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Syrian Programmer Designs Website for Fairouz Songs

His love to Fairouz, the worldwide famous Lebanese songstress, led Syrian programmer Hasan al-Arous to design a website special for the words of her songs. The website has so far contained about 80% of Ms Fairouz Albums.

"I'm fond of Fairouz songs," Al-Arous said, adding that he designed the website to provide an example of an attractive Arabic content on the internet that may enjoy the interest of browsers.  

The current copy of the website is developed from that of 2011, al-Arous pointed out.

He stressed that he is keen to design a similar website for Arabic songs in a more interactive way that helps browsers suggest artist’s name, album and song, write the song’s words, check information accuracy and load these information on web page.

The homepage of the website contains the pictures of the covers of Fairouz albums with her songs’ titles, and by clicking the title one can see and read the song’s words, according to al-Arous.

He pointed out that one can also obtain his/her favorite song according to Arabic Alphabet and by clicking the targeted letter one can see the songs which start with that letter.

 A targeted song also can be reached according to the name of the composer or the writer, he said.

Maher Taki

Hanna Mina,Sorrows and Joys

Hanna Mina is one of the most famous Syrian authors of our time; well-known to Arabic readers, virtually unknown to the international reading community. He has published 40 novels, written countless editorials, numerous television scripts and contributed to the shaping of the realist form of fiction in the Arab world.

The novelist, born in 1924, says he has had his fill of life's sorrows and joys. He retracted his earlier wish for his gravestone to be inscribed with: "The Woman, the Sea, and Unquenchable Thirst."

His cramped study is surrounded by portraits of Maxim Gorky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Anton Chekhov and  Ernest Hemingway. Chain-smoking, he recounts stories of distant rough seas, a tough childhood, mysterious women, and unforgotten memories. He is the Syrian Zorba completing his last dance.

His father moved in the 1930s from what had been the Syrian province of Iskenderun to Latakia, homeless and lost, but never found the safe refugee he sought. His son would also be made homeless and set off on travels of his own, albeit under different circumstances, which ended up taking him to China as an exile.

With only an elementary school certificate, Mina used to write letters and petitions to the government on behalf of illiterate neighbors. He later opened a barber’s shop in Latakia. But above all, Mina was a teller of maritime tales.

Mina introduced the sea to the Arabic novel, and took it into unchartered narrative waters."The sea has always been the source of my inspiration."The text of The Road and the Storm had its own long journey. The manuscript was lost three times in postage. He sent another copy from China to his friend Said Houraniyeh by sea freight. It too got lost between Shanghai and Beirut.

In the 1950s, Mina joined the Damascus newspaper al-Inshaa as a trainee editor. He wrote several short stories, which brought him into literary circles, and he co-founded the Syrian Writers Federation in 1951.

The fame he acquired and the prestige that came with it never stopped him from reflecting on the harsh details of his earlier life. In fact, they provided fuel for his novels, and he would invoke them like a mantra to protect his soul from damage. This pioneering novelist concedes that no matter how deep and moving writing can be, it cannot match his life's toughest experiences. "Reality carves its inscriptions on human skin with a hot iron that leaves permanent marks and scars," Mina says.

In the early 1980s, Mina made his famous declaration that: "In the 21st century, the novel will become for the Arabs what poetry is to them today." This prophecy appeared to be a cry in the wilderness at the time. But critics caught on to the idea and the term "age of the novel" began being widely used, ushering in a new emerging generation of Arab novelists. Some of them quickly overtook their elders, but Mina's novels have remained best-sellers.

Mina does not seek to create archetypes, and stresses that honesty comes first. Mina has authored about 40 novels, varying in imaginary value and narrative significance. But his achievement lies in the foundation he laid for this literary structure. Characters such as Zakaria al-Mirsanli in al-Yater, al-Turousi in The Road and the Storm, and Mufid al-Wahsh in The End of a Brave Man, are living examples of life experience intertwined with fiction.

Thus, he reduces the distance between the novel and autobiography, counting on life's paradoxes, follies, and recklessness. He sees the need to expose what has been left unsaid, guided by what forebears wrote centuries ago.


Nada Haj Khidr

“Reading House” opened today

DAMASCUS-(ST)  Minister of Culture Dr.Lubana  Mishaweh opens today “ The House of Arts and Literature” for the poet Adnan Mardam Bek in Damascus. The  activity came within the framework of the Ministry’s project.

The Reading House project is considered as one of the most important achievements of the Culture Ministry that aims at dissemination culture and enhance the role of reading  for youth and adults  to restore the status of book as the main source of culture and knowledge.

The houses will be distributed in Damascus quarters  as the first stage of the project  then in all Syrian cities as the second stage.


Caligraphy Exhibition"Whispering of Letters" Opened


Damascus(ST)-A Calligraphy Exhibition has  opened at the Arabic Culture Center at Abo Rumaneh district in Damascus.

The exhibition,entitled "Whispering of Letters", was organized by Caligraphy and Garnishing section at the Vocational Institute for Applied Arts.

Some 45 panels ,included different forms and types  of calligraphy that reflect the beauty of calligraphy,were displayed during the event.

Lubana Mushawih,the culture minister,brandeed the exhibition as rich in its intellectual content.

"the said exhibition is being held to mark the Arabic World Day as it was defined by the UN as the sixth official UN-adopted languages.The exhibition goal is to highlight the VIAA's activity,"added Mushawih.

Mushawih made it clear that the ministry will gain some panels in a bid to encourage participants.

For his part,the VIAA director Tarek Sawah underscored that the exhibition sheds light on the importance of calligraphy pointing out that the institution is the sole side that accords attention to this kind  of arts.

Maysa Wassouf

World Arabic Day

 Marking the World Arabic Day  on  December 18 of every year, the date on which the UN General Assembly designated Arabic as the sixth official language of the United Nations  and  it  becomes  a UN official language.

The World  Arabic Day's main purpose of celebrating  is to increase awareness about the cultural and social treasures of the Arabic language and gives an opportunity to discover more about the secrets of the language and its contribution to human civilization and culture. Besides, encouraging dialogue and communications among the member states United Nations member states.

Dr. Hussien  Juma'a ,Chairman of  The Arab Writers Union, made it clear that Arabic is the mother tongue for more than  300 million persons.

 It is a heritage –link language with a  deep-rooted  culture .Hence,that is why  the United Nations define Dec.18th ,1973 as World Arabic Day and consequently the Arabic language became   the  sixth  international official  language. All those  who speak Arabic should  be faithful to it and try to use all their  possible skills to speak good and accurate Arabic  at  all international forums in general and the UN –affiliated organizations in particular..

"A lot of  people  ignore the great value of  Arabic language by using  mixture of various languages, especially English, French and Spanish in their works which affect badly on the originality of Arabic." Dr. Juma'a concluded.

Maysa Wassouf