| The book “Jewish Subjects and their Tribal Chieftains in Kurdistan: A Study in Survival,” Brill (2007), by Mordechai Zaken, was recently translated into Arabic by the Center for Academic Research in Beirut (2013). The book deals with Jewish-Muslim (Kurds) and Assyrian (Christians) relations in tribal Kurdish society in Kurdistan during the 19th and 20th centuries.
In this context, two major points should be noted:
1. Only about 1670 books are translated annually into Arabic across the Arab world. This data is based on UN statistics from 2006 through 2008.
2. Only rarely Arab institutes or academic centers take the initiative of translating studies by Jewish and Israeli scholars.
Perhaps the motives behind the translation of the study could be perceived from both introductions of the translator and the head of the Center for Academic Research:
The translator into Arabic Dr. Suad M. Khader explains:
“This book is considered an important contribution to both the Kurdish and the Arabic library…the translation of this kind of book is considered an important necessity… the author introduced an important picture of this era of Kurdistan.”
Dr. Nasir al-Ka’bi, Director of the Center for Academic Research in Beirut:
“The major innovation of this study is the use of the verbal narrative (oral history) as it was clear that the other traditional and archival sources were not sufficient…”
This study is distinct from other studies of the Jews of the orient, as it concentrates on the nature of the relations of the Jews with their vicinities, namely the aghas and the masters; their relations with the authorities, the rulers and the leaders of the towns, which permits the political dimension, and their relations with the Muslims, including the religious dimension…