About Arabian Stories
Before you read the text below, we recommend watching the video or visiting the project’s website to understand what Arabian Stories is all about.
Not many people today are interested in translating the work of living Arab authors. But we think it is of paramount importance to listen to what they have to say in order to better grasp their approaches to reality. On the one hand, the Arabian Stories project aims to help Arabic speakers rebuild their world with words, and on the other hand, we wish to help English and Spanish speakers learn from the experiences the Arab population has gained from the journeys they have made to get closer to the Western world both physically and conceptually.
We want to bring the Arab population hope, hope that this world they are emigrating to won’t ask them to abjure all of the beliefs that connect them emotionally to the world they have left behind in order for them to find a new place to belong.
The first literary contest we held saw stories centered on very interesting places that you may have never heard of before, such as the Hoggar Mountains (home to Algerian Tuareg tribes) or a Moroccan town called Imilchil (known for its Berber betrothal festival). In addition, we received stories from citizens of places you may think you know all too well, such as Benghazi or Kobane; however, their firsthand accounts are unique and would probably surprise you.
During the first contest, "One Thousand Nights and Awakening", the jury selected five finalist stories, and then a vote was held to select the first and second prizewinners among all the authors who submitted a story to the contest.
For the second contest, "Two Thousand Nights and Awakening", we would like to recognize our Kickstarter supporters, so we have included the option to become a donor-juror as one of our premium rewards. Donor-jurors will have the chance to participate in the selection of the "Two Thousand Nights and Awakening" prizewinners by casting a vote based on the five finalist short stories, which will be provided in their original Arabic and their translated English and Spanish versions. Donor-jurors will be given the opportunity to write a short essay (of not more than 600 words) in any of the three languages of the project to defend their choice. However, the essay is completely optional; it is not necessary to submit it as a part of the vote and no previous knowledge of either Arabic language or literature is required to write it. All essays submitted by donor-jurors will be considered for translation and publication on the Arabian Stories website. The author of every published piece will be recognized by name and will be able to add a short personal description to his or her composition.
Plan for allocating the funds we hope to raise and further info
Check out these slides for further details about the project, including our plans for allocating the raised funds, which can be summarized in these four key areas:
- Organization of the second edition of the literary contest
- Translation and copywriting fees for the new stories
- Website maintenance, administration, hosting, and promotional activities
- Publication and distribution of two different editions of short stories in book form
- Recording of a trilingual CD in Arabic, English, and Spanish with the best five stories from each literary contest read by native speakers
Don’t hesitate to ask any open questions. Get in touch and we will get back to you right away!
Risks and challenges
The first challenge is going to be to encourage as many Arab writers from as many different parts of the Arab World as possible to submit a story. Our goal is to accept more than 100 submissions, which is a target we are confident we can achieve thanks to all that we have learned from our previous experience with running a literary contest.
Then there is the challenge of sticking to our deadlines when it comes to delivering content. The good news is that we have already taken up the practice of ensuring that we can deliver items on time before we set our delivery dates. As the founder, I will be dedicated to the project full time. Meeting donor expectations is my top priority.
Other obstacles we might encounter include technical problems with the website. However, we have upgraded our hosting recently and have hired a very competent professional freelance team of WordPress experts to address any problems as they arise.
The biggest challenge by far will be to persuade the public that it is important for them to devote their time and mental effort to a project conceived to make them feel uncomfortable. Nonetheless, we believe that the best way we as humans can preserve whatever makes us proud of being identified as such is by allowing those who might not necessarily share our worldview, and with whom we ourselves might not necessarily identify at first glance, to defy our preconceived notions. Thus, we may find a place to meet halfway by discovering common ground with people we had initially thought to be too different. Perhaps, the mere possibility of being able to reconcile our worldview with that of other folks may prove to be more rewarding than the feeling of being the sole owner of the truth, because broadening our horizons may actually allow us to gain better perspectives.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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