1– Georgia is a small country and because of its objective characteristics it cannot be the leader in various global processes, therefore the scholars’ interest always lies within the context- medievalists, for example, study Georgia based on its cultural contribution to the medieval culture and cultural transfer contexts (and in terms of this Georgian material is really very rich); For linguists the Kartvelian languages are interesting in the context of linguistic theories, because despite the centuries-old history and ancient Georgian alphabet of the Georgian script, one of the oldest 14 alphabets in the world, the genetic linkage of these Kartvelian languages and the issue of them belonging to one of the other largest languages is not yet established. Modern political scientists and Sovietologists, for example, are interested in Georgia in the context of the development of a democratic model in the post-Soviet space based on the social-political developments and regional challenges, that have been observed over the last 30 years in such a small country. Georgians are their home, language and culture-ridden people, and they do not have a large wave of migration either in Europe or in the United States, in contrast to, e.g., its neighbouring countries, like Armenia. Respectively, there are not many people outside the country who are not interested in Georgia because of something large and global it may represent, but just because of the love towards the country. The author of this collection of short stories: “Love does not need translation” (1) is one of those few people who love the country, and I am very happy that I have found her.
2– Life is always full of surprises and these unexpected surprises always make it beautiful. I first saw Doctor Fatiha Taib in 2009 at the International Scientific Conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Cairo University and our friendly and collegial relationship started then. Maybe our meeting in Cairo was very symbolic, and here I recall the words of a very well-known Arab literary critic – Taha Vadi about Arabic novel from his monologue that Egypt is “the furnace” of experience and choice due to its cultural openness and the easy penetration of the world civilizations.
Naturally, I did not think that our paths would cross so many times – first I would go to Morocco, at Ibn Tofail University, in Kénitra and at Mohammed V University, at the conference – “The Sixth Alexander von Humboldt & Ibn Batouta International Conference” held at Souissi- Rabat Non Fiction Travel Literature to and from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas”, and later my dear Moroccan colleague and a friend, Doctor. Fatiha Taib would come to Tbilisi in 2012 within the framework of the project implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, which meant inviting the professors from the leading universities to Tbilisi State University and integrating them into the lectures. Back then, I had no idea that one day my students would get the amazing opportunity to attend my friend’s lecture about the Moroccan literature course.
Dr Fatiha Taib’s love for Georgia starts from visiting Tbilisi that followed her back to Morocco and made her write this book. I would compare her love for Georgia to that of Marjory Wardrop’s, who was the sister of Oliver Wardrop, the high-rank representative of the United Kingdom before the Soviet Occupation of Georgia in 1919-21. The expression of the great love of Marjory was to translate Georgian folk tales, as well as Shota Rustaveli’s poem “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” into English, which the sister and brother Wardrops published and laid the foundation to the Georgian scientific studies at Oxford university. This parallel was not made just because Shota Rustaveli’s poem “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” also became the scholarly interest of Fatiha Taib, but because of the fact that in both cases the selfless academic interest towards Georgia is based on the love sparked after visiting the country- that kind of love that makes people perform great and noble deeds.
3– Title of one of the texts in this collection based on the stories from Tbilisi – “Love Does Not Need Translation”, perfectly expresses the idea of this whole book, whereas this small text speaks to the author’s literary tastes and creative skills (by the way, I translated the text into Georgian and is already available for Georgian readers (2) ).
In the same book, there are Arabic translations of two Georgian writers, a sample of poetic prose by Niko Lortkipanidze (1880-1944) – a miniature “Expectation” and a passage from the novel of Nodar Dumbadze (1928-1984) – “The Law of Eternity”. Judging by the literary taste of Fatiha Taib, I was not surprised that she chose to translate Niko Lortkipanidze’s poetic prose, as Niko Lortkipanidze’s prose is filled with deep lyric, which is the case of the author of the book too. As for Nodar Dumbadze, he holds a truly remarkable place among the most famous Georgian writers of the 60s of the twentieth century. It can be said that his works are most widely translated amongst Georgian Soviet writers in many languages of the world (including not only in Russian and languages of post-Soviet Eastern European, but also in the major western and eastern languages, such as English, German, French, Spanish, Turkish, Japanese and, surprisingly, even into Arabic). Dumbadze has a unique style of writing, although his stories are mostly about the poor life of the villages of one of the western regions of Georgia – Guria during the years of World War II, the novel “The Law of Eternity” refers to the heavy heritage of the Soviet repressions; the great love and sense of humour makes the writer unforgettable for the reader. Love for the writer is such energy, which adds strength when in the ordeal, and helps people to escape the most challenging moments of life, humour and sharp-wittedness is, for him, a tool for writing about the hardest topics, for instance, about the fight against evil and injustice.
I would like to wish this book – which is the first creative exchange between Moroccan professors and writers and Georgian literature and culture- an easy and smooth way to the hearts of Arab readers.
1- Collection: “Love does not need Translation” by Fatiha Taib. Dar Al-Amane, Rabat, Morocco, 2018.
2- A short story“Love does not need Translation” by Fatiha Taib with the foreword “Moroccan writer and researcher fallen in love with Georgia”, translated into Georgian and introduced with the foreword of Darejan Gardavadze. Literary magazine “Sail (Afra)” # 19, Caucasian House Publishing, Tbilisi, 2013, pp.94-96