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World Arabic Translators Association - English Overview
Thread poster: Amer al-Azem
Amer al-Azem
Local time: 14:37
English to Arabic
+ ...
May 18, 2003



Arabic civilization has been marked through its history by universality and openness. By the means of its language and by translation, it has learned from Greeks, Persians, Copts, Latins and Hindis and it has taught to Europeans and Occidentals from the Middle Age till nowadays. Through these exchanges, it has significantly enriched the common human heritage in Philosophy, History and Sociology, Literature, Music, Medicine and Optics, Chemises and Physics, Architecture, Engineering and Mechanics, Mathematics, Astronomy as well as Administration and State Affairs.

In the history of the evolution of human thought, we note the translation of major works from Greek to Arabic in Syria, from Persian and Hindi to Arabic in Iraq, from Copt in Egypt, from Latin in North Africa and Andalusia. Those translations allowed the birth of the critical thought and the creation of evermore-evolved works that have been at their turn translated from Arabic to Latin and other European languages from the Renaissance Period on. These Arab productions brought a fundamental contribution to the birth of the scientific and rational thought in the world. In the eve of the 20th Century a renewal of interest for translations developed in Arab Countries, starting under Mohammed Ali in Egypt and continuing through private and government institutions till nowadays.

Birth of an idea and creation of WATA:

Aware of this rich heritage, a group of good willing translators, linguists and researchers created an association aimed at gathering the Arabic translators and linguists worldwide. The general philosophy of the association is to bring a stone to the common human heritage and to spread knowledge in Arabic.

Thousand of translators were contacted throughout the world via the translators and interpreters communities and were asked to express their opinions in the subject. The sum of their inputs, analysis and critics were used as the basis to build this universal house of Arabic translation, called after a public international poll: WATA for World Arabic Translators Association.

A team of qualified translators and linguists were gathered under the coordination of Amer Al Azem, the ideator. Al Azem realized from the beginning the absence of such an association in the Arab world and furthermore the lack of significant glossaries from and into Arabic, frequently requested by professional translators for their everyday works.

The ideas and the main lines were launched in translators and linguists’ communities on the Internet. Thousands of enthusiastic replies and inputs came altogether from engaged and professional Translators, Interpreters, Linguists, Researchers, Academicians, Writers and Journalists as well as from some International Cultural Organizations. The sums of those ideas and suggestions were used as a platform to build the World Arabic Translators Association.

Two main targets were clearly defined:

1/ The creation of a large, quality oriented English-Arabic glossary.

2/ The creation of the World Arabic Translators Association.

3/ The creation of a Publishing House specialized in Translated works

4/ The creation of an International Translation Academy, oriented to excellence.

Mission and goals:

Analytically the detailed objectives came out as follows:

· Spreading the use of Arabic language and introducing Arabic culture and civilization worldwide

· Encouraging the academic studies and researches with (or without) other Institutions related to Arabic language, linguistics and translation/interpretation fields.

· Compiling referential glossaries from and into Arabic, in general or specialized fields.

· Providing jobs, work tools as well as consulting to Translators, Interpreters and linguists.

· Creating a Translators/Interpreters as well as Agencies database to be used and spread worldwide.

· Acting to protect and tutor the profession of Translator/Interpreter according to International Translators Charts.

· Ruling periodical accreditation and certification sessions & exams in the Arabic Countries.

· Organizing International scientific and technical meetings and congresses to exchange know-how and to promote the profession, its standards and its criteria.

· Translating significant references, masterpieces and other works and promote that through International Annual Awards ruled by recognized Academicians.

· Launching of one or more websites designed to be the Arabic linguists community workshop.

· Open offices for the association in different Arab countries.

· Signing partnership contracts with peer Official and non-Official Organizations, as well as concerned institutions and companies as: publishers, translators’ communities, philanthropic and/or cultural associations and others.

· Creating an international web based school specialized in teaching Arabic to non-Arabs.

·Founding a Publishing house specialized in Translated works from/To Arabic

· Creating an International Arabic translation studies Academy to teach translation/interpretation from and into Arabic.

