Category Archives: coronavirus

Dr Eleine Ng reads from Tabish Khair’s Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, Money and Shakespeare

Shakespeare scholar, Dr Eleine Ng (Singapore) reads from Tabish Khair’s Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, Money and Shakespeare.

In powerfully original rewritings that combine humour and satire with acute social and political commentary, Tabish Khair uses William Shakespeare’s sonnets to paint a memorable and moving picture of the world in corona quarantine. This is arguably the first major work of literature to come out of the corona crisis. With iconoclastic humour and intelligence, it runs the readers through a gamut of emotions. It is also a clarion call for change. These 21 sonnets range from initial humorous riffs on the foibles of our age but grow progressively darker and more acerbic, while always playing with Shakespeare’s original works. A must-read for our times!

Profits from this e-book are being donated by the publisher and author to Migrant Workers Centre, Singapore, helping migrant workers to cope with the current economic crisis complicated by the Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The Kindle edition of the ebook is available at https://tinyurl.com/quarantined-sonnets

Kitaab publishes the first major work of literature to come out of the corona crisis

Kitaab has published Tabish Khair’s anthology, Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, Money and Shakespeare, in support of Singapore’s Migrant Workers

In this ebook, in powerfully original rewritings that combine humour and satire with acute social and political commentary, Tabish Khair uses William Shakespeare’s sonnets to paint a memorable and moving picture of the world in corona quarantine. This is arguably the first major work of literature to come out of the corona crisis. With iconoclastic humour and intelligence, it runs the readers through a gamut of emotions. It is also a clarion call for change. These 21 sonnets range from initial humorous riffs on the foibles of our age but grow progressively darker and more acerbic, while always playing with Shakespeare’s original works. A must-read for our times!

Profits from this e-book are being donated by the publisher and author to Migrant Workers Centre, Singapore, helping migrant workers to cope with the current economic crisis complicated by the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Kitaab TV: The Origins Series – The Origin of Quarantine

The modern practice of ‘Quarantine’ owes its debt to the work of the Muslim polymath Ibn Sina (980-1037), known as Avicenna.

It was Ibn Sina who argued for the use of quarantine to control the spread of diseases in his five-volume medical encyclopedia “The Canon of Medicine,” originally published in 1025.

The Muslim scholar explained that diseases can spread through very small particles that cannot beWhile historians are not sure about the origins of the practice of sanitary isolation, the concept of quarantine has been known since biblical times, and is known to have been practised through history in various places.

Nevertheless, quarantine, as it is known today, would not have been developed without the seen with the naked eye. This discovery was proven centuries later when the microscope was invented.

Ibn Sina’s work laid the foundation for modern quarantine. Some argue that the current appellation of “quarantine” originates from quarantena, the Venetian language form, meaning “forty days”. This comes from the Arabic term “al-Arba’iniya” (the fortieth), which Ibn Sina used to designate his isolation method. Merchants in Venice used the term during the Black Death plague in the 14th and 15th centuries to designate the forty-day period that all ships were required to isolate before passengers and crew could go ashore.

Three centuries before the Venetians, Ibn Sina was ahead of his time in using this practice in his medical canon. His “The Canon of Medicine” was translated into Latin in Spain in the 12th century.

The University of Bologna, the oldest European university, was the first to adopt Ibn Sina’s Canon as the base of its medical education, in the 13th century. Between the 13th and the 17th centuries, many universities in Europe adopted Ibn Sina’s medical encyclopedia as the foundation of medical educational programmes. (Compiled from various sources)

Kitaab TV: Top 3 Things to Help Startups Survive the Coronavoris pandemic – Sidhi Dhir, TiE Singapore

“Either you do the time or the time does to you.” (Cole Sirucek)

In this exclusive interview, Sidhi Dhir, Executive Director of TiE Singapore, talks about the unprecedented challenge that all businesses are facing today arising out of the Covid-19 crisis. Funding has dried up and startups are trying to cope with the situation by pivoting and re-inventing themselves on a week by week basis. There are three things that Sidhi mentions that all startups must pay heed to in order to survive the pandemic.

Sidhi Dhir serves as the Executive Director of TiE Singapore. TiE is a global non profit organization which aims to foster entrepreneurship. Sidhi has been instrumental is forging deep ties with government bodies, corporates, investors and founders to create a robust startup ecosystem. Her main focus has been to assist growth stage startups expand their business beyond Singapore. Sidhi’s diverse skills include sales & partnerships, board management, and product development. Prior to TiE Singapore, she was the co-founder of a cleantech e-waste auctioning platform, ran a family owned-manufacturing firm and created e-commerce solutions for the hospitality sector. Sidhi has 15+ years of experience in Technology and Startup ecosystem, across Singapore, India and Silicon Valley, She is an advisor to tech startups in growth strategy, market & capital access and to help set up their advisory board.

Lonely Planet to shutter its London and Melbourne offices

Travel publisher Lonely Planet is to drastically reduce its publishing and close “almost entirely” its London and Melbourne offices as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Under proposals outlined by the company, it will also shutter the line of what it calls inspirational titles, i.e. non-guidebooks which includes children’s books, and will no longer publish the Lonely Planet magazine.

A statement issued by the company said: “Due to the impact of Covid-19 on demand and sales, Lonely Planet has made the difficult decision to reduce its publishing operations for the foreseeable future. Lonely Planet will continue to publish guidebooks and phrasebooks.”

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A Poet in Unrest: Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with actor, poet, storyteller and theatre director Danish Husain

In this video, lawyer and founder of The Polis Project, Suchitra Vijayan talks to actor, poet, storyteller and theatre director Danish Husain on many topics ranging from his self-isolation in the USA during the Covid-19 pandemic to poetry as a tool against fascism.

Hussain was instrumental in reviving the art form of Dastangoi for which he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s (Indian Academy of Music, Dance, &Theatre) Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar in 2010. He subsequently returned the award in 2015 in the intolerance debate that raged across India. He later in 2016 started a multi-lingual brand of storytelling Qissebaazi. He also contributed an essay to a highly acclaimed collection Strongmen, edited by Vijay Prashad & published by Leftword Books, where five artists, including Eve Ensler, from five different countries write about authoritarian leaders in their countries.

Who would survive the Coronavirus pandemic – A venture capitalist Perspective

In this exclusive interview, Venture Capitalist (VC) Debneel Mukherjee, Founder and Managing Partner of Decacorn Capital, shares his insights on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and how it is shaping a New World Order.

Given his expertise in the field of venture funding, he also describes ways for startups to brave this crisis and what it will take for them to survive these challenging times. Some of the key takeaways from this talk are as follows:

  • The Covid-19 pandemic will be here for some time. Its impact will be felt for years to come and the world will never get back to what it was in November 2019.
  • The Coronavirus pandemic is giving rise to a New World Order and companies/startups that are in the disruptive technology space will gain when the world emerges out of this crisis.
  • Only those companies/startups that will take timely decisions will be able to survive the crisis.
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