méditerranée Moyen-Orient, which, in addition to LAF, includes Al Jumhuriya – an online platform for Syrian voices, ATLAS – Association pour la promotion de la traduction littéraire in Arles, the international arts venue Bozar in Brussels which hosts the Mahmoud Darwish Chair, and Editions Elyzad, a Tunisian publisher working in French. The well-known ArabLit website and ArabLit Quarterly magazine and the Egyptian publisher Dar Al Tanweer are among associated partners.
LEILA partially builds on the project ‘Translating in the Mediterranean’ conducted ten years ago under the auspices of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures (ALF) in cooperation with two main partners, Literature Across Frontiers and Transeuropéennes. The project consisted of an extensive mapping of translation flows between Europe and the South East Mediterranean and a series of workshops and conferences formulating a strategy for translation in the region. The role of LAF in the LEILA project will be to continue the work started more than ten years ago by conducting research and bringing together a network of literary professionals across the Euro-Arab region. The project has identified key needs and opportunities, and developed a plan for networking, training, production and dissemination over the coming three years, aiming at increasing awareness of contemporary Arabic writing and its translation into European languages. The research part of the LEILA project which will produce studies of translation flows and books markets related to Arabic literature is co-funded by the Anna Lindh Foundation.