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Showing posts from February, 2012

Şeker Ahmed Pasha : The Works of a Military Artist

We have another Ottoman joining the ranks of the posts (I'm biased as you might already know!), Şeker Ahmed Pasha (1841–1907) is a classic example. Born in Istanbul, and initially enrolled in Medical School, he switched to the local military academy where he would later develop his interest in art.

The Sultan( Sultan Abdulaziz) liked his work and sent him to Paris immediately, to study under Gustave Boulanger and Jean-Leon Gerome.

Many of his works were oil-paintings based on nature , such as forests, fruits, animals and others.

He would later go on to host many art exhibitions and continued to serve in the army. He died in 1907, of a heart attack. 

Here are some of his works:

Another talented artist for the books! If this is not talent, then I do not know what is.

Book Review: Tears on an Island - A History of Disasters in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Another local book that caught my eye; this 219 page book deals with Bahrain's history with regards to disasters. In this book, disasters are classified as :

Natural and Physical DisastersBiological DisastersMan-made Technological DisastersMan-made Non-Technological DisastersEnvironmental DisastersDisasters due to Gathering The book is written by a man who is not new to disasters, having been at the helm of the Medical Response Team to the recent ill-fated Gulf Air  in August 2000, he is Dr. Abdul Aziz Yousif Hamza ; Undersecretary of Health in the Ministry of Health, a former Chief of Medical Staff at the local Salmaniya hospital and is now a Professor at the College of Medicine at the Arabian Gulf University.

Here is my feedback:


The book only deals with disasters in the 20th Century and onwards, with very little pertaining to previous centuries,The book lists several facts after the other, with very little link between them (akin to just jumping from one point to anoth…

Freshen Up With Archaeology Friday: Post VI

Another week, another post of Archaeology findings!

Muslim Cemetery Discovered in Malta:

From the Times of Malta:

Roadwork excavations in Marsa have revealed the archaeological remains of a Muslim cemetery dating back to 1675, confirming historians’ belief of the existence of a Turkish slave cemetery in the area.
The find is being documented and excavated by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and an archaeologist specialising in documentation of human remains is closely following the investigation.
The roadworks have been temporarily halted on the relevant sections until the preservation works are complete.

Sections likely to be impacted by ongoing roadworks will be scienti-fically extracted and taken to the superintendence for further testing, analysis and conservation.
The unaffected parts will be protected and left on site, undisturbed.
Two archaeologists were working hard at documenting the findings yesterday afternoon. Remains ran along the chiselled rock at v…

History of the Fez

Continuing with the recent trend of Ottoman history and culture (I'm biased, I know!), in this post we shall find out about the history of the Fez, a classical example of Ottoman culture. And one more thing... this post won't be a fashion post !

The Fez is, in essence, a hat. It's called fez in Turkish ( plural fezzes or fezes), or tarboosh in Arabic          
 ( طربوش‎). They usually come in the shape of a red truncated cone or in the shape of a short cylinder made of kilim fabric.

Both usually have tassels.

The Fez was originally a Greek headgear that the Ottomans adopted in the early 19th Century as part of their efforts to modernize with their European counterparts.

There was thought to have been a myth regarding the choice of headgear.

The Ottomans rejected the Western 'European hats' (probably referring to top-hats and the sort) because it was not very 'user friendly' during the act of praying (I'd assume it kept falling off but feel free to spec…

Who were the Ottomans ? A Brief Introduction

Yes, apparently I'm that much annoyed by the survey's results. So I thought it's time for a real and proper introduction to the Ottomans (and hopefully, I might slim down the margin!), so let's get started !

The Ottomans were, in essence, Turks. The Turks are an ethnic group that originated from Central Asia. The Ottoman Empire, in particular, started in 1299. At the time, Anatolia (which is present-day Turkey, excluding the European part) was carved up into several minor (and often warring) independent states called 'Ghazi Emirates' (or Anadolu Beylikleri in Turkish). 

The founder Osman I and his Dream:

One of these emirates was controlled by a man named Osman I (from which the word "Ottoman" is derived from), who controlled a region in western Anatolia. A popular myth about Osman was the famous "Osman's Dream" myth, in which he had dreamed of a tree which symbolized his future empire.

According to his dream the tree, which was Osman's…

A Glimple of Local Art in Bahrain

Continuing with the theme of Art & Culture Month (and while we're still in the Mid-East culture part), I decided it would be a fitting tribute to give a shout-out to my country. Here are just some of the local paintings:


2. Susan:

3. Unity:

4. Couple under Umbrella:

5. Fashion:

6. Gahwa (Coffee):

7. Manama:

8. Bahraini House:

9. Bahraini Woman:

10. Muharraq Harbour: 

11. Bahrain Dhow:

12. Flowers:

13.Abstract Art:

There are many more local paintings and I'd like to direct readers to this local website, Bahrain Artistic Frames Center, which hosts a heck of a lot of paintings.

I hope you've enjoyed this post. What culture would you like me to post about next ?