The Syrian community in Istanbul celebrated the opening of the city’s first Arabic library “Pages” on Friday, boasting a wide variety of Arabic, Turkish, English and French books.
Samer al-Qadiri, an artist and one of the founders of the library, told Zaman al-Wasl that Pages is an Arabic education center that aims to provide a number of educational and artistic workshops, lectures and seminars.
"The library aims to open Turkish-Syrian channels of communication and would display many films and a special section for kids", Qadiri explained.
The founder revealed the center contains books on a variety of different subjects, except for books calling for violence and extremism or which support the Syrian regime.
Qadiri explained the library had not received support from any party or organization, stating the aim of the library was not profitable. Qadiri also said that at the same time the center would charge a minimum fee in order to maintain and improve the facility.
"Pages aims to support the Syrian community and support them and protect their identity within the Turkish community", the artist added.
Qadiri expressed his hope that Syrian people would use the services of the library and commit themselves to reading, despite their difficult circumstances.
The artist confirmed that actor Yara Sabri, one of the founders, had a huge effect on promoting and introducing the library to the public.
Pages founders are: actor Yara Sabri, writer and artist Jolanar Hajo, director Maher Salibi, journalist Alisar Hasan, director Firas Fayad, Turkish writer Safida Bakso, and Omani Abir Ali.