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Jordan: The ‘Issa Naouri’ translation award

The translation from Italian to Arabic of a passage taken from the book ‘Resto qui‘ by Marco Balzano was the test for the candidates competing for the ‘Issa Naouri’ Award, established by the Italian Embassy of Amman and by the family of the writer and Italianist Naouri. The award – won by three young Jordanians: Aya Zalloum, Moh’d Kareem Jaber and Cheruk Abu Khaled – is intended to enhance the commitment of students who take up Italian. One of the main objectives of the competition, which is supported also by the Dante Alighieri school, is to introduce Italian literary works to local students with the hope that the young translators will follow in the footsteps of their compatriot namely to disseminate Italian literature across the Arab world. The novel by Balzano is the book that, among the finalists of the 2018 Strega Prize, received the highest number of votes by the jury of the Dante Alighieri readers, which also included the Amman committee. The Italian ambassador to Jordan, Fabio Cassese, participated via Skype in the event – now in its eighth edition – and in his words, the dissemination of literary works “facilitates the mutual understanding between peoples more than many diplomatic treaties”. Balzano also reiterated that “literature is a vehicle that brings people closer to one another”.

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