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This study examines the underlying principles that trigger decisions in translating the polysystem translation theory into contemporary Arabic. The data comprises an English summary in Munday (2001) and its Arabic version. The methodology draws on the ‘memes’ notion and its application to translation. It consists in deconstructing the polysystem theory-meme so as to see why TT has been shaped the way it is. Two translation memes inform the mutation of the theory in Arab culture, i.e. Cognition which accounts for relevant memetic knowledge and expectations of target receptors, and Target calling for the supremacy of TL/TC. It is argued that the theory travels trans-nationally, carrying with it its history, but that history is never unsifted. It may be defied or re-interpreted pursuant to the memetic network in TC. The theory-meme subsumes an apparently cryptic meme of occupation in the political sense. This is evident through mapping the stylistic choices made by Even-Zohar in his article which suppress that sense. Therefore, TT serves as a vehicle whereby the theory-meme replicates itself in TC, having the embedded cryptic meme mutating and surfacing as explicit. It is the meme of occupation propagating in the sphere of Arab culture by general consensus.