Views of the world differ but the Prayers Stay the Same
An appearance by Tuna Kiremitçi, one of the bestselling authors in Turkey, was a highlight of day two of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
He was at the Al Multaqa Literary Salon on Thursday to discuss his 2007 novel Prayers Stay the Same, which was recently translated into Arabic.
Kiremtci said the translation was as exciting to him as the publication of the book a decade ago.
“Arabic is one of the most beautiful languages and to see my work translated means a lot to me,” he said. “Also, it gave me an opportunity to go back and learn about the language and One of the points of the book is to show some of the wisdom that comes from experience Tuna Kiremitçi writer the great Arab civilisation. Two people have taught me this: my Arabic publisher and my Algerian ex-girlfriend.”
The novel revolves around an extended conversation between an older Jewish woman, who was a refugee in Istanbul during the Second World War, and a young Turkish Muslim girl growing up in a turbulent household.
Kiremitçi explained that the generation gap is at the heart of the novel.
“It’s about the different ways we can look at the world,” he said. “One of the points of the book is to show some of the wisdom that comes from experience. The Jewish lady has a lot experience, while the Turkish girl is at war with herself.
“The story I want to tell is about conflict, and then place it in context of history.”
Thursday also marked the signing of an agreement to establish the first joint UAE- China publishing house, a collaboration between Emirati researcher Fatima Hamad Al Mazrouei and China InterContinental Press.
China is the guest of honour nation at this year’s book fair.
“This project was always present in our thinking,” said Mazrouei. “Today it has been translated into reality to realise the ambitions of both parties in spreading cooperation and communication between our two countries.”
Turkish writer Tuna Kiremitçi speaks at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair on Thursday.