Welcome to penna! As you may have realised from the name, this site is about the written word. From the clay tablets of Mesopotamia four millennia ago to the screen on which you are reading this now, the medium may have changed but the power of the written word to help make sense of the world around us has not.
Luckily, we don’t need to understand hieroglyphics or cuneiform to learn about current economic conditions, social upheaval or political critique. However, despite the ease of access to information in the modern era, we still face numerous barriers to enhancing our knowledge and understanding of what is going on across this island, on both sides of the dividing line.
We have access to news from each community, but it’s usually the kind of news that convinces us there isn’t much new. Rarely do we get the chance to read directly from the source, without filter or interpretation, articles that reflect the thoughts and concerns of prominent thinkers in the ‘other’ community, the prevailing moods within a cross-section of society, or even some behind-the-scenes knowledge on key developments. When our minds wander beyond the buffer zone, seldom do we get the chance to read insightful pieces from people actually living there, providing us with layers of understanding where before there was only black and white.
This is where penna! comes into play. The Cyprus Dialogue Forum (CDF) Secretariat has pooled together opinion writers from each community, from leading media outlets across the island. Each week, penna! will select 4 published columns (2 from each community) from the pool of writers and provide verbatim translations, placing a mirror to the words and thoughts of the chosen columnists in 2 other languages. By the morning of the most popular day of the week – Friday – these 4 opinion pieces will be translated and available for you in three languages (English, Greek, Turkish), hopefully shining a light on anything from the Cyprus Problem to Politics, Social Issues or the Economy.
Week by week we will add more opinion pieces reflecting thoughts, ideas, hopes and fears, from the writer’s native tongue to yours, at the same time, opening a small window to what we think we already know. Let’s find out if we do. So, penna! will keep an eye on those holding the pen (or keyboard), while you enjoy the written word from across the island in your language of choice.
For more information on the CDF, visit cydialogue.org.
The opinion pieces in penna! are reproduced with the permission of the author and media outlet in which they were published. In penna! they are translated verbatim from the original text, including the terminology adopted, as published online in the respective media outlets indicated and on the date specified. The text is translated from the original into English and then a third language. While every effort is made to respect the integrity of the original text, the translations in penna! are unofficial translations. The accuracy of the translated text has not been verified by the original author. Their inclusion does not mean that the CDF endorses the views they reflect or confirms the information they contain. Copyright for the work remains with the original author and media outlet.
Any reproduction of the work in a translated language – other than the original – should include the following statement: “[Title], by [Author], [Media Outlet], original text in [original language]. This is an unofficial translation in [translated language] by CDF available in penna.cydialogue.org. The accuracy of the translated text has not been verified by the original author.”