World’s oldest emoji? Smiley face found on ancient pot in Turkey

The pitcher will be sent to the Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology. (Photo courtesy: Anadolu Agency)
Updated 19 July 2017

World’s oldest emoji? Smiley face found on ancient pot in Turkey

DUBAI: A team of archaeologists in Turkey have discovered what could be the world’s oldest emoji on a pitcher in the ancient city of Karkamış located along the border with Syria.
Nikolo Marchetti, a professor from Italy’s Bologna University, told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency that Karkamış dates back to 2,000 B.C.
During the excavations, carried out by a joint Italian-Turkish team, researchers uncovered various vases and pots in the necropolis site.
“One of the most interesting findings of this season was a pitcher with a smiley emoji on it. This pitcher, which traced back to 1,700 B.C., was used to drink sherbet, a sweet drink. We have probably found the oldest smiley emoji. We do not know with which purpose the craftsmen drew this symbol on the pitcher but we call it a smile,” Marchetti said told Anadolu Agency this week.
The pitcher will be sent to the Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology, he said.
The Karkamış Ancient City Archaeological Park is set to reopen after a seven-year excavation period on May 12, 2018, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı said in July.


Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.