A minor thaw

Wednesday 15 July 2009

Arabic translations of Amos Oz (left) and David Grossman (right) are in the offing The 1979 Egypt-Israeli peace deal has not done much for cultural relations between the two countries. Only two books in Hebrew have been translated into Arabic in Egypt. There are now plans for Arabic translations of Israeli writing.

The decision comes in the wake of recent criticism of Egypt's culture minister Farouk Hosni, who is bidding to become the unesco head. When asked about Israeli books in Alexandria library, Hosni said if they existed, he would burn them. He intends to make amends. Egypt's culture ministry hopes to have an agreement with English publishers of Israeli writers. But it has refused any truck with Israeli publishers saying that would cause a scandal.

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