22 Şubat 2008 Cuma

Ebru: The Art of Patience

One of the most unique and beautiful forms of Turkish art is Ebru, or water marbling. Ebru is formed by drawing designs with dye on top of water, and then carefully placing paper on the surface of the water in order to absorb the dye.

The earliest examples of Ebru are found in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, and are dated 1539, but the detail and quality of the work suggests that Ebru was present long before this time in the Ottoman Empire. Ebru has traditionally been rarely signed, and therefore many great artists remain unnamed. Modern day students may study for more than 10 years before being considered master marblers, learning how to make the perfect dye, water bath, and design. Since each dye bath can only be transferred to paper once, every original piece of Ebru is unique.

The first step in Ebru is getting the perfect dye. Dyes are created from various organic substances. Soil from Istanbul, white lead, indigo from Pakistan, and red ochre are used to create the perfect color. 24-karat gold may be added to the dye in order to provide shimmer and shine. The dye is mixed with ox-gall, and water, an art form in itself, since each dye is unique depending on the time of year collected, its age, and its fineness. Ebru artists often spend years simply learning the art of mixing dye, before ever attempting their first marble.

The next step in Ebru is getting the perfect water bath in which to place the dye. White kitre, a gum like substance, must be place in the Ebru water in order to keep the dye design in place and in order to allow the design to stick to the paper. Fresh kitre is available in herbal shops during the fall, and every marbler buys enough kitre to last an entire year. The density of the kitre, along with the type of water being used, requires the marbler to make many attempts before getting the correct stickiness. Too little, and the design spreads before it can be finished and won�t adhere clearly to the paper. Too much, and the paper becomes difficult to remove, again smearing the design. Once the correct balance of kitre and water is achieved, the mixture is left overnight, with occasional stirring. After four days of settling, the water mixture is poured through a cloth bag, and is then finally ready to be used.

Next, the marbler gathers her homemade horsehair brushes for detail work, needles for dropping dye onto the water, and homemade combs for drawing the dye through the water. The water is placed in a tray, only slightly larger than the paper to be used.

Now, the creative portion of the work begins. Using only a mental idea of the finished product, the marbler drops dye onto the water surface with the needles, spreads the dye with the handmade combs, and uses the brushes to draw a design. Flowers, birds, geometric designs, and calligraphy are common choices for the Ebru artist.

Ebru is often used for bookmarks, inside the bindings of books, for wall hangings, and to surround both Arabic and Turkish calligraphy. The next time you visit the beautiful bazaars of Istanbul, make sure that you don�t consider leaving without picking up a beautiful piece of Turkish culture, a totally unique, handmade Ebru.

10 Şubat 2008 Pazar

Who is Ömer Sevinçgül?

Human..! He learnt reading-writing when he was seven years old. He said: “I want to be a writer!” when he was fifteen years old. He can’t remember the first question he asked. Loves life...And dark tea...He doesn’t know where but there is a diploma for his BA degree on engineering. Sevincgul is the Concept Counselor for Carpe Diem Publishing House and Adı Yok magazine... His puplished books:

Short, Easy, Pleasurable Philosophy
I Want to be A Writer
Soul-touching Thoughts by Albert Camus
Are Toys of God?
Do I Determine My Fate?
Whistles of Evil
Which Language Adam had Used to Speak?
Let me Know When Jesus Arrives
Cookies Gods
Men of Deccal
Are You an Exception?
Is it Any Good that I Exist!
Who would Resurrect Rotten Bones?
The Little Dictionary
The Special Dictionary
Pull Yourself Together, Deep Man!
Is Love Sacred?
Four Seasons Spring
My Servitude is My Sultanate


Will you always live as a worm and drag yourself on the ground? When are you going to have wings to fly?
Is that impossible or too late?
No it isn’t. You, too, can be a butterfly.
Don’t hinder yourself… Have you already made up your mind? Why wait then?
Go beyond your limits…Renew your personality… Make a new man out of yourself. Start from the beginning… Everyday is a door to a new world. So why shouldn’t you display a new character.
Try it once… If not, try it once more.
Why wait for tomorrow? Start right away. You can only possess this very day. Yesterday today was the tomorrow. And when tomorrow comes, today will be yesterday… And yet, you are waiting for tomorrow. You will keep on waiting for days and days and all your lifetime will be passing away. In the end, you will have no tomorrow to wait for.
Your questions are waiting for answers. Questions are like thorns plunged in soul. They offend you. Problems are pending which hurt you. Solve them and you are going to be relieved. A life without contemplation is no life at all.
You wish to be different… Then be yourself. For every human is original. But very few can venture to be him. Streets are full of people who have not been able to establish themselves.
They don’t recognize and understand you… Is that so? That means you can’t make yourself be understood. Don’t look for an excuse which is the easiest way. Come, choose the difficult.
He who makes it will be considered.
To be noticed by others… Why’s it so important? If you are not discredited by yourself, that is good enough.

