Tag Archives: turkey

Syriac studies coming to Artuklu University

Feb 12 2009 – Mardin’s Artuklu University is preparing to become only the second university in the world to host a Syriac language department.

The university is planning to create a department that will focus on the language and literature of the Syriac people, who populate the Middle East and who have lived side-by-side with Muslims in peace and prosperity in Mardin for centuries. Artuklu University Rector Serdar Bedii Omay said a Syriac department was in the works and that university officials have met with leaders from the local Syriac community to achieve this goal. Present at the meeting were Deyrulzafaran Monastery Metropolitan Salibe Özmen, Archbishop Gabriyel Akyüz of Kırklar Church and other members of the Syriac community.

[read the rest here]

First International Symposium on “Batman”

So, an interesting email came in through the Hugoye Listserv a few days ago. Let me share the first bit of it with you:

(15 – 17 April 2008)

The city is not a simply inhabited space. Beyond that, it is a location of identity, belonging and dynamic human production processes. Seen from this perspective, Batman is an urban centre which appeared in the history quite late. […]

Now, when I was reading this, I did not have a very good night’s sleep (my daughter is in the middle of a teething fit) so I read the first line of the title and wondered to myself:

“Why is a comic book convention being advertised on a Syriac Language email list?”

Then I took a second look:

“Ahhh. Batman as in Batman Turkey, not Batman as in Batman & Robin.”

Posting about the irony of this back on the Hygoye list, I soon received an email from Mark Dickens, over at Clare Hall at Cambridge University, whose first reaction was very close to mine. After we chatted about things easily confusable with Batman besides Batman (such as Batnan… ooh headaches), he said something that made my day:

But then again, who knows, perhaps there is a Syriac version of the Batman comics waiting to be discovered in some musty scriptorium somewhere…

That would really be something! Just imagine an American comicbook superhero, ferreted away in a monastery somewhere by a monk, embarrassed by his western tastes in recreational reading material, only to be uncovered many years later and thrust center stage by international media. It’s a silly fantasy that only ancient language geeks like me would ever find funny or even entertain. 🙂

But then….. I thought to myself:

“What would Batman look like in Syriac?”

And a few hours later, prompted by a convenient and sudden episode of insomnia, I came up with this:

Batman: “Go! After him Robin!”
Robin: “He’s mine!”