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Matt Browne
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Quote Matt Browne Replybullet Topic: Small number of books published in Arabic
    Posted: 21 November 2010 at 3:43am
I'd like to explore the following question:

Why are so few books published in Arabic or translated into Arabic from other languages?

Some time ago I read a book by Dan Diner called

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Sacred-Muslim-World-Stood/dp/0691129118/

and he mentioned the following reports several times.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Human_Development_Report

Some of the statistics in them are quite dramatic. Here are a few examples:

There are five times as many books translated into Greek in recent years compared to books translated into Arabic, although there are 300 million native Arabic speakers compared to 11 million Greeks.

The population of the 22 Arab countries makes up about 4.5% of the world population, but all countries combined publish only 0.8% of all books worldwide.

Although South Korea only has a population of 49 million versus 79 million in Egypt, it publishes more than 30,000 books per year compared to 2,215 in Egypt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_published_per_country_per_year

Most bestsellers published in Arabic sell between five and twenty thousand copies, while for languages like German, Japanese, Italian, Dutch and Danish it's usually between 100,000 and several million.

It's interesting that Iran ranks number 7 in numbers of books published per year, far more than any other majority Muslim country. How can this be explained?

In your opinion are books the key to a better future in countries like Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and Saudi Arabia? What could be done to get people to read and write more books?




Edited by Matt Browne - 21 November 2010 at 3:46am
A religion that's intolerant of other religions can't be the world's best religion --Abdel Samad
Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people--Eleanor Roosevelt
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schmikbob
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Quote schmikbob Replybullet Posted: 23 November 2010 at 9:27pm
Matt, Bernard Lewis describes this as a "failure of modernity" in his book "The Crisis of Islam".  The solution might rest with increasing the literacy rates. 
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Quote Matt Browne Replybullet Posted: 28 November 2010 at 10:50am
Thanks for the tip. I will look into this. Dan Diner pointed out that written Arabic is basically a static language, like Sanskrit and Latin. Most new words of the various Arabic dialects do not get represented in written Arabic, because it's considered sacred.

But changing languages are the drivers of progress and vice versa. Maybe this is one of the root causes for the stagnation.

A religion that's intolerant of other religions can't be the world's best religion --Abdel Samad
Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people--Eleanor Roosevelt
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schmikbob
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Quote schmikbob Replybullet Posted: 28 November 2010 at 8:54pm
I'm not sure that the stagnation of language can be a root cause in this case.  The Quran itself and Arabic in general borrows words and word roots  from other cultures just as other languages do, just not in such large numbers. 
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Quote Friendship Replybullet Posted: 02 December 2010 at 2:24pm
Assalamu alaikum brother Matt Browne.

I doubt if there are very few books written in Arabic. In the first instance you did not state the subject matter. Referring to Islam and especially the Sunna of Muhammad, there are many books. Writing in Islam is laborious for it involves research. It is not allowed for one to speculate or guess. A lot of Islamic books have been authored by Syrians. The problem of the Muslims is their lack of interest in reading. Therefore circulation is low. This has an indirect effect in production and further research.
The Muslim Umma is not well organized. Islam must be approached and understood in the manner we learn for example medicine. There re many branches that need specialization. There are very few specialists. Another discouraging thing is the tendency of Muslims to call one a disbeliever on an issue that is not important.


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Quote schmikbob Replybullet Posted: 03 December 2010 at 6:31pm
Whether you doubt it or not, it is a factual statement. 
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Quote Friendship Replybullet Posted: 03 December 2010 at 10:44pm
Assalamu alaika Schmikbob.

The biggest problem with regard to you is that you are an Agnostic. With greatest respect, love and sincere wishes to you, if actually you are as defined by English dictionaries i.e. that you are doubting the existence of God your creator in stages of developments, you should not be talking. Your actions are manifest proofs against you that Allah/God exists.
Now, the fundamental issue in Islam i.e. in the teachings of Muhammad Rasulullah is that you should not talk or say something until it is essential and that you must say it in a manner than the one you are addressing could understand. One of the argument of Allah against you and mankind in general is that there is not a single atom or the minutest indivisible particle in the world that does not prove the EXISTENCE OF ALLAH!If that is the case, talking of Islam must therefore be restricted. As intelligebly argued by the sincere Christians were was man before he was created? What did he contribute in the acitivities of Allah from Monday to early Friday morning?
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Quote schmikbob Replybullet Posted: 04 December 2010 at 8:09am
rememberallah, are you really going to resort to "the biggest problem with you".  A bald faced ad hominem attack verses addressing the point of debate is the way of the politicians. 
You should also consult something besides a dictionary if you wish to understand agnosticism.  There are volumes of information available on this subject.  Let me briefly expand your somewhat limited "knowledge".  Agnosticism is more about "knowledge" of the existence of a god.  It does not deny the possibility of the existence of a god.  It merely states that it is impossible to prove it.
You said in your previous post "there is not a single atom or the minutest indivisible particle in the world that does not prove the EXISTENCE OF ALLAH".  I have some news for you and it may come as a shock.  Your statement does not follow the rules of logic and, since proof follows the rules of logic, your statement doesn't constitute proof of anything.  Your statement is a statement of belief which is a statement of your religious convictions only.  To date in recorded history nobody has successfully proved the existence of god and you certainly aren't going to do it in one line on a post in a religion discussion forum.  On the day someone does successfully prove the existence of god, I will no longer be an agnostic.     
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