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Digital Sketches

digital citizen media, ict with a focus on Central Asia and the Middle East.

The presentation of Petra Stienen’s book was almost finished. I arrived too late and only could enjoy the applause. Luckily the publisher is a rather advanced media user.  An interviewer and cameraman are registering, interviewing and filming the guests until the end of the book party. Have a look here (4 min 40) for the video on the site of Stienen’s publisher Nieuw Amsterdam.

Petra Stienen studied Arabic and worked in the Arabic world for more then ten years. Now she works at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague. The launch in art gallery Gemak of her book ‘Dromen van een Arabische Lente’ (Dreaming of an Arab Spring) attracted around 60 friends, family and colleagues.

During the drinks I did some crowd surfing which resulted in the following short encounters:

a man was in the midst of organizing an Arabic  Film festival

a couple was planning their holiday to Lattikia, a coastplace in the north of Syria, the end (or the beginning) of the Mediterranean sea

somebody was working on an encyclopedia in Arabic

another was studying Arabic in Leiden

– a guy proudly showing his new I-Touch and considering the production of an Arabic version

also somebody was working on a review of the book

The atmosphere at this presentation was lively, diverse and topped up with a fair amount of humor. I expect to meet the same kind of people in Petra’s book.



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