This post is also available in: العربية

The Safahat Bookstore, the first ever project in the Dutch capital dedicated to Arabic language books, has been recently inaugurated in Amsterdam. Safahat meaning ‘papers’ will offer an exclusive space to Arab publishers to showcase works, and provide readers of Arabic books access to a wealth of titles published in the Arabic language. Safahat’s founder, Samer Al Kadri, underlined that the space will also be utilised for various artistic and cultural events.

Kadri says he had been wanting to set up a bookstore since his days in Damascus, Syria. He tried when he moved to Jordan, but failed against fierce competition from existing businesses. Finally, Istanbul became the place where he realised his dream, where he opened a three-storeyed Safahat Bookstore, which is always buzzing with visitors.

Today, Safahat is one of Turkey’s largest bookstores. Al Kadri collaborated with dozens of Arab publishers in Istanbul through his bookstore, and then decided to expand to the heart of Europe with the aim of providing the huge Arab diaspora there with Arabic books. He chose Holland because the country was yet to open an Arabic bookstore.