Israeli novelist Eli Amir's novel 'Jasmine' will soon be available to readers shopping in Egyptian bookstores. While many Hebrew-language novels are translated around the world, rarely does an Israeli author get to see his work translated into Arabic and published in an Arab country.
In the introduction to the Arabic version, translator Hussein al-Sarag, deputy editor-in-chief of 'October' magazine, wonders why only three Israeli novels have been published in Egypt so far.
Al-Sarag also quotes Eli Amir's statements from a literary conference in Cairo: "After the peace agreement with Egypt was signed, many Egyptian authors were translated into Hebrew. We, Israelis, do
not fear the spread of Arab culture in Israel. I wish the same would be true for you. How can there be peace without us knowing each other?"
'Jasmine,' which was released by Am Oved in 2005, is the love story of a Jewish immigrant from Iraq and Yasmin (Jasmine), a young Palestinian widow, in Jerusalem after the Six Day War.