Thursday, September 11, 2008

West of Igdir: Defining the Diaspora, Part 2

West of Igdir: Defining the Diaspora, Part 2

Watching from Armenia

I find the next column one of the best lately:


We went to the Armenian capital Yerevan the day before a football game played on Sept. 6 between Turkish and Armenian National Teams for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and we returned three days after the game. Our purpose was to follow a “first-ever event” in the history of international community. That was to watch the “background” and “future” of “football diplomacy” at the site.

Although as journalists it was our duty to follow a “historic” event and share it with readers, the “Yerevan Expedition” had an emotional aspect for some of us since we are friends of the slain Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink. We already knew the big dream of Hrant, which added meaning to his life yet made him paid with his life.

In every moment we spent in Armenia we remembered him, in tears at times. For instance, we had a dinner with our Armenian friends who have roots in Anatolia. We sang the folk song “Sarı Gelin”, or “Sarî Ahçik” in Armenian. The young man playing “duduk” approached our table and said, “I had composed a piece for Hrant Dink. Now I will play it.” Through the silence we felt as though Hrant was with us there right at that moment. I looked around the table and realized that five Turkish journalists were in tears.

We wanted to share that moment with his family and loved ones in Turkey so we called Istanbul and the voice of “duduk” reached from Yerevan to Istanbul through the phone.

continue reading herreee

School of live

One of London’s newest shops is no ordinary shop. In fact, it may not even be a shop at all. Don’t expect to pop in and be a passive consumer. Do expect to be challenged and intellectually stimulated.
The School of Life is a nifty little self-styled “cultural enterprise.” In the heart of London’s University land, it offers instruction, discussion, psychotherapy and access to a whole load of imaginative learning experiences. It is a long way from adult ed as we know it, and deliberately so, according to its creator, Sophie Howarth.
Opening its doors for the first time in September 2008, the school says it aims to be a “chemist for the mind.”
The School of Life is, “a place where you can try out a variety of cultural solutions to everyday ailments. At the back of the shop a door leads through to an extraordinary underground classroom, where we host regular evening and weekend courses exploring the five central themes of our lives - work, play, family, politics and love,” explains. “The experiences of our remarkable faculty are combined with insights from important thinkers of the past to offer a unique combination of wit and wisdom around questions of everyday living.”
Two specific services on offer are bibliotherapy (think of a prescription for reading material) or a bespoke consultation with an expert (they say architects, accountants, anesthetists, airline pilots, authors, actors are all available, but presumably they have other letters of the alphabet too).

Day opening - September 11

Great destination; The Huvafen Fushi resort in Maldives