Last week, Syrian publishers helped open the first major Arabic-focused bookshop in Istanbul, a four-floor, multilingual and multigenre space:
An opening-day photo from the Pages Facebook page.
The newly opened “Pages” Bookshop is located in the historic Fatih district, close to the Kariye Museum. According to a feature in Publishing Perspectives by Olivia Snaije, more than “2,000 titles will be available in Arabic, Turkish, English, and French in a 210 square-meter space spread over four floors.”
It also boasts a café.
The bookshop is the brainchild of Gulnar Hajo and Samer al-Kadri, founders Bright Fingers children’s publishing house.
Like an estimated 350,000 other Syrian refugees living in Istanbul, Hajo and al-Kadri left Syria with their two daughters, first setting up in Jordan and later moving to Istanbul in 2013. Al-Kadri told Publishing Perspectives that he saw the need to establish a bookshop where books in Arabic were readily available. He told
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“Strive to write elegantly for this will ensure your means of livelihood.”
Caliph ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (d.661)
Calligraphy, from the Greek kallos (beauty) and graphein (to write) is the art of beautiful writing. Although the development of sophisticated calligraphy as an art form is not unique to Islamic culture, it has been used to a much greater extent and in varied ways, and in all art forms and materials in Islamic cultures.
The practice of calligraphy, originating in China during the second millennium BC, spread to many regions including the Middle East. The art of transcribing the Qur’an in a beautiful script was considered a form of devotion and an act of piety. In contrast to painters, potters, and other artists, who generally remained anonymous, the calligraphers…
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A superlative exhibition Sultans of Deccan India opened at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in April with an important accompanying catalogue (Haidar and Sardar 2015). The arts of the Deccan (upland peninsular India) are among the rarest survivals from Muslim India and the exhibition concentrated on its greatest period, namely 1500-1700, so that the quality of the exhibits was uniformly high. The three major sultanates emerged from the earlier Bahmanid kingdom around 1490 and survived until conquered by the Mughals in the 17th century, when most of their paintings and manuscripts seem to have perished. The British Library has an outstanding collection of this rare material and several of the key pieces from it were lent to the exhibition. – See more at: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/asian-and-african/2015/06/british-library-loans-to-sultans-of-deccan-exhibition-in-new-york.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+asian-and-african+%28Asia+and+Africa%29#sthash.yt7hZN02.dpuf