Marcia Lynx Qualey
Last updated: 16 June, 2015

First big Arabic-focused bookshop opens in Istanbul (PHOTOS)

Syrian publishers recently helped open the first major Arabic-focused bookshop in Istanbul, a four-floor, multilingual and multi-genre space.

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.”

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It also boasts a café.

The bookshop is the brainchild of Gulnar Hajo and Samer al-Kadri, founders of Bright Fingers children’s publishing house.

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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 PP that “Pages” will also function as a cultural center and gallery space, hosting events and screening films.

pages5.jpgA comfortable, multi-purpose space.

pages4.jpgWith new Arabic titles ordered from Lebanon and shipped to Istanbul.

Photos via Pages’ Facebook page.