Former expatriate wins Sheikh Hamad translation award

  • 8 months   ago
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From left: V Abdul Kabeer, K T Hussain, Dr Shamnad and Shaikh Muhammad Karakkunnu with the awards.

A former Indian expatriate, who spent almost two decades in Qatar, has won the prestigious Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding for his work from Arabic into the Malayalam language. V Abdul Kabeer, a journalist, writer and translator from the southern Indian state of Kerala, shared the award in the Malayalam category, with Shaikh Muhammad Karakkunnu, a popular Islamic scholar, writer and orator and Dr Shamnad, an Arabic professor.

The awards were presented on Sunday by H E Sheikh Thani bin Hamad Al Thani, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Abdul Kabeer, who worked in Qatar Police Communication Department as a translator from 1987 until 2006, was awarded for his comprehensive work in the field of Arabic-Malayalam literature. He has penned over 15 books, half of which were translations from Arabic that included the works of Dr Yousuf Al Qardawi, Ahmad Bahjath, Rached Ghannouchi and others.

Abdul Kabeer is currently the chief editor of Islamic Publishing House (IPH), which also won the award for publishing an array of translation works from Arabic into Malayalam.

IPH, the largest Islamic publishers in southern India, was felicitated for its role in bringing more than 60 Arabic titles into Malayalam that included the works of Imam Ghazali, Ibnu Thaimia, Hasanul Banna, Muhammad Al Ghazali, Sayyid Quthub, Muhammad Quthub, Dr Yousuf Al Qardawi, Thariq Suwaidan and Rached Ghannouchi. Assistant Director of the IPH, K T Hussain, received the award.

Shaikh Muhammad Karakkunnu, the director of Dialogue Centre, Kerala, has written more than 80 books in Malayalam of which 14 were translated from Arabic. He is also a scholar of Islam and comparative religions. 
“ I consider this award as a recognition for the longstanding relations between Arab countries and Kerala. Also, I feel that the Malayalam language has been honoured,” said Karakkunnu.

Dr Shamnad rendered seven novels and one poetry into Malayalam from Arabic. He is the head of the Arabic Department at the University College, Trivandrum.  


This is the first time Malayalam, spoken by the largest expatriate community in Qatar, has been selected as one of the languages of the Achievement Award for this year after Urdu was chosen in a previous season of the award among Indian languages. 

For promoting this prestigious award, a team of Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding, led by Dr Hanan Fayadh and Dr Imtenan Smadi had visited Kerala in April.

Besides Malayalam, Bahasa Indonesia, Portuguese, Somali and Uzbek were added this year for the awards. The books translated from Arabic to these languages and vice-versa were considered for the prizes.