“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” ― Samuel Johnson, The Life of Samuel Johnson LL.D. Vol 2

“Research is the highest form of adoration” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“No one can ever know in advance if a project is going to result in something useful. Results are often negative. We learn what something is not—and that is as important as a positive discovery to the man who is going to pick up from there. At least he knows what not to do.” ― Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon

“Only theory can turn a heap of facts into a tower of knowledge” ― Andreas Wagner, Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution’s Greatest Puzzle

“The educated person is one who knows how to find out what he does not know” ― Georg Simmel

“When I talk to anyone or read the writings of anyone who has any axe to grind, I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgement have simply disappeared from the face of the earth. Everyone’s thought is forensic, everyone is simply putting a “case” with deliberate suppression of his opponent’s point of view, and, what is more, with complete insensitiveness to any sufferings except those of himself and his friends.” ― George Orwell, Facing Unpleasant Facts: 1937-1939

“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don’t stand up to experimentation, Buddha’s own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

“The professor is not merely an information dispensing machine, but a skilled navigator of a complex landscape.” ― William Badke

“He who finds a new path is a pathfinder, even if the trail has to be found again by others; and he who walks far ahead of his contemporaries is a leader, even though centuries pass before he is recognized as such.” ― Ibn Khaldun

“Knowledge without action is wastefulness and action without knowledge is foolishness.” ― Al-Ghazali

“Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hate, and hate leads to violence. This is the equation.” ― Averroes

“The knowledge of anything, since all things have causes, is not acquired or complete unless it is known by its causes.” ― Avicenna

“There are no incurable diseases — only the lack of will. There are no worthless herbs — only the lack of knowledge.” ― Avicenna


  • Arch-Translation
  • Philosophy of Translation
  • Transdisciplinarity
  • Translating Islam
  • Meta-Translation Studies
  • Social Translation
  • Canadian Islam
  • Knowledge Translation

    Research Team

    Mohammad Alavi

    Mohammad Alavi

    PhD, Translation Studies, University of Ottawa

    Gaafar Sadek

    Gaafar Sadek

    PhD Candidate, University of Ottawa

    Research Projects

    • Arch-Translation


      Metatheorizing Translation

      Translation studies have recently undergone some profound developments that may lead the discipline to a radical restructuration. Over the last four decades, the concept of translation has been increasingly recognized in a growing number of fields of knowledge for its role in shaping the way reality is constructed.

      In 2016 I called for the acknowledgement of a metatheoretical space in translation studies to account for these developments keeping in mind that the mapping of the discipline is in continual progress. But these efforts need to go further and take stock of the scattered but nonetheless converging conceptualizations of translation in a more encompassing interdisciplinary framework. Hence the proposed research is aimed at explaining the focal concept that has come out of our metatheoretical reflection, i.e. the concept of “Arch-Translation”. What is it, what is its extent and how have we come to devise it?

    • Canadian Islam

      Canadian Islam

      The study of Islam in Canada

      Islam in Canada is the second religion demographically speaking (3% of the population). Despite the fact that the first Muslims to come to Canada started in the early 19th century, it is one of the most recent group of immigrants to join Canada in great numbers after the 1960s. Although well educated in general (over the Canadian average), in terms of their economic and social integration there are still some impediments they are faced with. One is the mainstream media representation of the international situation pertaining to the post-Cold War turmoils that have pitted the West to many parts of the Middle East. Another is corollary to the previous, which is the lack of confidence into the citizens originating from these regions and the linking of their beliefs and religious practices to marginal political ideologies.

      This stream of research aims first at describing the diversity of Muslims, their beliefs and practices, and second at investigating some of the litigious items of representation that prevent Muslimson the one hand  from engaging into representational and social change in general and on the other hand from being better accepted and integrated by the Canadian society at large.

    • Translating Islam

      Translating Islam

      The study of Indigenizing Islam in the West

      Translating Islam is the continuation of the “Canadian Islam” project, which studies the various processes of integration and articulation of the Muslim individuals in the first and second generations including the “one-point-fivers” (born abroad and immigrated at an early age). Translation, in this case, does not entail the transfer of language or culture exclusively, but also the transformation/adaptation/recasting of religious, ethical, legal, imaginary and symbolic objects between an understanding that was initially situated in a previous traditional inherited context into the (new) uncommon Canadian context.

    • The Right to Translate

      The Right to Translate

      The study of translation as free-speech right

      This vein of study stems from an earlier project (see my 2009 book) and furthers the latter’s conclusions. The right to translation as free speech should be considered as a fundamental right of re-expression and re-presentation. In the digital age, originality will be increasingly considered as an unattainable utopia; as long as there is no way to distinguish between the original and the copy, the status of the original has to change and as a result, that of translation as well.