The Translation of Ameen Rihani's Book of Repentance into English in the United States
The English translation of The Book of Repentance for Ameen Rihani was published in New York. The translation was completed by Professor George Nicolas Al-Hajj, reviewed by Mary Ann Al-Hajj, and published in an elegant 214-page edition. The book includes the introduction of the translator and a brief biography of Rihani. It is produced by the Create Space Independent Publishing Platform.
The book contains four short stories about social and political injustice, and the need to resist evil in all its forms and levels. The titles are: Sharif Effendi, Nebuchadnezzar, the Crown of Shame, and the Fate and Destiny. The play is entitled: Abdel Ḥamid in the Prison of Astana.
Amazon International quoted a full section from the introduction of the translator, which states that this book brilliantly depicts the various cases of late repentance, repentance which, if delayed, rarely works for its owners or for others. Surrender to the forces of evil is not an option of the "superior man" spoken by Rihani, the Philosopher of Freike, in his major works, specifically in Ar-Riḥaniyyaat and in The Book of Khaled.
This literary collection represents an intellectual document that symbolizes the meaning of the existential conflict, both ancient and modern, during the 20th century. The value of this book is literary and intellectual. The translator sees it as an advanced step to the Arab case that confronts the issue of freedom as a vital human gift, both at the individual and collective levels.
It should be noted that this translation of Professor Al-Ḥajj is the sixth translation of various works of Rihani transmitted by Al-Ḥajj from Arabic to English. Al-Ḥajj is an ex-professor of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia University and now a professor of modern Arabic literature at a number of US universities.