I’ve spent the day reading Taqwīm al-ṣiḥḥah تقويم الصحّة, a manuscript written by Ibn Buṭlān, it was presented to Saladin’s son, الملك الظاهر, the King of Aleppo in 1213 AD. Basically, the book is a long mesmerizing chart that’s briefly reviewing many kinds of food, herbs, habits, even music, and sports!
All pages of the content are having the same design, for an instant, the following page is reviewing some types of fruits, and what are the cons and pros and why? And what’s the targeted age group.. plus much interesting information:
And here is an interesting clipping, which talks about Maqlouba on the section of dishes!
في زيارتي الأخيرة للقاهرة، شاهدت العديد من صور الحماس والنشاط والعمل والجدية لدى المصريين في أماكن مختلفة، وكذلك عاينت بعض مشاهد الإحباط والسلبية والنكد! أنا مدرك تماماً لصعوبة الأوضاع الاقتصادية والمعيشية في مصر ومختلف الدول العربية الغلبانة، لكن بمجرد وصولي للشارع وتجوالي بين الناس وسماع قصصهم وهمومهم أحسست بالمشكلة، هناك نشاط مريب يتم ممارسته على الإعلام التقليدي والسوشيال ميديا لجعل الصورة سوداء وسيئة وكئيبة في نفوس البشر، هناك تيار يطبل ويزمر لأوهام وانجازات ومخترعين تجعل المتلقي يفقد الأمل. وبالإتجاه الآخر هناك تيار أسوء يحذرك من الخروج من منزلك وملامسة الرصيف لكثرة الأهوال والمخاطر وغياب الأمن!
ونحن ناس غلابا.. عاطفيين بطبيعتنا.. دراويش.. نتأثر بهذه التيارات.. وأصبحنا ندمن مشاهدة الإعلام بشراهة متزايدة.. وتمرّ علينا الإعلانات ونضغط اللايكات وتذهب الملايين لجيوب المعلنين ووكلائهم من دون أن ندري. وثم نصاب بالإكتئاب ونعاني الفشل!
هذا الكتاب للباحث المصري د. فرج الحسيني، ومن اصدار مركز دارسات الخطوط بمكتبة الاسكندرية عام 2018 وتم طرحه للجمهور خلال معرض الكتاب الحالي في القاهرة. فيه توثيق لمعظم العمائر المملوكية الموجودة في عدة مدن سورية، وحتى لبعض المباني التي افتقدناها حديثاً كجامع يلبغا (تاريخ الهدم 1985).
يقع الكتاب في 564 صفحة، بقياس 29 * 29 سم.
– تعليقي على الكتاب: هو بالتأكيد مرجع هام يذكرني بكتب الراحل د. قتيبة الشهابي الموسوعية، وأتوقع أن يتبعه كتب أخرى عن العمائر الأيوبية والعثمانية. لكن أتمنى أن تتحسن طريقة استخلاص الكتابات وأسلوب عرضها، فبحسب ما شاهدت عند تصفحي للكتاب، هناك العديد من الاستخلاصات تمت على عجل وبدون مراعاة للتفاصيل الخطية.
Nothing’s more magical to own a book after someone have read it, dog-eared some pages, and lift some doodles and notes here and there! Sometimes I find a book signed by its author, with few little words to another special person to her/him.. that is super incredible! Or a book that was exchanged between friends, family members and so on.. All of these details make the world of used books the right place for me.
Amman, as all other cities in the world have its own shops that sell second-hand books, hereunder my list for the best ones:
متاجر الكتب المستعملة في عمّان
• Mahall al-Maa محل الماء
Small shop located in Quraish street behind the Amman’s nymphaeum, owned by Hamzeh, a wonderful person, and a true booklover, Hamzeh has a massive collection of books, mostly rare ones! I spend hours and sometimes days overwhelmed his gems! Previously, Hamzeh inherited his late father’s bookshop under the name of Khazanet Aljahith, until 2017, he decided to launch his own new venture with a new brand name, and that was: Mahall al-Maa, which translate into English as: The Shop of Water, the concept behind that name came from the fact: water is essential for every life form, and so the books! Hamzeh believes in this value, therefore he launched a new initiative of its kind, he called it:”Take a book and pay as you wish!” Just to support the reading culture!
Despite the difficult economic situation of the country and this business, in particular, Hamzeh’s keeps his promise and encourage
his ‘Guests’ to maintain the reading habit, and he open a 24/7, even if that costs him a lot. A Nobel man! Please visit his facebook page from here.
Al-Jahith Treasury / Khazanat Al- Jahith / خزانة الجاحظ is one of my most admired places in Amman, imagine your self isolated inside a beduin tent far a way from all of the city’s headaches between tons and tons of used and rare books! This is heaven for me!
As I’m always saying; my first design instructor was Mohie El Deen El Labbad, the late artist, designer and cartoonist–or as he used to describe himself: A bookmaker!
I started reading Labbad articles in Majed magazine, at the age of 8 and 9, he had a weekly article about art, design thinking, graphic design, art critique, visual understanding, culture and identity re-forming, all for children readers, of course, he was the pioneer, and sadly saying; I’m not sure if there is anyone still doing this at the present time.
He launched several series, each having one title and one theme, in this article from 1988, he wrote under the title “The Beautiful Books’ Closet – خزانة الكتب الجميلة” a review on something he admired a lot; the Arab Arts. The catalog waspublished by The Freer Gallery of Art, at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museums in Washington, 1975.
My favorite book seller has called me few days ago to see his new (historic) collection of Arabic manuscripts and books, it was a leather bag contains couple of tens of different manuscript from different origins, and another five books that are totally handwritten. The subjects of these books and manuscripts were about Islamic religious provisions and some Arabic language grammar.
I was amazed by two books from the collection, they have got a very unique styles for the margins, which was an important space in each Arabic book, so the author or the scholar could write more comments and highlights that are connected with the page content. The source of one of them was Dagestan, 1903, and the other book is unknown, but I assume it’s from the same region and the same time period.
In this post I’ll share some beautiful pictures of this “Margin Art” with my commentary on them.
The unknown book:
– An ordinary spread view of the book, you can see the main body text, and there is some really size text between its lines, and of course you can see the margins and how were they been utilized.
The rare book of Labbad: Nazar One, which means look or view in Arabic.
Nazar books were basically a collection of Labbad articles in some Egyptians magazines like Sabah El Khair. The book was printed in March 1987, then issued again as Nazar Two and Nazar Three during the nineties..
As you’ll notice, the book is really important, it might be the only material that talks about and critiques design, art, graphic design and visual culture in Egypt and the Arab world.
The book was scanned and prepared by Mohammad Sabbagh and Hussein Alazaat for the Labbad tumblr page.