Tara’s father: Hamdi Bilsel
Tara’s Grandfather Orhan Hamdi Alisbah
TARA LATIFA ALİSBAH
Tara Latifa Alisbah, daughter of an American mother and Turkish father and born in Ankara, Turkey, is the author of a book on Turkish hand gestures, the parallel language in Turkey. Tara has not always followed a straight or obvious path in her career choices, and this habit of not taking the obvious path is probably what led her to be the first to notice the widespread “phenomenon of Turkish Hands” and begin to methodically compile these gestures. This book captures a very important aspect of Turkish culture and communication that has gone largely unnoticed. Tara has captured more than 150 gestures with photos, words that may accompany the photos, and situations explaining the use of the gestures. This non-verbal language is so ingrained in Turkish culture that Turks who come across the book initially don’t believe that this is something special they do that other cultures don’t. It took a bi-cultural child with an observant eye, a great love of all things Turkish and a habit of stepping off the beaten path, to capture this rich body language. Where else can these gestures take us?