Turkey among ‘top 10’ countries in book diversity

Turkey among ‘top 10’ countries in book diversity14/01/2018 (Hurriyet – Turkey): The Turkish Culture Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Jan. 12 that Turkey is among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of book diversity. Speaking during his visit to the southwestern province of Burdur, the minister said the country had fallen behind the desired figures in terms of the number of published books. He said Turkey is not a country where books are short in supply, adding that around 65,000 various books were printed in the country as of 2017. “Turkey is not a country that does not have many books. As of 2017, 60,335 books have been printed in Turkey with electronic barcodes. Including the others, 65,000 books of different varieties have been printed. It might not be where we want to be in terms of numbers, but in terms of variety, we are in the top 10 in the world. In this sense, we have quite a variety of books. We need to have campaigns to ensure that people read more,” Kurtulmuş said…




Monastery in Turkey’s Mardin waits to be discovered

Monastery in Turkey’s Mardin waits to be discovered05/01/2018 (Hurriyet – Turkey): The Mor Augin Monastery, located at the foot of the Bagok Mountain in the southeastern province of Mardin’s Nusaybin district, is waiting to be discovered. Built during the Roman era and closed down when its priest died in 1970, the monastery was reopened to worshippers in 2011 with the initiative of Syriac senior priest Raban Yakim Unfal, who came from the nearby Midyat district.  The monastery, set on a slope above the Mesopotamia plain and only a stone’s throw away from Syria, is considered to be the second Jerusalem for Syriacs. “You become a priest here. Thousands of priests have been trained here. Before leaving for Jerusalem, our society was blessed here. Recently, our community and local and foreign tourists have been coming to our monastery,” Unfal said…





Turkish photographer explores borders between remembering and forgetting

Yusuf Sevinçli, Oculus – 013, 2016Pigment print23/12/2017 (Sabah – Turkey): In Yusuf Sevinçli’s “Oculus – Moscow 011,” a cloud of smoke overshadows a street somewhere far away. A figure in the background wanders on the street, and there are shop signs here and there, creating a sense of the modern metropolis. But the cloud of smoke adds mystery to the scene. I returned to the image several times during my visit to “Oculus,” Sevinçli’s new exhibition at Galerist that continues until Jan. 27.”Oculus, the exhibition’s title, is taken from an old Roman architectural term for a small circular or oval window or the round openings found at the center of domes,” Nick Hackworth explains in the exhibition text…



Italian painter of Palestinian boy calls for solidarity

Italian painter of Palestinian boy calls for solidarity16/12/2017 (Sabah – Turkey): An Italian artist who recreated the photograph of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy being arrested by Israeli troops has spoken of the need to show solidarity with Palestine. The photograph of blindfolded Fawzi al-Junaidi being led away by more than a dozen heavily armed soldiers swept social media last week as users condemned Israel’s use of excessive force against children. In Alessia Pelonzi’s painting, the soldiers are reduced to little more than outlines while the observer’s eye is drawn to Fawzi, whose clothing and the sleeve of one soldier’s uniform are painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag…



Louvre Abu Dhabi lands $450 million Da Vinci painting

08/12/2017 (GDNonline – Bahrain): Abu Dhabi: ‘Salvator Mundi’, a painting of Christ by Leonardo Da Vinci recently sold for a record $450 million (Dh1.65 billion), is heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi in a coup for the bold new museum, it announced on Wednesday. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France, has been billed as “the first universal museum in the Arab world”. “Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi,” the museum said on Twitter in Arabic, English and French, displaying an image of the 500-year-old work. The announcement partially resolves the mystery over the painting’s sale in November in New York for $450.3 million. Auction house Christie’s had declined to identify the buyer, only saying that it received bids from around the world…



