22 MARCH 2016
NEXT RSAA LECTURES
7.00 pm, Wednesday 6 April – Venue: St. Peter’s Parish Church Hall, Eaton Square, London SW1
Helmet and a Hijab by Ms Lois Pryce, Author & Journalist
In 2013 and 2014 Lois spent two months riding her motorcycle 3000 miles around Iran. The popular image of Iran here in the West is hardly encouraging and it was with some trepidation that she set off… Was it really wise for a British woman to go motorcycling alone in this pariah nation of Islamic extremists, with its gruesome statistics surrounding women’s rights, free speech and treatment of political prisoners? But her concerns and preconceptions were smashed on a daily basis as she discovered an intriguing, sophisticated nation of warmth, welcome and most surprisingly, fun. Lois’ presentation shows the reality of this most misunderstood country, with fascinating insights, stories, images, music and a short film.
1.15pm, Wednesday 20 April – Venue: The Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1
Tracks on the Desert’s Dusty Face by Mr John Hare, Recipient Lawrence medal
In 2013 John Hare’s Wild Camel Protection Foundation made a first ever release of captive bred wild camels into the Mongolian Gobi Desert. Two young male camels wearing satellite collars were taken 250 miles by truck to a remote natural spring. Their subsequent adventures, tracked over a two-year-period, provide a fascinating narrative for this highly illustrated talk – with a surprising twist in the tail.
READ ONLINE: [Chatham House] ’Syria Ceasefire is a Missed Opportunity’ Tim Eaton and Ghadi Sary
BRUNEI GALLERY, SOAS – 15 April to 25 June. World Ikat Textiles…..ties that bind. See the link for further details:
STEVE McCURRY, photographer, has exhibitions going on all over the world! See his website for details: http://stevemccurry.com/exhibitions His most famous image is of the Afghan girl with blue-green eyes and red head-dress.
Two new books on Syria offering close-ups of a nation falling apart
The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria by Janine di Govanni
Bloomsbury, 224pp. £16.99
Not breakfast reading, as this unflinching reporter writes on the serial horrors of the Syrian war, giving us the gritty detail of a dirty war. Her book is full of passion and self-questioning.
Syria Burning: A Short History of a Catastrophe by Charles Glass
Verso, 192pp. £8.99
Not only a bestial war but a surreal one. For a long time, the war was, for the posh Alawites of the capital, Damascus, and of Latakia, not much more than pre-dinner small talk. Charles Glass, the graceful and knowledgeable chronicler of the Middle East for more than 30 years, has a core anxiety that the fanaticism stoked by conniving outside powers is wrecking the Levant that he loves.
This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World by Jerry Brotton.
Allen Lane, 384pp. £20
In Elizabethan times there was a brief flowering of friendship between Islam and England. Cultural exchanges with Islam were part of the warp and weft of Elizabethan English experience (did the Moroccan envoy, Muhammad al-Annuri , the first Muslim to be painted in Britain, give Shakespeare the basis for Othello?). Trade with the Islamic world was well under way even as Elizabeth ascended her insecure throne in 1558. What Morocco and the Ottomans wanted in return was cast iron weaponry. This is a vivid, significant work of scholarship.
The City where Dreams Come True by Gulsifat Shahidi
Hertfordshire Press, (Imprint of Silk Road Media)
Gulsifat Shahidi – the author of a collection of stories and miniatures described with a fine sensitivity and sincerity inherent in this talented writer. The author gives us vivid stories that have taken place with the heroes in times of civil war in Tajikistan in 1990-1993 years. The war, the fight left a lasting impression in the life of each of them. We read stories that permeate the days of the civil war, and recognize the value and importance of peace in the world. Gulsifat able to transfer all the pictures with precision and sensuality.
Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama, trans. Jonathan Lloyd-Davies
Quercus, 634pp £16.99
‘This huge, multi-layered doorstop of a thriller has been a huge hit in Japan……it is rather heavy-going at first but steadily gathers menace and power until it become addictive. The translator, Jonathan Lloyd-Davies, has done a brilliant job of combing out and explaining the more puzzling local details…’
Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar Goshart, trans. Sondra Silverston
Pushkin, 416pp £12.99
Set in Israel, this follows what happens when a surgeon in an SUV kills a migrant – ‘…a suspenseful tale of survival where the good guys and the bad guys are harder to distinguish than you might think – a classy morality tale.’