Update on Americana in Arabic Project
The project to translate key works of American thought, culture and history into Arabic and have them properly distributed is forging ahead. The first translation will be key works of Thomas Jefferson. The generosity of contributors has overwhelmed me, and we already have some money the kitty after only a week and a half. I have had long conversations by phone or email with several Iraqi intellectuals who are interested in helping with the project. I have sent out the Michigan Articles of Incorporation for the Global Americana Institute, a non-profit 501c3 organization that will carry out the project. That is the first step, and when I hear back I’ll be able to go to the IRS. I have also had contact with Fulbright and NEH staffers, and with a kind supporter in the State Department. I have a phone call into a private foundation that might be interested.
I’d say that’s some progress for a week and a half.
Some readers have written to remind me to have the translations put on the Web. We will do that, but I regret to report that in my experience, the internet is still an underdeveloped and relatively small phenomenon in the Arab world. What we are aiming at is inexpensive trade paperback editions, with wide distribution to book retailers of various sorts, and placement in libraries.
Others have suggested other authors to translate. I’d love to do a wide range of translations, the full panoply of the American struggle with the ideals of democracy, equality and individual initiative and liberty. Obviously, the more in contributions we receive, the more we’ll be able to accomplish. I am really encouraged by the enthusiasm I have met for the project everywhere, and am confident it will see results. Will keep everyone posted here on progress.