الأحد، 13 نوفمبر، 2011

Why Arabic Language is So Rich!

This is not a patriotic post about my 'Arabism'; I have given up on it long time ago, not because 'Arabism' had let me down but maybe because 'Globalism' had won me over.

It took me a long while to start thinking in English when I'm writing in English, otherwise I'd be thinking in Arabic and making literal translation in my head to English which is 'no good'. That's all fine, until there would be an Arabic word urging to come out and the translation of this one word is a sentence! Yes, a sentence of noun, verb, object, preposition, etc... that's when I contemplate the beauty of the Arabic language, how rich and expressive! Just to clarify this case: a word in Arabic can be formed of a verb with the subject and object of the sentence attached to it as suffix and prefix. A word such as: 'Yakhossohom' means: 'It belongs to them' some might argue that it also means 'it's theirs'; well, not really, because that one single word is translated to the four English words; the latter (it's theirs) would be translated as 'Lahom'.

If you translate an English document to Arabic and it is as wordy as the English one, then it doesn't read well in Arabic and there can be lots of editing to do.

It's amazing how we have such an expressive language and we still manage to maneuver our ways out and not be straight forward to express exactly what we want. We don't use the Yes's and No's for the purpose they serve. But we use the 'Inshalla's' and 'We'll see' and 'Yeah sure' when we clearly mean No.

Start making the best of your language, use the words clearly to express your rights. Don't hide behind the '3aib' (Shame) veil and reword what you try to say to suit other people's likings while the whole meaning is diluted and the message is lost. Our attitudes should rise to measure up to the richness of our language and how precise and clear it is without the vagueness and uncertainty we carry around most of the times.

الأحد، 26 يونيو، 2011

the five people you meet in Heaven


A little while ago I was browsing through the 'spiritual' section at the book shop whose name i cannot pronounce but luckily i can write with the help of google (or by looking at the sticker at the back of the book), Kinokuniya. A book called 'the five people you meet in Heaven' caught my attention and I immediately thought it was misplaced for it should belong to the fictional section, or so I thought. You might know the author, Mitch Albom, from the bestseller 'tuesdays with Morrie'.

I started reading the book in Dubai and the very first chapter turned me off and I stopped reading as it talks about the last day of 'Eddie', the protagonist of the novel. I thought it's such a depressing book and I put it aside. Later on, when my trip to Bali was imminent, I knew that this book would be my best companion.

The story starts off with 'Eddie', an 82 year-old attendant at an amusement park called Ruby, dies while fixing the roller coaster at the site. Then the journey begins. Post his death, Eddie starts meeting the five people who influenced his life the most; some of which he never met before. While meeting these people, one after the other, we get to learn more and more about Eddie's life, mainly through his birthdays. Albom's way of alternating between Eddie's post death journey and his life on earth in a very exciting, uninterrupted sequence, makes it really easy for any movie director to just pick up the book and paste it to a screen. The novel gives the feel of watching a surreal movie but yet a very real story that touches our lives on different levels.

The book made me think of my current life, the experiences I go through, and my next 'life'. Mostly, I liked the ending of the story, which puts the whole thing into perspective: Heaven is not about the rivers of milk or honey, and valleys of strange fruits; but it's more about the moment we spend with beloved ones and we cherish the most. So, the book was in its right place at the bookstore.

I do recommend this book as a good read; especially on the beach.

Title: the five people you meet in Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Language: English

الأربعاء، 12 يناير، 2011

Been a while!


Firstly I want to apologize for putting this blog in a hibernating mode for quite some time. Secondly, I also want to apologize for not writing in Arabic (this post or the coming few ones) as my current machine is not Arabic enabled. But I promise to resolve this issue at the earliest.
The next book i'm reading will be 'Dawa2er Al Khawf' (Circles of Fear) by the great Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid, who passed on in 2010.

Talk to you soon,

Eman-