Sunday 20 December 2020, in the Qatari capital, Doha, the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies was proclaimed winner of The Sheikh Hamad Achievement Award for Translation and International Understanding, a prestigious global award allocated to bodies and institutions in recognition of their contributions to the work of translation into Arabic. The Achievement Award is one of the main annual prizes awarded by the Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding, a forum supervised by a board of trustees, steering committee and independent jury.
The Arab Center's winning this award demonstrates broad appreciation and recognition for the high level it has achieved in translation of important works from several languages into Arabic, within a comprehensive vision of the professional translation process that begins with the selection of important texts of interest to social and humanities researchers, professors and students. Translated books are subject to arbitration, translation review and professional editing by specialists, to ensure high quality and accuracy.
From its inception, the Center established an Arab program for translation, as a continuation of various previous experiences. Benefiting from both the successful and the faltering of these, with the aim of working with useful texts of interest to social sciences and humanities specialists and others, the Center set up its translation unit - Tarjuman - in 2012. Tarjuman aims to produce high quality Arabic translations of contemporary and classical foreign language academic texts and references. The Arab Center has ensured that its Tarjuman book translation program links up with the new Arab renaissance vision that is centrally determinant for all Arab Center activities, and particularly for the advancement of Arab social sciences and humanities research and the provision of basic resources for university students and researchers. Tarjuman especially seeks to provide advanced level university students and researchers with faithful, accurate, and authorized translations of new works and literature in diverse foreign languages (including English, French, German, Turkish, and Farsi), in fields of the social, administrative, political, and cultural sciences. The Arab Center has translated more than 120 books over the past eight years, with many of these figuring among the most important books written in the social sciences and humanities, and with the number translated by the end of 2021 expected to exceed 150. The Center considers that the Sheikh Hamad Achievement Award is recognition for this contribution to the transfer of knowledge from other languages into Arabic.
Significantly in this context, several Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies works featuring in the Tarjuman translations series have won awards: most recently, Zaidism in Iran (al-zaidiyah fi Iran) written by Muhammad Kazem Rahmati, translated by Mustafa Ahmad al-Bakour and published in 2020, was proclaimed First Place Winner in the Persian-to-Arabic Category of the Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding, in its just concluded sixth session. The Center’s books in translation have also garnered prizes in previous sessions of the Sheikh Hamad Award, including the Arabic translation of American thinker Franz Rosenthal’s Knowledge Triumphant: The Concept of Knowledge in Medieval Islam, translated by Yahya Al-Qa`qa and Ikhlas Al-Qanawah, and winning in the category of translation from English-to-Arabic; Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdayev’s The Philosophy of Inequality: Letters to the Leaders of the Russian Revolution in the Russian-to-Arabic translation category and translated by Bassam Miqdad in the fifth session (2019) of the Sheikh Hamad Award; Ernst Cassirer’s The Philosophy of Enlightenment rendered in Arabic by Ibrahim Abu Hashhash in the Sheikh Hamad Award’s fourth session (2018). Finally, in 2017 the French-to-Arabic translation by Jean Majed Jabbour of Humiliation in International Relations: A Pathology of Contemporary International Systems by French writer Bertrand Badie won the prize in the Sheikh Hamad Award’s third session (2017).
The Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding was established in Qatar in 2015. It is a global award overseen by a board of trustees, steering committee and independent jurors that aims to honor and value translators for their role in strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the nations and peoples of the world, rewarding distinction, encouraging creativity, consolidating sublime values, and furthering diversity, pluralism and openness.