Buthayna Al Essa has translated classic like the Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan into Arabic
The owner behind a Kuwaiti publishing firm translating English literature into Arabic reports that business is “booming” and the western classics have proved popular with local readers.
“It is a baby publishing house…. We are concentrating on translated books, classics now,” Kuwaiti publisher and author Buthayna Al Essa told Arabian Business during an interview at the Emirates Festival of Literature in Dubai in March.
Al Essa started in the industry as an author, publishing her first book aged 23 years old in 2004. She has since published 13 books but eventually set up Takween, a publishing firm and bookshop, in order to address the lack of quality publishing in the region.
Identifying a gap in the market, Takween is currently focusing on translating English language classic literature into Arabic and she reports it has found a big audience with her readers.
“We are going for the Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan,” she said, adding that a recent translation of Daddy Long Legs, the 1912 classic by American writer Jean Webster, had proved very popular.
“With Daddy Long Legs, I think we are in the fourth edition now and each one [edition] is three thousand copies. It's booming,” she added.
When asked which title was next on her wish list, Al Essa said The Jungle Book, the 1894 classic children’s tale by English author Rudyard Kipling.