What We Are Reading Today: Wildlife of the Galapagos: Second Edition

What We Are Reading Today: Wildlife of the Galapagos: Second Edition
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Updated 01 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Wildlife of the Galapagos: Second Edition

What We Are Reading Today: Wildlife of the Galapagos: Second Edition

Authors: Julian Fitter, Daniel Fitter, and David Hosking

Since its first publication more than a decade ago, Wildlife of the Galapagos has become the definitive, classic field guide to the natural splendors of this amazing part of the world.
Now fully updated, this essential and comprehensive guide has been expanded to include the more than 400 commonly seen birds, mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, and plants, and other coastal and marine life of this wondrous archipelago.
Over 650 stunning color photographs, maps, and drawings are accompanied by accessible, descriptive text. This new edition includes information about all the common fish of the region and Spanish names are featured for the first time. There is also a revised section that discusses the islands’ history, climate, geology, and conservation, with the most current details on visitor sites.
This is the perfect portable companion for all nature enthusiasts interested in the astounding Galapagos.
  — Covers 400+ commonly seen species, including birds, mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, and plants, and other coastal and marine life
— Illustrated with over 650 color photographs, maps, and drawings
— Includes maps of visitor sites
 


‘Calligraphies of the Desert’ takes readers on an artistic journey

‘Calligraphies of the Desert’ takes readers on an artistic journey
Updated 18 January 2021

‘Calligraphies of the Desert’ takes readers on an artistic journey

‘Calligraphies of the Desert’ takes readers on an artistic journey

LONDON: At first glance, readers of “Calligraphies of the Desert,” a new release by leading Iraqi painter and calligrapher Hassan Massoudy, will be tempted to describe it as a visual treat; a stunning calligraphic interpretation of the desert. However, they may very well reconsider this reading of the text as they navigate their way through the book.

More than just a splendid calligraphy book, “Calligraphies of the Desert” is a masterful survey of writings about the Arabian desert, collected by Hassan’s wife, Isabelle Massoudy. The collection, we learn in an introduction by Isabelle, was prompted by the France-based couple’s multiple trips to the deserts of Egypt, Tunisia and Mauritania, as well as by Isabelle’s strong urge to “recover a little of that desert in Paris” by reading widely and devouring texts on the desert by renowed poets and writers.

Arabic calligraphy: Ancient craft, modern art
For the Saudi Ministry of Culture's Year of Arabic Calligraphy in 2020/21, we take an in-depth look at how the craft has developed from ancient to modern times.
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The authors of these texts, Isabelle says, “expressed in their writings a fair share of the emotions I had felt but could not yet express in words.” The result is an exquisitely made book — a collaboration between Hassan and Isabelle — that features texts by Rumi, Goethe, Baudelaire, Khalil Gibran, Al-Mutanabbi and Rabindranath Tagore, among others. Most of the texts are complemented by English/Arabic translations. Accompanying these segments are Hassan’s own magnificent calligraphic interpretations of many of them.

Hassan’s strokes are reminiscent of the desert. A desert color palette caresses his drawings: Shades of sand-yellow give way to a vibrant orange, before waltzing through a pulsating red-brown and stopping by other darker shades of brown. Likewise, the strokes are imbued with a sense of movement; they dance and twirl and whirl just like the desert’s sand waves.

“Calligraphies” is in many ways a celebration of the vast desert expanse — the laborious journey toward it, the silence and contemplation it brings to the traveler, as well as an appreciation of the path it enables toward knowledge of both self and the world.