Abu Dhabi translated novel warmly welcomed by UAE sixth-grade curriculum
The Ministry of Education has announced that Lippels Traum, a release by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s(DCT Abu Dhabi) Kalima Translation Project, has been added to the sixth-grade curriculum in government and private schools in the United Arab Emirates.
The announcement supports DCT Abu Dhabi’s vision to promote and enrich the creative and intellectual lives of the Abu Dhabi community, and students in particular, by enabling exploration of different cultures from around the world. This exposure to fine international and Arabic literature aims to create a generation of analytical readers who will take this skill into their role as the future leaders of tomorrow.
Abdullah Majed Al Ali, Executive Director of the Dar Al Kutub sector at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “The Kalima Translation Project is a bridge that connects us to other cultures, a driving force that allows exploration of the achievements of societies from around the world while boosting our cognitive processes. We are proud to see one of Kalima’s releases becoming a part of the school curriculum in the UAE, particularly as this supports our vision and efforts to promote a culture of reading in the country. These efforts are especially geared toward our children and young adults, as we seek to create open-minded and informed future generations that are familiar with cultures other than our own.”
Al Ali added: “Books and novels are a unique tool to help broaden the intellectual horizons of students. They support understanding and respect, playing an essential role in the development of a reader’s personality by helping them learn more about life, the world, and one’s self. They also help establish a sense of compassion among children towards their fellow students, and the wider community in general.”
Lippels Traum is an important piece of German literature by celebrated author Paul Maar (b. 1937). Maar’s portfolio comprises a number of award-winning novels, plays and stories, some of which have been adapted for the big screen as films. Lippels Traum was translated into Arabic by Dr. Khalil Al Shaikh, a Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at Jordan’s Yarmouk University, who holds a doctorate in comparative critical studies from Bonn University, Germany.
The story of Lippels Traum unfolds in a series of events that combine East and West, dreams and reality. Providing a fresh take on the One Thousand and One Nights collection of Middle Eastern folk tales, the novel revolves around the astonishing story of a boy named Phillip whose parents call him ‘Lippel’, which causes him a number of problems.
Lippel’s parents decide to travel to Vienna, leaving him with his nanny, and give him the One Thousand and One Nights book to read. Just as he begins to enjoy the book, the nanny confiscates it, so Lippel asks his elderly neighbor for advice. She tells him to continue by using his imagination.
Lippel manages to finish ‘reading’ the tale by dreaming it, but he gets in trouble with the ill-tempered nanny, who inspires the image of the evil woman in his mind. He escapes to find refuge with the elderly neighbour, who replaces the nanny after getting the approval of Lippel’s parents. Young Lippel’s happiness is overshadowed by deep sorrow when he finishes reading the book, as he discovers that the tale is completely different to what he dreamt of. When his parents arrive back from Vienna, Lippel’s mother attempts to complete the tale as dreamt by her son, enabling a happy ending after all.