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to the first edition

Before examining the more remote past of Romanian studies dedicated to the Arabic language, literature and culture, we thought proper to cast a short glance upon their situation in the recent past, i.e. the last quarter of a century. The date chosen as a starting point is not incidental: it coincides with the self-assertion of the first series of graduates from the Arabic Language and Literature Section of the Department of Oriental Languages belonging to the University of Bucharest.

In Romania, the systematical study of the Arabic language and literature was initiated in 1957, although the Arabic language had been taught and learned sporadically in our country, at different times, in certain high-schools having a special destination (for instance, at the Muslim Theological Seminar). It is only natural, therefore, that the study of the Arabic language and culture should develop more extensively only from then on, with the first generation of graduates which started being active in the Romanian scientific and cultural life.

In short, we may say that it is possible to speak of a translation activity directly from Arabic and a research activity in the field of Arabic language and literature in Romania beginning with the ‘60-‘70 of this century, though attempts worthy of mentioning were made as early as the XIXth century, and first of all those of Timotei Cipariu (1805-1887), a great philologist, with a good mastery of the Arabic language. However, the great number of the publications mentioned in this bibliography reflects much more than the endeavors of the graduates from the Arabic Language and Literature Section in the University of Bucharest. It reflects the special interest paid to the Arabic cultural area, to the Islamic world, by the researchers, writers, newspapermen in Romania, as well as the interest of a wide range of readers, which led most of the translations and works dedicated to this area to become out of print in a short delay.

The bibliography elaborated by Ioana Feodorov, herself a sonorous name within the new generation of Romanian Arabists, intends to be a foundation stone for the Center for Arab Studies at the University of Bucharest, a new stimulus to the promotion of a better mutual understanding between the Romanians and the Arabs, of friendship between them.

University of Bucharest 
Director of the Center for Arab Studies

to the second edition

The first edition of this bibliography, Presence of the Arab World in Romania. A Bibliography. 1964-1994, was welcomed by all those interested in the cultural relations between Romanians and Arabs: specialists in Arab studies, historians, researchers, diplomats, students, readers of Arabic literature etc. The bibliography drew the attention of specialists who mentioned it in their writings, in Romania and abroad, being also reviewed in IBLA (Tunis) no.175/1995 and “Al-Machriq” (Beyrouth) 69(1995). Considering the limited edition of this work, a second edition was felt necessary, with the extension of the previously surveyed period.

My main purpose when embarking on this project was to give a clear picture of the contribution of the Romanians to a better knowledge and understanding of the Arab civilization. Therefore, this bibliography registers the contributions of Romanian authors to Arab studies through original books and articles, translations and reviews of foreign publications, and translations of texts written by Arab authors. As a foreseen consequence, the bibliography also reflects the information about the Arabs and their culture that has been made available to the Romanian public through written texts during the last forty-five years.

The references to be found in this bibliography were mostly collected from periodicals and volumes published in Romania between 1957 and the present day. The starting point corresponds to the moment when the Arabic Department of the University of Bucharest was established. I felt proper to also register the writings of Romanian specialists printed outside the country (whenever available to me), as these too are Romanian contributions to the field of Arab studies. A number of German and Hungarian translations and articles published in Romania are to be found also.

This work also benefited from the information registered in the following bibliographies: Mircea Anghelescu and Ilie Bădicuţ, in “Romano-Arabica”, 1974, I; Ilie Bădicuţ, in “Romano-Arabica”, 1976, II; Romanian Studies in Arabic Linguistics. 1968-1993. A Bibliography, in “Revue Roumaine de Linguistique”, 38(1993), no.5; Bibliografia articolelor din publicaţii periodice şi seriale din R.S.R. (1954-1988); Cultura în România. Referinţe bibliografice şi documentare din periodice româneşti, Biblioteca Naţională (1992-2000).

I did not register world encyclopaedias and general dictionaries that also refer to the Arabs and the Arab countries. They are an obvious target for anyone interested in this subject.

The technicalities of this bibliography are the usual ones. However, some minor explanations need to be stated:

1)  As to the contents:

·        Part One registers original Romanian contributions, while Part Two refers to Romanian translations of texts written by Arab authors. The structure of the bibliography was determined by that of the surveyed material, which is very diverse, preventing me from following the classical bibliographical divisions.

·        The necessity for the new sub-division II arose from the large number of contributions that outline the cultural contacts and exchanges that ocurred between Romanians and Arabs over large spans of time. Recent diplomatic contacts and current politics are not within the scope of this bibliography, waiting for a more specialized survey.

·        Translations of the Koran, hadith and Life of Muhammad are to be found in Part Two, Ch.2.  

·        The CLASSICAL LITERATURE chapter includes Arab folklore and proverbs. The special sub-division on The Arabian Nights refers to the numerous partial or complete translations from this text, better known to the Romanian public as the Thousand and One Nights.

·        I registered the Modern Literature translations in Part Two, b), according to the country of origin of the Arab author, to facilitate a quick reference to the Arab reader’s own literary heritage.

·        Chapter 4 of TRANSLATIONS comprises translations of Arabic texts significant for the historical connections between the Romanian Christians and the Arab ones (in the XVIIth century).

·        In all chapters, sub-division A comprises studies, books etc., while B refers to Reviews. Whenever a reviewed book is registered as an item, all the reviews are attached to it.

·        To avoid repetition, I registered Forewords together with the relevant books. However, it should be noticed that some of them are important literary studies.

2)  As to the form:

·        The English translation of every title is given in square brackets [] after the original title, wherever necessary.

·        Useful details on the content of some writings are given within round brackets ().

·        Titles of periodicals are given between inverted comas “ “ so as to distinguish them from volumes.

·        Wherever the number of an issue was not available to me, I provided the date of the publication.

For obvious reasons, this bibliography is not complete and definitive. The subject being so vast, contributions around the country may prove to have escaped my efforts in registration. A third edition, besides covering a larger span of time, would probably be able to restore involuntary slips. 

I feel bound to express my gratitude towards all the persons who kindly helped and supported me in the elaboration of this bibliography, especially Prof. Mircea Anghelescu and the Arabic Language and Literature Department of the Bucharest University, i.e. Prof. Nadia Anghelescu, Prof. Nicolae Dobrişan, Prof. Ilie Bădicuţ, as well as Neonila Onofrei, Irina Mihai Vainovski and, at “Magazin istoric”, Dorin Matei and Florin Sora. I consulted a team of specialists from the National Library, i.e. Claudia Dumitran and Traian Finţescu, whose expertise and research helped me improve the final form of my work. I collected most of the information in this bibliography by working at the Library of the Romanian Academy, where the employees were of great assistance to me. I hereby express my deep gratitude to them.

Last but not least, I give credit to my son Tudor for competently assisting me in the extensive computer work involved.


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