There is a sad modern corollary to the fact that it took ages- dark ages to be precise, for classical Greek science texts, like Aristotle's Physics to find their way out of Arabic and into medieval Latin translations. Three centuries after its first printing, Principia Mathematica remained unpublished in Arabic.
Now that is about to change. Jascha Hoffman reports in Nature that : "Hundreds of science books, including classics by Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking, will be translated into Arabic for the first time." An ambitious plan that has the backing of Abu Dhabi's Crown prince and funding from its Authority for Culture and Heritage.
The project, called Kalima (“word” in Arabic), aims to change the fact that the world's quarter of a billion Arabic speakers get to read only a few hundred freshly translated books each year
The group intends to publish about 25 science classics annually:
" one already translated is A Briefer History of Time , Stephen Hawking's revision of his best-seller . Next year, Kalima will translate books by Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck and Richard Feynman into Arabic, and prepare Arabic versions of recent works by Roger Penrose, Steven Weinberg and Freeman Dyson. Other scientists to be translated include Stephen Jay Gould, Stephen Wolfram and James Watson..."