New digital audio book series brings Arab literature to the masses

Launched at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, the series spans a wide range of topics and Arabic titles

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair announces digitisation of Arabic prose in a series of audiobooks. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has launched an audio book series featuring some of the most prominent works of Arabic prose and literature.

Called Oyoon Al Nathr Al Araby, which translates to 'Exploring Arab Prose', the new audio series will contain significant works of Arabic literature to be consumed in a digital format, making it easier for readers to navigate and absorb the literature.

The first phase of the project launched Friday at the book fair and contains 50 audio books. The second phase will include an additional 50 works. As well as giving people easier access to a wide range of Arabic titles, the project is also set to preserve Arab literacy.

Users will be able to choose from two editions of each work, selecting from a full edition or a summary.

Spanning an extensive historical period, the collection is geared towards both specialised readers and the general public. It covers a wide variety of topics, spanning important genres for Arab readers such as literature, history, language, poetry, travel and more.

Some of the most notable works included in the series are Tabakat Fohool Al Shoaraa by Al Jamhi, Ashaar Al Nesaa by Al Marzabny, Kitab al-Aghani (Book of Songs) by Al-Isfahani, Seher Al Balagha wa Serr Al Baraah by Al Thaalby, and Al Aakd Al Fared by Ibn Abd Raboh, and others.

Content is being issued by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre at the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). The aim of the initiative is to connect readers with Arab heritage and increase awareness of the literary treasures of the past.

Another element of the collection are several excerpts and abbreviations from valuable heritage books, which have been compiled and edited by Dr Khalil Al Sheikh and Ahmed Khureis.

During the Abu Dhabi International Book Festival The Arabic Language Centre has also announced it will be offering up to 300 grants to regional publishers to stimulate further production of Arabic audio books.