Books – Books – Books on Cyprus
By Heidi Trautmann
Aydin Mehmet Ali is a Cypriot woman, a fascinating
woman. I have interviewed her as contribution to the second Volume of my book:
“Art and Creativity in North Cyprus”, soon to be published.
“…..Deep eyes. Eyes changing colour with the movement
of thoughts. A Mediterranean face, could be Spanish, with masses of dark curly
hair she constantly plays with, one moment it envelops her like a shawl the
next she curls it up on top of her head, which constantly changes the
expression of her face. Iron-grey patches on her temples, she seems to have
accepted them and shows them with pride. The sun, filtered through purple
bougainvillea, gives her face depth and lines she has gathered through her
active years as a world shaker, Aydın Mehmet Ali, the revolutionary, the rebel.
“Yes, I consider myself a world shaker, literally
shaking people awake, out of their ignorance, their selfishness, or on the
other side helplessness, laziness and even cowardice.” Stepping into people’s
way to make them stop and then think twice, open their eyes to see the truth is
one first step but that is not enough. “No, that is not enough, the next step
is knowledge and that is education. In order to find the appropriate
approaches, I had to go deep down to the roots, I had to be with them, people
of all colours, backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures, live and work with them
in order to understand, in order to get a clearer picture of what had to be
She dedicates the book to those who wander in
forbidden zones and return to tell the stories….and in the introductory part of
the book she says that the book is a rescue operation for her stories written
over the last 35 years, still valid with their fearlessness and the spirit in
which they were written. After all they are fictionalized realities.
Although they are fiction, they are based on her
meeting people, her deep interest in people and…trespassing zones of taboos,
she writes with the warmth of a woman with the feeling of a poet, and
absolutely truthful to herself and the cause.
Aydin Mehmet Ali was born in Cyprus and has lived and
worked in London for many years but has also living places in Nicosia South and
in Famagusta. She was educated in Cyprus, USA and Britain. She is an
international education consultant, project manager, researcher and writer. As
a well-known intellectual community activist and advocate of multiculturalism
and multilingualism, she has spoken at international conferences and her work
appeared in numerous publications. She has set up and managed many empowerment
projects in the UK and in Cyprus. Her work focuses on young people and women.
She is a passionate campaigner for peace in Cyprus and amongst Cypriots in the
Diaspora. She has been a consultant adviser to the London Mayor and to numerous
education and cultural establishments.
is the author of the acclaimed book, Turkish Speaking Communities &
education - no delight (2001) and editor and translator of Turkish Cypriot
Identity in Literature (1990). She is an award winning author and her short
stories have appeared in the anthologies Diaspora City (2003), Uncut Diamonds
(2003,), Index (July 2002), Crossing the Border (2002) and Weeping Island
(2000), and in the journals Cadences (2005), Exiled Ink! (2005) and Orient
Her work was part of the art installation, Bedtime
Story, at the [IN] visible exhibition, London, 2005. Her poetry translations
and articles on literature have appeared in Mother Tongues, Journal of Poetry
in Translation (2001), Agenda Poetry Journal (2002), The Silver Throat of the
Moon: Writing in Exile (2005), Klandestini website (2004), Negating the Silence
(2003), Nicosia (1995), Writing in Exile (2005), Klandestini website (2004),
Negating the Silence (2003), Nicosia (1995), Cadences (2005), Orient Express
(2005) and have been performed at numerous international poetry festivals and
on radio for over fifteen years. She has done readings in a number of venues
including the October Gallery as part of the renowned International Music
Village Festival, Soho Theatre, Birkbeck College, Waterstone’s Bookshop, the
Fawcett Women’s Library and Deptford Artists Studios, London. She is editing an
anthology of Turkish Speaking Women’s writing in London. She has organised Arts
and Literature festivals, bilingual creative writing workshops, poetry and
short story competitions for Turkish Speaking Women, Cypriot poetry evenings in
Turkish, Greek and English, seminars, exhibitions for individual artists, Arts
workshops for parents and young people, projects using the Arts to diffuse
racial tensions and conflict between different communities. She recently
managed four projects, including The way we are, a multicultural and
multi-lingual photographic project, in the north and south of Cyprus, with
Cypriotturkish, Cypriotgreek, Cypriotroma, settler and mixed heritage children.
She took part in numerous documentaries and Arte TV broadcasted a documentary
in France and Germany about part of her life (2004).
Her first short story collection, Pink
Butterflies/Bize Dair was published in October, 2005.
ISBN No. 978-0-9515656-3-6