I’m addicted to the used books!
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:
• 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.
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My new workshop will start this Saturday, sign up now if you are obsessed with the divine aesthetics of Arabic Calligraphy and the Square Kufic mystical abstraction!
Teaching Arabic calligraphy is a vital issue to me, and I used to organise and give many workshops to teach that Art and spreading its splendours, especially when I connect it with design and Arabic visual culture. But in this time, I had the privilege to teach young kids from Syria, who moved with their families to Istanbul after the war crises in their home country.
I’ve conducted two workshops, the first one was in elementary school for Syrian students in Beylikdüzü district west of Istanbul, for around 12 students from different age groups. Then the second workshop that took place in the 16th century historic library of the Yavuz Sultan Salim Mosque in the heart of old Istanbul-ian neighbourhood; at Fatih district.
Anyway, the place it self was a total surprise for me.. I was told that I’ll teach kids in a mosque.. I couldn’t believe that the mosque would be a 500 years old building!
Though I insisted to give those workshops using the traditional calligraphy tools; which might be difficult for young kids — but the results of both workshops were magnificent! the students were so interacted with the tools and letters, they challenged their selves to improve the way they write, and in the end; they produced a beautiful artworks they were proud of. It was a great experience for me and for the kids as well, even their parents were so happy for their children efforts to learn such a joyful and cultural/visual art. Please enjoy looking at photos from the workshops down here.
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