“We are Syrian. We have culture. We lost everything, but we have our culture. Culture gives us the opportunity to know each other before we judge each other” – Samer Al-Kadri, Founder of Pages Bookstore Café
The Lutfia Rabbani Foundation supports a new pop up project: Pages Bookstore Café at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery in Amsterdam as of 12 June 2017. The Pages Bookstore Café will highlight Arabic literature and be a meeting place and a space for spontaneous events, where locals and displaced Syrians alike, adults and children, can meet and enjoy literature, live music, performance and each other’s art and culture in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere: “Pages, it’s your home.”
Pages has enjoyed great success bringing people together in Istanbul. Now it hopes to foster understanding between Dutch citizens, Syrian refugees, and everyone who stops by.
Creating a cultural centre
Creating a cultural centre was always the dream of founder Samer Al-Kadri, back when he ran the children’s publishing house “Bright Fingers” in Syria. Under threat in Syria, Samer and his family had to flee the country. When they arrived in Turkey in 2013, an undaunted Samer pursued his dream. He and his wife co-founded Pages Bookstore Café, making it a place to showcase Syrian culture, a place where Syrians could reconnect with their roots and feel at home and where other nationalities could get to know a cultural richness that has been overshadowed by stories of war.