Cyprus Mail

Coming together for coexistence

Next Thursday to Saturday, the Home for Cooperation will be hosting the International Saladin Days for the first time in Nicosia. The event will see the coming together of writers, intellectuals, artists and activists to discuss history, literature, identity and contemporary politics.

This is the first time that the three-day cultural extravaganza involving local and international guests will be held outside of Norway since its establishment by the House of Literature in 2009. Nicosia can enjoy this coming together of people and ideas thanks to the cooperation between the Association of Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) and the House of literature of Oslo.

The event is down to the initiative of Norwegian author, Thorvald Steen and the British-Pakistani historian and author, Tariq Ali.

Every year, authors, artists, activists, academics and intellectuals visit Oslo to discuss the path to coexistence and tolerance, instead of conflict and prejudice by focusing on a specific subject.

This year the topic is the history of the Crusades and all its present-day ramifications.

With Cyprus’ location and its association with the Crusades, some discussion will focus on historical aspects related to Cyprus, such as Richard the Lionheart in Cyprus, and provide the opportunity to discuss current topics such as the notion of ‘us’ and ‘them’

Joining the programme will be the initiators of Saladin Days, Steen and Ali, who also co-wrote the theatrical play Desert Storms – which will be read out on Thursday at 8pm. This will be followed by a discussion on Saladin and why the annual event is called Saladin Days at 9pm.

“It’s wonderful that both Tariq Ali and Thorvald Steen will be joining us, it is such an honour to have them be here for the first Saladin Days in Nicosia,” said Shirin Jetha, the managing director of AHDR. “We will have the pleasure of seeing a reading of the play followed by a conversation between Thorvald and Tariq about the importance of Saladin as a historical figure, which will be a great way to kick off proceedings on the opening night.”

On Friday the day will start at 7pm with a panel discussion on Identity: A Double-edged Sword and followed by a screening of On the way to School in Turkish with English subtitles at 8pm.

Saturday starts with a breakfast talk on The Play Shakespeare never wrote. The afternoon lecture will be ‘Are the Crusaders Over’ at 7pm and the whole event will wrap at 8.30pm with a live music concert by the band, DeyNdar

All activities under Saladin Days, Nicosia will be free.

International Saladin Days
Lectures and talks on different themes to do with equality. May 5-7. Home for Cooperation, Nicosia. Thursday: 6pm, Friday: 7pm and Saturday 10am and 7pm. Tel: 22-445740. Email: [email protected]


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