The Committees:

The working cells of the association are the different Committees, organized momentarily as follows:

THE CONSULTING COMMITTEE (CC): is in a certain way the reactor engine of WATA. It outlines the major goals and targets, coordinates the various Committees and monitors the projects in the reality. It’s divided into three main sectors: Consulting, Marketing and Development.

Its members have very long experience in the Management and Consulting fields, Fluent in the languages: Arabic, English, French and Spanish, they have the pragmatic skills and aptitudes to understand all the organisational and business matters as well as the scientific and academic works, they have an acute psychological flair and a relevant CV in people and events management as to assess the understanding of the different members of WATA and to have always present in their policies the success and fulfilment of its targets and goals.

All the Committees consult it. The CC is a kind of Warranty System that the decisions are not taken on an individual scale, but that consulting, brainstorming, discussing, analysing, criticising and concluding are normal proceedings in WATA.

The CC launches internal and external consulting to collect data, opinions, suggestions and analysis concerning extension of projects and creating new ones.

It presents reports to all the committees concerning the new projects and evaluates their reactions and opinions before effective realisation.

Among its drafts: the chart of WATA, the constitution and effective realisation, the founding meeting, the WATA Academy, the financing of the association, the publication of the Encyclopaedic dictionary

The CC could study the case of creating an under committee for Marketing. This issue being important, it should probably have a team dedicated to follow and develop this side.

THE PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE (PRC): will be in charge of the first contacts, the forward, the development and the assessment of WATA relations with all external public relations: Institutions, Organisations, Governments and Representatives, Academies, Major Sponsors and Mass Media. Creating a Portfolio of PR, this Committee will forward the contacts to the other Committees that will at their turn and according to their tasks follow, bring to birth and make the projects concrete until their finalisation. All the other Committees will support the PRC with suggestions, contacts and recommendations.

This Committee is somehow the Public Image of WATA. The skills required are of course intended for the team and not single persons.

Therefore some of those skills would be:

Excellent presentation and diplomatic flair,

Languages proficiency in Arabic, English, French and if possible Spanish (The 4 major languages), and/or German, Italian, Russian or Japanese.

Organisational aptitudes, to be able to manage agendas, schedules and to understand perfectly their proceedings.

Ability to sell ideas and to present WATA in the best possible view to mass medias and deciders, to understand the goals of the association and to explain them with clarity and dignity. Realise that this Committee speaks on behalf of very authoritative figures (Seniors, Thinkers, Writers, Translators and Interpreters.) and represent them publicly in a honourable and dignifying and clear style.

Results oriented, is to put targets and goals and to work bearing them in mind, no question to surf without addresses.

SCIENTIFIC & ACADEMIC COMMITTEE (SAC): Since WATA is not a simple professional association, but an International Arab Organisation aiming at developing knowledge and research and achieving scientific excellence in the field of linguistics and translation from/to and around the Arabic language, this Committee is very clearly basic in its Design. Diffusing the Arab culture on an international scale is one of the reasons of the Creation of the WATA International Award. This Committee will put the rules and regulations, will constitute an Internationally, multiracial and multi-representative Jury that will understand the aims of this Award and design its structure and proceedings.

The members of the SC are excellent, internationally acknowledged Academic and Scientific Figures. Ideally, it will be one of its target to have a Nobel figure in its staff, even as a honorific figure only if not possible concretely active. The SC has input from the PRC and the OC and refers its projects and targets to the CC.

GLOSSARIES COMMITTEE (GOC): mainly dedicated to the huge work of compiling Glossaries. Its actual workshop is concentrated on the Encyclopaedic English-Arabic Dictionary. It puts general proceedings for the compilation of the Glossaries. Its tasks are very sensitive to the Association in regard to the importance of the Encyclopaedic Dictionary, considered as one of the major issues of WATA. Receiving the lists, communicating them to Translators, compiling them according to modern methods, organising the editing and the proofreading, looking for publishers and building the financial plan before publishing are among the works of the Head of the Glossaries Committee.