By Ömer Sevinçgül


11 Ocak 2008 Cuma

Celebrating The Islamic New Year

10 January 2008 is an important date for Muslims. It marks a very special occasion because it corresponds to the first day of the Islamic lunar (Hijri) calendar; 1 Muharram 1429.
This week's issue focuses on its difference from the solar Gregorian calendar and its significance for the Islamic world. Please join in our forum to share your comments about celebrations of the Islamic New Year.

Months of the Islamic Calendar: Their Meanings

There are twelve months in the Islamic lunar calendar. Since their names are in Arabic, their meanings might be somewhat difficult to grasp for a non-Arabic speaking audience. In this short piece, we briefly examine these terms...

1. Muharram: is named so because the Arabs used to prohibit fighting during it.

2. Safar: is named so because the Arabs used to leave their homes during that month as they used to set out to fight their enemies. It is also said that they used to leave their homes to escape summer heat.

3. Rabi` al-Awwal: is named so because it usually coincides with the spring time.

4. Rabi` al-Akhar: is named so because it usually coincides with the winter time.

5. Jumada al-‘Ula: The Arabs named it so because water gets frozen at winter time, and that coincides with the time of Jumada al-‘Ula.

6. Jumada al-‘Ukhra: is named so because it coincides with winter time.

7. Rajab: is derived from the Arabic word ‘rajaba' which means to ‘sanctify' something. The Arabs used to sanctify the month of Rajab by putting a halt to fighting during that month.

8. Sha`ban: The Arabic word Sha`ban is derived from the word ‘tash`aba', which means to go in different directions. It is said that Sha`ban takes such a name because the Arabs used to go in different directions fighting their enemies.

9. Ramadan: The word Ramadan is derived from ‘Ar-ramda' which refers to extreme heat. Ramadan time used to coincide with that extreme climate of heat in the Arab Peninsula, and that is why it is called Ramadan.

10. Shawwal: The name Shawwal is derived from the Arabic word ‘tashawwala', which refers to the scarcity in she-camels' milk.

11. Dhul-Qi`dah: refers to Arabs decline to go out fighting their enemies as the early Arabs used to call it a sacred month.

12. Dhul-Hijjah: is named so because the Arabs used to perform Hajj during that month.

5 Ocak 2008 Cumartesi

Peter Sanders Photography

Peter Sanders, internationally recognised as one of the worlds leading photographer of the Islamic World.

The photographer began his career in the mid-1960's covering Londons' seminal rock and roll scene, capturing now legendary music icons in a collection that is considered a classic by collectors.

Towards the end of the 1970's, Sanders' attention turned inward which set him on a spiritual search that took him to India and led him in the end to the Muslim world. All the while the photographer captured his surroundings on film, creating a striking and disparate record of the last vestiges of traditional Muslim societies in transition. Sanders' own deep commitment to and love of traditional Islamic culture has brought him into intimate contact with people and places few photographers reach.

"My photography has always been an extension of my life," he said. "Photography is a wonderful process - a gift from God - that has allowed me to learn so much about myself and the world around me. Its like chasing a moment, trying to capture a beautiful bird in flight." "The photographs are extremely, extraordinarily beautiful," claims Japanese Art Critic, Tsuyoshi Kawasoe.

"One should not under-estimate the importance of Peter Sanders' work," said American writer Michael Sugich. "He is the only photographer working today who has systematically and with great devotion to the task, covered vast areas of the Islamic world as an insider. Because of his deep understanding of the culture and his impeccable spiritual courtesy, he has been able to photograph places and people that virtually no western photographer would be able to access. He has left an indelible, poetic and ravishing record of an extraordinary time and a rich and fascinating culture."

It has also been quoted, "he captures the spritiual beauty of creation itself."

Sanders' photographs have appeared in many international publications, including Time Magazine, Paris Match, The Observer, The Sunday Times Magazine, Aramco World and the London based pan-Arab news magazine Al Majalla who published his work as a cover story.

His intimate photographs of the sacred cities of Makkah and Madinah are in great demand.
Peter Sanders Photography Limited includes travel, location and studio photography, a photographic library of over 120,000 slides, as well as the production of fine art prints.

This year will see the publication of his first photographic book, 'In The Shade of The Tree.' Another three are in mid-production, including one about the muslims in China.


New album from Native deen: Not Afraid to stand Alone

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You are working great!
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