Ali Al Suleiman, the Syr­ian trans­la­tor be­hind Turkish soap op­eras con­quer­ing the Arab world

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Cul­ture & Arts -

IT is no se­cret that Turkish TV se­ries and movies are gain­ing trac­tion around the world, and Arab coun­tries, in par­tic­u­lar, seem to be in­fat­u­ated with his­tor­i­cal dra­mas. From “Pay­i­taht: Ab­dul­hamid” to “Res­ur­rec­tion: Er­tuğrul,” a new Turkish se­ries is added to Arab view­ers’ ros­ter of se­lec­tion al­most ev­ery day. How­ever, among all the ef­forts to get an Arab au­di­ence ac­quainted with the world of Turkish soaps shines a par­tic­u­lar name who helps foreign view­ers over­come the obvious lan­guage bar­rier. Meet Ali Al Suleiman, an Is­tan­bul-born Syr­ian trans­la­tor bring­ing the best of Turkish-Is­lamic and Ot­toman se­ries to Arab homes.

Suleiman, who cur­rently works as a jour­nal­ist and trans­la­tor at the Turkish Em­bassy in Le­banon, has trans­lated sub­ti­tles and dubbed scripts for sev­eral se­ries for many chan­nels, es­pe­cially na­tional pub­lic broad­caster TRT, from Turkish into Ara­bic. He also writes col­umns for sev­eral news­pa­pers and news web­sites in­clud­ing Yeni Akit and Al Jazeera.

Thanks to his work in the sub­ti­tling sec­tor, the Turkish-Syr­ian trans­la­tor has racked up quite a fol­low­ing, with 300,000 fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram and an im­pres­sive 400,000 likes on his gen­eral Face­book page, in ad­di­tion to loyal fans on other so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

Born in Is­tan­bul on Jan. 1, 1996, Suleiman is ac­tu­ally of Syr­ian ori­gin and spent his child­hood there. Af­ter com­plet­ing his pri­mary and sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion in Da­m­as­cus be­tween the years 2003 and 2013 and re­ceiv­ing a Gen­eral Ed­u­ca­tion Cer­tifi­cate (GEC), he went on to study Ara­bic Lit­er­a­ture at Da­m­as­cus Univer­sity un­til 2017. He later came to Turkey to study and grad­u­ated from Is­tan­bul Univer­sity’s Turkish Lit­er­a­ture Depart­ment in 2019.

Turkish soaps and dra­mas have achieved re­mark­able suc­cess over the past 10 years in 142 coun­tries, with an ex­port vol­ume of about $350 mil­lion (TL 2.4 bil­lion). This makes Turkey only sec­ond Turkey to the U.S. in terms of ex­ports in the field. Turkish TV se­ries have been praised by many for re­flect­ing the beauty of the coun­try, from his­tor­i­cal hot spots and art­work to de­light­ful nat­u­ral land­scapes, with direc­tors earn­ing ac­co­lades for cre­at­ing an al­lur­ing im­pact on spec­ta­tors world­wide.

The most pop­u­lar Turkish TV se­ries in terms of the num­ber of view­ers is “Res­ur­rec­tion: Er­tuğrul,” which is aired in more than 100 coun­tries and fol­lowed by more than 1 bil­lion view­ers. It has also been trans­lated into more than 25 lan­guages, in­clud­ing English, Urdu and, of course, Ara­bic. The se­ries also broke the world record of most new sub­scribers in a month on YouTube.

Syr­ian-Turkish trans­la­tor Ali Al Suleiman.

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