Penguin has reached an agreement with Dar El Shorouk to publish Arabic editions of the celebrated Penguin Classics, as well as original modern and classical Arabic literature. The plan is to publish 12 translations of Penguin’s international classics and up to eight local Arabic titles each year. The Shorouk-Penguin project opens new horizons for cultural cooperation. It will add substantially to the number of quality translations from and into Arabic and English – to the benefit of readers of both languages. The books will carry the famous Penguin Classics livery with Arabic text and joint Shorouk-Penguin branding.
Penguin has previously embarked on similar projects with publishing partners in Brazil, China and South Korea.
Chairman of Penguin, John Makinson, and Chairman of Shorouk, Ibrahim El Moallem, will sign the cooperation protocol in a ceremony hosted by Dar El Shorouk in the historic surroundings of the Manial Palace in Cairo on November 24th.
John Makinson, Penguin Chairman and Chief Executive, comments: "The partnership with Dar El Shorouk represents a significant landmark in Penguin's 75 year history. It is a partnership not just between two celebrated publishing houses but between two of the broadest and deepest literary cultures in the world. There is potentially a very large audience for classic literature in the Arab-speaking world and a rich seam of classic Arabic writing that we intend to tap into."
Ibrahim El Moallem, Chairman of Shorouk, comments: "Dar El Shorouk is privileged and enthusiastic to enter into this partnership with Penguin, the leading international publisher. The Shorouk-Penguin venture represents a milestone in Shorouk's history and an important step for Arabic publishing. We look forward to opening a new window for our readers on the world's classics that Penguin successfully and elegantly offers. While offering our readers – for the first time – the complete translations of Penguin Classics into Arabic, we are also delighted with the opportunity to offer some great Arabic classics to the rest of the world."
Penguin is one of the world's leading consumer publishers. It is home to other famous names such as Dorling Kindersley, Puffin, Ladybird and Rough Guides and publishes close to 4,000 titles every year for adults and children in fiction and non-fiction, from timeless classics to the hottest bestsellers. Penguin has offices in 15 countries including the US, UK, Australia, South Africa, India and China.
About Penguin Classics
Before 1946 ‘classics’ were mainly the domain of students and academics. Penguin Classics changed that by making the best books accessible to the widest possible audience. The series was launched in 1946 with a translation of Homer’s Odyssey by E. V. Rieu who became the first editor of the Penguin Classics. Rieu's translation of the Odyssey became an immediate triumph and went on to sell some three million copies, occupying the position of the bestselling Penguin until usurped fifteen years on by Lady Chatterley s Lover and, ultimately, Animal Farm.
Over the years, the Penguin Classics grew in number, taking in works translated from Russian, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, German and a growing number of Middle and Far Eastern languages becoming the most comprehensive library of world literature available from any paperback publisher: a position that has continued to be maintained and consolidated, supplemented with the Penguin Modern Classics, Classics Audio Books, the Penguin Popular Classics and the Red Classics. Today the series consists of over 1,200 titles ranging from The Epic of Gilgamesh to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. And it is still just as committed to making the widest range of the best books from around the world available to millions, in editions that are up to date, authoritative and readable.
"The Penguin Classics, though I designed them to give pleasure even more than instruction, have been hailed as the greatest educative force of the twentieth century. And far be it for me to quarrel with that encomium, for there is no one whom they have educated more than myself." E. V. Rieu, on his retirement in 1964.
About Dar El Shorouk
The leading publishing house of Egypt and the Arab world, Dar El Shorouk was established in 1968 and has since expanded into a large publishing group with associate companies producing and distributing cultural material in all media. This includes magazines, digital and television productions and a national newspaper, Shorouk, that has quickly become a byword for credibility and integrity.
Shorouk authors are among the best-known, best-loved and most highly thought-of writers and intellectuals in the Arabworld; some of whom were translated into more than 40 languages. A general publisher with more than 5000 titles published to date, Shorouk is also at the cutting edge of new writing; it was the first to create bestsellers throughpublishing a choice selection of popular blogs. It is also known for its strong and principled stands on issues of freedom of expression and the value of creativity and for the quality and variety of its publications translated from many languages.