‘Saladin Days Nicosia’ starts today

This evening sees the launch of a three-day event that will bring together writers, intellectuals, artists and activists in Nicosia to discuss history, literature, identity and contemporary politics. Among the special guests will be British-Pakistani historian and author Tariq Ali and Norwegian author Thorvald Steen, along with Thorvald Steen, Andreas Delsett, Umut Bozkurt, Nicos Philippou, Yael Navaro and Stavros Karayiannis.

The event is inspired by Sultan Saladin – one of the most important figures in the Middle Eastern history. In 1187, Saladin re-conquered the holy city of Jerusalem from the Crusaders during an era when war was commonplace. Yet after his victory, Saladin did something quite rare – he rejected the idea of revenge. Instead, he allowed the Christian leaders to leave Jerusalem and opened the city to the three religions for which it was a holy city. Saladin thus ended the war with reconciliation, not with arms.

Sultan Saladin
Sultan Saladin

Since 2009, the House of Literature in Oslo, Norway, has organised International Saladin Days. Taking their cue from Sultan Saladin, each year, creative and intellectual minds visit the city to discuss the possibility of coexistence and tolerance, instead of conflict and prejudice, particularly for those from Islamic, Christian and Jewish cultures.

For the first time ever, International Saladin Days is leaving Norway to camp out in Nicosia. The House of Literature Oslo has collaborated with the Association for Historical Dialogue & Research (AHDR) to create an exciting and wide-ranging set of activities and performances that will be hosted at the Home for Cooperation in the capital’s buffer zone.

All activities during the three-day programme are open to the public and are free. Some of the events are listed below. More information can be found on the organisers’ Facebook events page.

The event is funded by the Cyprus Office of the EEA and Norway Grants.

Event details

Event: Saladin Days Nicosia

Runs: Thursday 5th to Saturday 7th May 2016

Programme and times: 

Thursday 5 May

18:00 Opening Ceremony

20:00 Theatrical reading of ‘Desert Storms’ – Play by Tariq Ali and Thorvald Steen

21:00 ‘Who was Saladin and why a Saladin Days?’ – Thorvald Steen in conversation with Andreas Liebe Delsett

Friday 6 May

19:00 ‘Identiy: A double-edged sword’ – Panel Discussion with Umut Bozkurt, Stavrow Karayanni, Yael Navaro and Nicos Philippou, chaired by Nicoletta Demetriou and with comments from Thorvald Steen

20:30 ‘On the way to school’, 2008, Turkey – Film Screening

Saturday 7 May

10:00 ‘The play Shakespeare never wrote’ – A breakfast talk with Thorvald Steen

19:00 ‘Are the Crusades Over?’ – A lecture by Tariq Ali

20:30 Live music concert by band DeyNdar, uniting the voices of the region

Tariq Ali, appearing on The World Tomorrow
Keynote speaker Tariq Ali (photo: still from The World Tomorrow interview with Julian Assange)


Venue address:  Home for Cooperation, No. 28 Marcou Dracou Street, UN Buffer Zone ((Ledra Palace checkpoint), Lefkoşa

Entry: Free

Bookings & info: more information via Facebook