TECHNICAL AND INTERNET RESEARCH COMMITTEE (TIRC): In a world where technology and IT are essential to work and progress, the TC has important tasks and is due to use the best technologies available to let WATA up to date in its image and its proceedings. Fully responsible of the technical aspects of the Main WATA website, the TC provides the Webmaster and the necessary technology to expected heavy traffic. In its design of the website, the TC may start with a simple configuration, technically ready to be expanded and enlarged to suit very heavy traffic and large databases. The Webmaster would rely on team of Moderators and other selected and qualified staff that would help him in the general management of the site and its traffic. The image of the site being very important, the Webmaster would focus also on the aesthetic side, avoiding the use of the current overused fonts like Times New Roman, ideally the fonts should remain permanent and will be used also for the ordinary mail of WATA, as an integrated image.

The TC would start its studies and consulting for the edition of the encyclopaedic dictionary, the CD ROMs, and the different publications of WATA. The CC could give input concerning International Bids on Arab and International newspapers and other medias.

Among the skills required is of course a good proficiency in languages: Arabic, English, French and Spanish, an excellent technical background in IT, DTP and paper support publishing.

LEGAL AND ORGANISATIONAL COMMITTEE (LOC): The working hands and brains of WATA. Its tasks vary from organising the Internal everyday work to monitoring congresses and special events. It’s a team of highly qualified executives, with a long experience in organising important events: from hotel and conference rooms bookings to scheduling the meetings to archiving databases, the results of the work of the OC are visible in all WATA committees and events. Among the skills required is the knowledge of the incentives world; the use of computers and software and the ability to schedule scientifically an event and to monitor it till the end. It needs special agreements with hotels, air travel companies, car rentals and different service providers in travel and tourism world to compress the expenses and provide reliable services. It receives input from the CC and the General Coordinator.

But comprising also experts in International laws and business and copyrights law, this committee is vital for the same management of WATA. It needs an important database of the Laws prevailing in the different Arab Countries where we may have activities, to be on line with the legal requirements. It will provide the input for the CC and the TC concerning the common laws and disclosures of our activities as an International organisation. Very important in the stage of the establishment, its team has at least a lawyer who will take care and be responsible for the output of the legal matters of WATA. It should study the legal status of other similar international cultural organisations and provide information to the CC and the General Coordinator.

FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC COMMITTEE (FEC): It will manage with transparency and according to international rules, laws and procedures the funds of WATA in the best possible way. Choice of currencies, banks, relations with donors and sponsors, expenses will be conducted in state of the art style. The sponsors and donors could easily see for example how their donations are managed. It will prepare its basic Financial Plan and suggest the Extension Plans possible if entries are more consistent. It reports to the CC and the General Coordinator.

Business Plan:

The Association has to find out its financial independence. Its financing may be studied according to two different policies:

1. It can clearly be sponsored by donors, cultural organizations and philanthropic associations, and financed by the different memberships fees and applications it cashes. (Website, Arabic language Academy, Translation/Interpretation Academy, Glossaries publishing and copyrights..)

2. It may be structured to produce cash flows and to generate revenues in a policy that will bring it to an independent financial status. Donations are still welcome because they will constitute the necessary starting fund for the preliminary investments. Another possibility is to look in venture capitals a possible financing, since we can show clearly that the association may be a viable business, through its different activities (Website, Arabic language Academy, Translation/Interpretation Academy, Glossaries publishing and copyrights..).

According to the first or the second choice, to be decided by the Committees and the General Coordinator, the CC will present the development and the business study of the first or the second option.

1- Abdel Oudood El Omrani - Head of Consulting Committee - Tunisia

2- Bilal Abdul Kader - Coordinator of Technical Committee- Lebanon

3- Walaa\' El Gharbawi -Coordinator of Glossaries Committee - Egypt

4- Asmaa\' Harb -Head of Site Project- Jordan

5- Dr. Hussein Nabri - Coordinator of Internet Research Committee - France

6- Maha Abadleh - Representative of WATA in Canada- Canada

7- Sawsan Barghouti - Press Coordinator - Saudi Arabia

8 – Amina Abed Bye – Legal Coordinator – France

9- Thorayya Nafee - Assistant of GC - Qatar

10- Amer Al Azem - General Coordinator- Qatar

[ This Message was edited byn2003-05-18 22:44]

[Edited at 2003-05-20 05:29]

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