Egyptian author Mekkawi Said, 2008 Arabic Booker Prize nominee, dies

Mekkawi Said 02/12/2017 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Egyptian author and novelist Mekkawi Said died this morning in Cairo. He was 61. Mekkawi Said was born in Cairo, 6 July 1956. He launched his writing career during the 1970s. He is best known for his novel Taghreedat Al-Bag’a (The Swan Song)for which he was nominated for the Arabic Booker Prize in 2008. Said nurtured a lifelong love for Cairo’s Downtown district, in which he himself was an icon. Said wrote several books set in the district, including The Swan Song, and his 2010 book, Moktanayat West El-Balad (Downtown Belongings). In the latter, Said weaves stories about Downtown’s most unique areas, streets and cafes, using his distinct style to offer a detailed vantage on Cairo’s busiest and most vibrant areas. In a recent interview with Al-Hayat newspaper, the author said: “Every capital in the world is a hub that attracts all kinds of people, and Downtown Cairo is Egypt’s beating heart that has all kinds of contradicting characters…



Fragrances for ‘Madonna in a Fur Coat’

Fragrances for 'Madonna in a Fur Coat'25/11/2017 (Sabah – Turkey): Sabahattin Ali’s “Madonna in a Fur Coat,” one of the best-selling novels in Turkish literature, is still a fresh read that describes the complicated feelings of today and Raif Efendi’s family and private relationships in detail. Adapted and directed as a play by Engin Alkan, “Madonna in a Fur Coat” stars Menderes Samancılar, Tuba Ünsal, Alper Saldıran and Sercan Badur in the leading roles. The music was prepared by Sezen Aksu. While the play tells of the volatility of life and the impossibility of love, the fragrance installations reflect these feelings to the audience. The fragrances that have been developed by MG International Fragrance Company perfumers for the characters and places in the play are called Maria Puder, Raif Efendi, Atlantis and Arboretum…




Al-Baha tourism documentary wins gold at Cairo festival

18/11/2017 (Arab News – KSA): RIYADH: A documentary about the rich heritage of Al-Baha tourism has won a top award at the Cairo Radio and Television Festival. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) documentary, Al Baha Tourism 37, won gold at the festival held in Cairo from Nov. 6 to Nov. 10. Zahir bin Mohamed Al-Shehri, the director general of the SCTH branch in Al-Baha and secretary-general of the Al-Baha Tourism Development Council (TDC), said the award was the outcome of the efforts of the Talent Development Company (TDC). “The SCTH, Al-Baha branch, and the TDC made a distinguished effort with the Mufid Media Co. and the director of the documentary film, and the joint work has now been appreciated with the gold,” he said…



Artifacts on display at century-old Adana factory

Artifacts on display at century-old Adana factory11/11/2017 (Hurriyet – Turkey): The Archaeology Museum, the first stage of the Adana Museum Complex, established in a century-old restored factory, was opened to visitors in May and has received 47,000 people since its first day. The museum sheds light on the history of the Hittite, Assyrians, Ancient Greek, Roman, Seljuk and Ottoman periods in southern Turkey. The southern province of Adana, positioned on the coast of the Mediterranean on the rich land between the Seyhan and Ceyhan rivers, is believed to have hosted 19 different civilizations since the ancient era. Works for the museum complex were initiated around three years ago by the Culture and Tourism Ministry General Directorate of Cultural Artifacts and Museums in the Milli Mensucat (National Textile) Factory. The factory was built in 1907 in the southern province of Adana’s Seyhan district…



Tabuk comedy competition enters semifinal stage

03/11/2017 (Arab News – KSA): The Society for Culture and Arts in Tabuk will hold the semifinals of its stand-up comedy competition on Nov. 10th (Safar 21st). The Stand-up Comedy Festival, has been organized by the Society for Culture and Arts in Tabuk with the support of the General Authority for Entertainment (GEA). The director of the society, Majed bin Nashi Al-Enezi, hailed the selection of Tabuk as a location for holding the competition’s semifinals. He called on all comedians in Tabuk to participate in the festival’s competitions by registering through the event’s website: http://www.scf-ksa.com. Registration is open until Nov. 10, 2017 (Safar 21st)…