Arab West Report job ad

Job Opening at the Arab West Report

Due Date: October 13, 2011

There is an immediate opening for the position of International Coordinator / Project Manager at the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Translation (CIDT) in Cairo, Egypt.

Egypt is going through an important transitional period. CIDT plays a role in this transition by continuing to contribute accurate reporting, media monitoring, and peace-building projects, which help build bridges between Muslims and Christians, both in Egypt and abroad.

CIDT receives funding from donor organizations in order to do its general work and complete its projects. The international coordinator is responsible for maintaining relations with existing donors, applying for funding for new projects, and ensuring that projects are carried out according to agreements.

For more information about this position, see our full job description.

Arab West Foundation | Arab West Stichting Blaak 550 | Blaak, Ro 3011 TA, Netherlands

Museums for ICD

UNESCO launches the network of Museums for Intercultural Dialogue

The role of museums as messengers of peace and intercultural understanding cannot be overemphasised, as they stand as major attractions in our globalised world where millions of people travel for the discovery of other cultures.

UNESCO launches an appeal to the international museum community to join its network by contributing to the enrichment of its new on-line virtual museum for intercultural dialogue where invaluable objects and new narratives can be consulted, for the enjoyment of the public and a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of historical actors, since the early times to present.

UNESCO Museums for Intercultural Dialogue EN | FR | AR

Inauguration of the pilot exhibition in Egypt and Syria (link)

World Heritage site museums project (link)

Contact: Nao Hayashi Denis

Using Poetry to Build Intercultural Dialogue

“Peter Zsoldos, ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Egypt, discussed poetry, translation and its role in the future of intercultural dialogue at the third In Translation lecture this semester, calling for greater intercultural dialogue through creative means. At his lecture titled “Translation, Poetry and Diplomacy: New Horizons for Intercultural Dialogue,” Zsoldos, a diplomat, poet and translator, championed the idea that cultural diplomacy, dialogue and interaction can be used as proactive instruments to develop better and more nuanced relationships with countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. “To understand is to share an interest,” he said. “The aim is to find out what makes others tick.”

Zsoldos has a diplomatic career that spans more than 20 years, the last 10 of which have been spent in the Middle East serving the Slovak Republic’s foreign service in various capacities. In 2000, Zsoldos became the ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the Gulf Cooperation Countries. For the past three years, he has lived in Cairo. As a student, he was interested in literature and religion, and wrote his doctoral thesis about Afro-Cuban religious systems, colloquial Spanish spoken in Cuba and Cuban literature in the 20th century. In the diplomatic corps, Zsoldos asserts that cultural diplomacy should be a tool to counter stereotypes, bias and prejudice.

“There is a saying: take two opposites and connect the dots and you have a line,” Zsoldos noted. “Intercultural dialogue can change long-held positions and attitudes. While changing attitudes is always a work in progress, it is diplomacy and artists that are the first to see and connect these dots.”

Zsoldos is the author of five books that have been translated into different languages, two of which are trilingual books (Arabic, English and Slovak) that he co-authored with renowned Emirati poet and translator Shihab Ghanem. Their first book Pearls and Dates: Poems from the United Arab Emirates won the Best Book of the Year prize at the 2003 International Book Fair in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Their second book, Contemporary Poems from the Arabian Peninsula, was published in June 2010. The books are a translation of Slovakian poetry into Arabic and vice versa. For Zsoldos, the idea stemmed from a desire to better publicize the great works of Arab poets and authors in the Slovak Republic. “I was looking for something that will bring a new viewpoint to Europe,” he said. “By expanding the body of literature, we are hoping to also expand the greater dialogue.”

Zsoldos has observed that in the post-September 11 era, many works that had not yet been translated from Arabic are now available in Slovak. “Recently, many major Arabic works have been translated into Slovak such as the Quran, the complete One Thousand and One Nights and some of the works of Naguib Mahfouz,” he noted. In the future, Zsoldos wants to continue to build cultural and diplomatic bridges as well as translate the works of Slovak and Arab authors and poets, a pastime he greatly enjoys. “It is a wonderful feeling,” he said. “There is a process of creation that takes hold. I feel as though I am taking off the clothes of the poem, until there is nothingness, and then redressing it in the words of another language.”

Originally published by the American University in Cairo.

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