ELF increases the number of pages of Arabic authors on Wikipedia and offers the list of the best books
Muhammad Yusuf, Feature Writer
Emirates Literature Foundation (ELF) initiative Kateb Maktub has spearheaded the campaign to increase the number of pages by Arabic authors on Wikipedia in Arabic and English, and reports a 516% growth in the space of one year. The initiative was launched in late 2020 with the aim of making information about Arabic authors and literature easily accessible online. Its ambitious goal is to increase the number of articles on Arab authors on the internet tenfold by December 2022.
The articles created give Arab authors a consolidated record of their accomplishments on Wikipedia, providing a credible point of reference and discoverability for readers around the world. ELF and its volunteers continue to collect data and produce high-quality verified articles, with the initial goal of having 15,000 pages of Arabic authors on Wikipedia by December 2022. Kateb Maktub has created 12,150 articles, bringing the total number of Arabic author profiles on Wikipedia to 13,650. (The number would have increased by now).
“Kateb Maktub is an ambitious project, but essential. It builds on our enthusiasm for the Arabic language and the mission of the Emirates Literature Foundation to support and nurture the love of literature in the UAE and across the region. “As part of this mission, we want to help readers around the world discover the wealth of talented writers we have in the UAE and the wider Arab world,” said Ahlam Bolooki, Emirates Airline Festival Director. Festival of Literature (EAFL).
ELF is the governing body of EAFL, the UAE’s premier literary festival. “It has been very gratifying to witness the success of the initiative in the short time that has elapsed since its launch and we must remember the tremendous efforts of contributors, volunteers and editors who made it so. possible success. Ahlam added that “we all share a vision of putting Arab authors and their great cultural contributions in the spotlight, placing them on a platform of equality with the other great literary powers of the world.”
Kateb Maktub’s efforts and experience have been the cornerstone of the UAE User Group Wikimedians, the first user group to be trained in the GCC, which contributes to the initiative’s strategy of expand online content to showcase various aspects of life in the UAE and the region, such as the arts, business, tourism, science, history, and more. The movement is based on the belief that information freely available in Arabic is the foundation of a strong cultural economy.
The Kateb Maktub team also called on avid readers interested in literature, traditional and digital publishers, and published authors to sign up as volunteers and support the goal of the Improve Position initiative. of Arabic literature in the digital world. ELF also joined ISNI – International Standard Name Identifier – as a registration agency in January 2021. As part of Kateb Maktub, the Foundation will award ISNI to Arab authors. ISNI is a 16-digit number that is uniquely assigned to each author, and it is essential to avoid identity ambiguity online or offline, where names may be spelled differently, including in translation. Separately, ELF has published its list of the best books for book clubs, from critics ‘picks to readers’ favorites.
“All of the books on the list are guaranteed to spark conversations, stimulate debate and share new perspectives on the world around us,” says the Foundation. Bolooki said that “planning one of the biggest literary festivals in the world is like choosing books for a book club, hundreds of times. We are always on the lookout for authors and conversations that will entertain, intrigue and make us question the world around us.
“All of the books on this list will do this and more, and best of all, once you’ve read the books, you can meet the author at Emirates LitFest in February.” Creating the list involved members of the Foundation team nominating and voting for the final books, which could be of any genre as long as they sparked new discussion and ideas.First on the list is Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s Before the Coffee Gets Cold, a time drama set in a small Tokyo cafe. It is followed by David Grossman’s portrayal of a comedian collapsing on stage in A Horse Walks into a Bar, full of poignant and overwhelming moments.
Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half raises important talking points about identity, trauma, community and deception, while horror fans can rejoice to see My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, which does t is no ordinary slasher: with bodies, existential questions grow too.
Saints & Misfits, the novel by SK Ali, explores faith, identity and assault and Felicia Yap’s debut novel Yesterday opens a box of verses with issues of memory, social status and trust, all of which are debatable. . My Best Friend’s Murder by former Dubai resident Polly Philips offers a deep dive into toxic friendships and envy. Philips won the Emirates LitFest award in 2019, then known as the Montegrappa award. All the listed authors will speak at EAFL, from February 3 to 13, 2022, at hotels in Al Habtoor City.
The festival is organized with founding partners Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts and culture. ELF is a non-profit organization which supports the love of literature in the UAE and the region, through a program of various cultural initiatives. EAFL is the Arab world’s largest celebration of the written and oral word, featuring international and regional writers, poets, thinkers and speakers from around the world. Over the past 13 years, more than 1,700 authors from over 100 countries have spoken at the Festival.