Translation Contest

Arabic Translation Contest

Middle East Center Translation Contest 2021-2022: Arabic


Penn’s Middle East Center (MEC) is pleased to announce the opening of submissions for the 2021-2022 MEC Translation Contest and award for $500.  

The Middle East Center (MEC) Translation Contest for 2019-2020 is now accepting submissions. This year the contest will consider original translations of Arabic texts from the 20th and 21st centuries. Translations must be one full page of text. Submissions exceeding this length will not be judged. Use texts that currently do not have published English translations. Submissions will be judged on accuracy, style and grammar. 

Entries must be submitted to with the subject, “MEC Translation Contest: Arabic” 


NOTE: By submitting an entry, contestants agree that the translation is their original work.  Along with their translations, entrants should also truthfully indicate their level of Arabic (one year, two years, heritage speaker, native speaker, etc.). This competition is open to graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Pennsylvania.

Past Awards

  • 2021-2022: Arabic Translation - Rawad  Wehbe, "A Small Time under a Different Sun" by Huda Fakhreddine
  • 2020-2021: Turkish Translation - Huseyin Cakir, "İstanbul’da 1 Mayıs” by Nazim Hikmet.
  • 2019-2020: Hebrew Translation - Ben Notis, From "Shirim Aharonim" by Dan Pagis
  • 2018-2019: Persian Translation - Christian Petrillo, "The Marketplace" by Ahmad Reza Ahmadi.
  • 2017-2018: Arabic Translation- Loujeine Boutar, Excerpt from "The Art of Forgetting" originally written by Ahlan Mosteghanemi
  • 2016- 2017: Turkish Translation - Ida Nitter"On Reading," originally written by Orhan Pamuk with the title, "Okumak Üzerine."
  • 2015- 2016: Hebrew TranslationAriel Resnikoff, "Siftah," originally written by Avoth Yeshurun.
  • 2014- 2015: Persian Translation - Yasaman Givi, "Light, Myself, Flower, Water," originally written by Sohrab Sepehri with the title, "Roshani, Man, Gol, Ab."