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Nancy Roberts is an award-winning translator of a number of contemporary Arab novelists into English including Ghada Samman, Ibrahim Nasrallah, Laila Aljohani and Ahlem Mosteghanemi
In 2018 she was won joint first prize for Arabic to English translation in the Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding for her translation of Ibrahim Nasrallah's Gaza Weddings.
She is the translator of Egyptian author Salwa Bakr's The Man from Bashmour that was commended for the 2008 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.
She has translated a number of fiction works by Egyptian authors, including The Mirage by Naguib Mahfouz (AUC Press), Mohamed el-Bisatie's Over the Bridge (AUC Press, 2006) and Hala El-Badry's Muntaha (AUC Press, 2006). She has also translated four novels by Syrian author Ghada Samman, Farewell, Damascus, The Night of the First Billion, Beirut Nightmares and Beirut ’75, the latter winning the University of Arkansas Arabic Translation Award for best manuscript.
Other translations include House of el-Deeb by Ezzat el Kamhawi, Days of Ignorance by Laila Aljohani, Chaos of the Senses by Ahlem Mosteghanemi and three novels by Ibrahim Nasrallah – Gaza Weddings, The Lanterns of the King of Galilee and Time of White Horses, all published by Hoopoe Fiction (AUC Press). The Arabic original of Time of White Horses was shortlisted for the 2009 International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
Her most recent translation are The Night Must Have Its Say by Ibrahim Al-Koni (Hoopoe Fiction, 2022) andThings I Left Behind by Shada Mustafa (Banipal Books, 2022), whose Arabic original was shortlisted for the 2021 Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the Children's Literature category. is The Slave Yards by Najwa Bin Shatwan, Syracuse University Press, 2020, with its original Arabic shortlisted for the 2017 IPAF.
Over a number of years, Nancy Roberts has worked in the areas of ancient and modern Arabic literature, health care, law, current events, Christian-Muslim relations, Islamic law and Islamic thought and history. In 2018 she became a Banipal Contributing Editor.