Join borough-based cultural space, The Mosaic Rooms, who specialise in showcasing contemporary culture from, and about, the Arab world at the launch of two books this month –  A Useless Man and Syria Burning.

Syria Burning

Wednesday, June 24 – 7pm (free event, contact

Syria BurningAn evening with Charles Glass who will be in conversation with Martin Woollacott, to discuss the launch his new book ‘Syria Burning‘, published by OR Books.

Since its onset during the Arab Spring in 2011, the Syrian civil war has claimed in excess of 200,000 lives, with an estimated 8 million Syrians –  more than a third of the country’s population – forced to flee their homes. The nuances of this conflict have never been well-understood in the West, least of all, it seems, by governments in the US and Europe, who anticipating Assad’s sudden departure, made it a condition of any negotiated settlement. The consequences of that miscalculation, Charles Glass contends in this illuminating and concise survey, have contributed greatly to the unfolding disaster that we witness today. Syria Burning melds together reportage, analysis and history to provide an accessible overview of the origins and permutations defining the conflict, situating it clearly in the overall crisis of the region.

A Useless Man

Thursday, June 25 – 7pm (free event, contact

Useless ManThe Mosaic Rooms and Archipelago are delighted to present the launch of A Useless Man (English translation), a collection of autobiographical and highly symbolic stories from renowned Turkish author Sait Faik Abasiyanik.

A Useless Man is a collection of short stories translated by Maureen Freely who will be in conversation with award-winning cultural journalist and writer Maya Jaggi.

Sait Faik Abasiyanik has written 12 books of short stories, two novels, and a book of poetry. His stories celebrate the natural world and trace the plight of iconic characters in society: ancient coffeehouse proprietors and priests, dream-addled fishermen and poets of the Princes’ Isles, lovers and wandering minstrels of another time.