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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

21 February 2020
In tandem with her colleague Rana Issa, Suneela Mubayi has been awarded a grant by the US National Endowment for the Arts to support their translation (from Arabic into English) of the travelogue "Tickets to Malta, London, and Paris" by the Remarkable Aḥmad Fāris.

Born in the village of Ashqūt in Mount Lebanon, Aḥmad Fāris al-Shidyaq (1804-87) left Lebanon after his brother was tortured to death by the Maronite Patriarchy for being the first Arab convert to Protestantism. al-Shidyaq became a nomadic writer, working with missionaries on an Arabic translation of the Bible. His novel Leg Over Leg was recently translated into English. During his time in Malta, London, and Paris, he wrote detailed travelogues for an Arab readership, capturing the culture and lives of ordinary Europeans. Drawing from newspapers, literature, and his own keen observations, this travelogue offers a unique perspective on European cities in the throes of industrial modernity.

Suneela Mubayi received a PhD in Arabic literature from New York University and teaches Arabic literature at Cambridge University. Her translations have appeared in the Kenyon ReviewWords Without BordersA Public SpaceJadaliyyaAsymptote, and elsewhere. This project is a collaboration with Rana Issa, a scholar of Aḥmad Fāris and a professor of translation studies at the American University of Beirut.

The grant is made under the US National Endowment for the Arts's Literature Translation Fellowship for 2020.