Contributor Perspectives

Bringing Syrian Culture to a New Home, Page by Page

Anisa Mehdi
Board of Contributors
Jun 28, 2017 | 18:13 GMT
Syrian storyteller Ahmad al-Lahham reads from his book at a coffeehouse in Damascus. The Syrian culture is also alive and well in Amsterdam, where a bookstore features the country's visual and literary arts.
Ahmad al-Lahham, a Syrian storyteller, reads from his storybook in a Damascus coffeehouse on June 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
 
(LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Pages Bookstore Cafe brings the literary culture of Syria to the heart of Amsterdam, by way of Istanbul's Fatih neighborhood and before that Damascus, from which its founder, Samer Alkadri, fled in 2012. Alkadri is a Syrian painter and graphic designer who ran an advertising agency and children's book publisher called Bright Fingers until working in his homeland became too perilous. Today he stocks his stores in Turkey and in the Netherlands with Arabic books imported from Beirut. The shelves showcase modern Syrian literature and children's books. Alkadri's intention with the Pages location in the Netherlands was to create a meeting place for culture and the arts in Amsterdam that would bring Europeans in direct contact with Syrians and other escapees from war and authoritarian rule....

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