Olam Qatan is a spiritual books and world music store in Emek Refaim St, Jerusalem, Israel. I spoke briefly with it's owner Ya'qub ibn Yusuf, who explained some of the music and books available in his store. Sounds like there's a fusion of East meets West happening in Israel and Turkey, which is really interesting to hear. It's great to speak with Independant store owners - their passion for music & books is contagious and it's great to discover new sounds and genres.
If you can't make it personally to the store, take a look at their website, http://olamqatan.com/. From September (2007) the music will be available to preview online. The Articles and About Us sections are of particular interest as they explain more about the store and it's history. They used to run classes after hours, at the "Olam Qatan School" at the store, where people could hear lectures, attend workshops and listen to concert performances. Now the store is branching out to publishing books and spreading the word of the local music releases and performers. So if you're not familiar with Israeli, Turkish and Middle Eastern sounds, check them out.
The videos below are of Ya'qub ibn Yusuf, the store owner, explaining the music & books that can be found in the store. He also gives a brief summary of independent music in the region today which is interesting to hear. And he gives plenty of recommendations if you're looking for some sounds to listen to or books to read.
There are 3 videos discussing music and some of the music releases, and one discussing the books.
(I had to lower the video quality slightly to make the file sizes more managable so apologies for the quality of the video. I have higher res versions)
video part 1 : music
video part 2 : music
video part 3 : music
video part 4 : books