Founded in March 1998, Arab World Books is the first Arab
cultural online club. Our website is entirely staffed by volunteers and is
dedicated to enhance understanding between different cultures, an area which is
surprisingly deficient despite the unprecedented advances in communications. We
believe that literature, and art in general, is the best conduit for such
understanding in a manner that goes beyond traditional stereotypes. Our active
members exceed 14500 from all over the world. They include Arabs, people of Arab
origin living in other countries, as well as foreigners interested in Arab
culture who find in the internet a golden opportunity to see our region for the
first time through Arab eyes and interact with its people. Moreover, the site
receives an average of 3291 new visitors daily who surf 10756 files. Total
visits to our site thus top over 400,000 visitors per month.
The club offers services to writers, publishers and readers and makes use of the
WWW’s vast potential to open a window through which the world can look upon Arab
thought and learn about its thinkers, artists and intellectuals.
We are most proud that over the years
arabworldbooks.com is listed by many international organizations and educational
institutes all over the world as a valuable resource for our region some of
Cornell University, University of Columbia, Arizona State University, Western
Michigan University, University of Pennsylvania Digital Library, the Arab
American National Museum and Library, UNESCO, Monde Arabe, Nobel Prizes,
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, PBS, Ahram Portal, Bloomsbury Publishing, The
association of the Palestinian Community in the UK, the American Arab Forum, and
National Association of British Arabs.
A selection of activities, special events and memories
that portray the scope of our activities & members in the past ten years:
Amani Amin attended the seminar on Islamic Perspectives on Human Rights, which
took place at the UN headquarters in Geneva. An online discussion covering this
special event launched the site's debate corner.
Our reader’s club and writers workshop programs were launched.
Our youngest member Selma, a Yemeni living in Switzerland was only two when she
started her first library with "a story from each Arab country” written by the
renowned children's literature writer Abdeltawwab Youssef. Youssef was the first
author to join our authors’ home in April 1998.
Selma's mother wrote: "Selma is grateful for providing her with the opportunity
to stay in contact with her Arab heritage"
Special event that covered Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail's visit to Switzerland.
We helped a member in Canada find an appropriate Arabic reading by Gibran for
his son's wedding. We sent him the text he needed in time for the
ceremony. Dr.Alzand of Canada wrote: "Thank you very much for your beautiful
gift of lovely words and kind help. I am forwarding your thoughtful note to the
prospective bride and groom along with the Marriage piece by Gibran in both
Following the second intifada, our Palestine File is born with the aim of
providing an objective alternative to the mainstream media. Launching articles were written by Professor
Tanya Reinhart, Eduardo Cohen, Israel Shamir, Charley Reese, Wael Fawzi, and
Special event "What is a just Peace?" A Round Table at Geneva
University moderated by Professor Pierre Alan - with Yossi Beilin, Stanley
Hoffman, Edward Said, David Little and Adam Roberts.
- We assisted The Norwegian book club reach Arab authors to participate in the
election of The Library of World Literature.
-Our special events section covered a Discussion in Washington DC with Karen
Armstrong the best-selling author of "Muhammad" and "A History of God".
- The Gamal Abdel Nasser Poetry Campaign. We invited all Poets and lovers of
Poetry to participate in a volume of Poetry to include poems related to the
leader. This is part of a wider campaign undertaken by Dr. Hoda Abdel Nasser,
daughter of the leader to collect all Documents of the 1952 Revolution.
We assisted Clarity Press - a publisher in the US - contract with an Arabic
Publisher for Professor Francis Boyle's book, Palestine, Palestinians and
Focus on Iraq File launched with articles by Robert Fisk, Israel Shamir and
The website campaigned for the Support of Elizabeth Laird's award winning book
“A Little Piece of Ground" published by McMillan Books.
Amani Amin participated in a discussion panel at the Cairo Book Fair. She
presented the online experience of Hatshepsut the woman Pharaoh, a book authored
by Dr. Fawzia Assaad.
Mr. Peter Ripken -Society for the Promotion of African, Asian and Latin American
Literature, now a member, wrote these words in our guest book: "I am overwhelmed
by the wealth of information on this site, especially for those who
unfortunately do not read Arabic while being interested in Arab literature."
March 2005 - August 2006
We helped the Arabist Daniele Migliori to select stories to represent
Palestinian Literature during the Second Intifada to be translated into Italian.
We later published the fruit of this collaboration on our website in August
Our board of trustees is formed. Distinguished members include Dr.Gaber Asfour,
Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Culture, H E Ambassador
AbdelRaouf Alreedy former Egyptian ambassador to the US , the renowned novelists
Bahaa Taher and Gamal Alghitany , Frances Boyle,professor of International Law,
American author and human rights activist, Marilyn Booth, associate professor at
the Program in Comparative and World Literature, University of Illinois (USA)
and Richard Jacquemond, Associate Professor Department of Near Eastern studies,
University of Provence (France).
October - November 2006
A special file is published to farewell the late Naguib Mahfouz and Amani Amin
is invited to participate in the discussion on Naguib Mahfouz’s Palace Walk
which was held by a Canberra based Book Group at the residence of Her Excellency
Ms. Amira KAPETANOVIC the ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Australia.
The Year 2007
2007 marks a milestone in our history as we reach our tenth
anniversary in March 2008
- In our readers club program- still one of our most successful - we
featured twelve books with novels for Nemat Behairy, Tahir Wattar, Garcia
Marquez and poetry for Iman Mersal and Khaled Mutawwa as well as a variety of
books such as Ibrahim Haidary's Arabs and the Issue of Sex, Art Appreciation -
from the classic to the Postmodern and Ratiba El-Hefni's Mohamed al-Qassabgi The
Musician of Love. Among the prominent book discussions were comments received
from Ikbal Baraka around her book "The Veil" and from Youssef Aburayya around
his novel "The Lover" and Nawal Saadawi around her novel "The Novel".
- We welcomed fifty new writers and poets to our Authors'home.
- We managed to increase the number of stories, essays and reviews published in
our literature corner and we doubled the number of announcements of our members'
- We added to our bookstore a section where you can buy books in French and
another for Arabic Music.
- Arab World Books depends on volunteer work since its creation and we have
started this year to be more active in this area with the aim of achieving a
higher level of team work and commitment. New volunteers in all areas are always
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