Nearly all the posts are bilingual.
Presque tous les articles sont bilingues.

English spoken. On parle français. (وكمان منفهم عربي، حبيبي)

Most of this blog's contents is subject to copyright. For instance, many of the latest illustrations I've made myself. I'm the cooperative type. If you intend to borrow some material, please contact me by leaving a comment. :-)
La plupart du contenu de ce blog est soumis aux droits d'auteurs. Par exemple, nombre des illustrations les plus récentes sont faites par moi. Je suis du genre coulant. Si vous comptez emprunter du contenu, SVP contactez-moi en laissant un commentaire. :-)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Danger in Arabia, achtung minen!

Seeking the exact text of a Gebran Khalil Gebran quote, I did an arabic internet search. First surprise: that famous quote from the third most read poet in the english language could not be found on the Network, at least not verbatim. Second surprise: a simplified search displayed a shtick meshuggenah I had never seen in my life yet: a "Danger" warning. Caramba! Viruses? Porn, perhaps (one can dream)? Niet, tavaritch. Nein, mein herr. Non, très cher. Lah, habeebee.
Far worse.
An article, a chronicle/impression, by an Egyptian girl schooled in a christian school (seems to be her religion), and pondering on the faith displayed by a nun who taught them catechism, the live example of a woman wheelchair-bound for life at 30 following a car accident, and who kept an unshakable trust in God's love. Plus, the rest (right now I've only read 15% of that lengthy page) seems promising, judging by the title: "Ghabawa". Mamma mia! An Egyptian missie who knows Douraks?
The "dreadful danger", apparently, is an "apologia of something other than muslim faith", in a country where this is frowned upon.
So you've been warned: do not type in your browser the address displayed in the image if you're in an arab country, you'd be navigating in reef-laden murky waters. With sharks prowling around. Of the Squalus beardicus species, commonly known as the "daggertooth shark".
I hope I'm not risking jail, for officially confessing reading that impious page...
But normally, being non-muslim is still legal in Lebanon. As long as "Brother Osama" hasn't succeeded in his nefarious little plans of jihadic unsettling. ):-P
Next time, for a change, I'll be knocking the Vatican's dourakisms. They're playing in the same league, don't you worry for them.
As for the Jews... they're doing such an efficient job at self-derision, that I also plan to mention something about them. Fair is fair.

Achtung, minen!
Cherchant le texte exact d'une citation de Gebran Khalil Gebran, j'ai effectué une recherche en arabe sur internet. Première surprise: cette citation fameuse du troisième poète le plus lu en langue anglaise est introuvable sur le Réseau, en tout cas dans son intégralité. Seconde surprise: une recherche simplifiée m'a montré un shtick meshuggenah que je n'avais encore jamais vu de ma vie: un avertissement "attention, lien dangereux". Caramba! Des virus? Du porno, peut-être (on peut rêver)? Niet, tavaritch. Nein, mein herr. No, sir. Lâ, habîbi.
Bien pire.
Un article, une chronique/impression, par une Egyptienne scolarisée dans une école chrétienne (sa religion, apparemment), et philosophant sur la foi montrée par une religieuse qui leur enseignait le catéchisme, l'exemple vécu d'une femme qui à 30 ans, dans un fauteuil roulant à vie suite à un accident de voiture, gardait une confiance inébranlable en l'amour de Dieu. En plus, le reste (j'ai lu 15% seulement de cette longue page, au moment où j'écris ceci) semble prometteur à en juger par le titre: "Ghabawa". Mamma mia! Une Egyptienne qui connait les Douraks?
Le "danger redoutable", apparemment, c'est une "apologie d'autre chose que la foi musulmane", dans un pays qui n'aime pas ça.
Vous voici prévenus: ne tapez pas dans votre navigateur l'adresse visible dans l'image si vous êtes dans un pays arabe, vous vogueriez en eaux troubles parsemées de récifs. Avec des requins rôdant alentour. De l'espèce
Squalus barbus, dit "requin dents-de-couteau".
J'espère que je ne suis pas en train de risquer la prison, pour avoir officiellement avoué une lecture de cette page impie...
Mais en principe, être non-musulman est encore légal au Liban. Aussi longtemps que "le Frère Oussama" n'a pas réussi ses petits plans de déstabilisation jihadique. ):-P
La prochaine fois, pour varier, je taperai sur les dourakineries du Vatican. Ils ne sont pas en reste.
Quant aux Juifs... ils sont tellement doués pour l'auto-dérision, que je compte aussi mentionner quelque chose à leur sujet. Soyons équitables!


Joe Dick said...

I hate to say it, but I've never heard of this guy. Then again I've never been much into poetry.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

If you haven't followed the same school program as me in Lebanon, you're excused. :-)
Although he IS a classic, including in the USA.
Click the Wikipedia link in the english version of the post if you're curious.

Joe Dick said...

Well that's the thing - they say he's the third most quoted after Shakespeare and Lao Tse - yet I've never even heard of him, let alone read anything of his! I find it hard to believe that we never once studied the guy in school, considering how well known he'd have to be in order to be #3. Weird!

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Read any Lao Tse lately? ;-)

Quotes are a funny thing with a life of their own, a bit like jokes. For instance, try and tell me who said: "A house divided cannot stand." Without the help of a web search or encyclopedia.

Johnnie Walker said...

Well I can't win on that one! Even if I knew it, you'd assume I cheated!

Well, I didn't know it, and would have guess Shakespeare... I guess it was Lincoln. I admit my knowledge of Lincoln sayings extends as far as The Gettysburg Address and only those most famous parts.

Joe Dick said...

I did know it, but thanks for ruining my chance anyway, dorkstick. I too probably would have guess The Bard simply because he's No. 1 - I figure the odds would be good. I would never have guessed Lincoln because I too only know his most famous lines.

Since you asked, I really have no time for mysticism and Taoism definitely falls into that category. I wouldn't say it's really much use as a life philosophy, unlike some forms of Buddhism.

Joe Dick said...

I meant to say I didn't know it.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

HAH! You fell right for it!
Lincoln might have quoted Shakespeare, who lived before him. But it doesn't matter anyway. Because Shakespeare was quoting Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospel:

"But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?"
- (Matthew 12:24-26, KJV)

The point was not, of course, to trick you and then gloat. Just to illustrate that with "popular knowledge" such as quotes, many things are not as correct as one may think. Too many of these quotes go around and around. Wikipedia contributors know this only too well.

This precise example is a favorite of mine. Because Anglo-Americans typically pride themselves on their devotion and culture, yet their society seems to know politics or Shakespeare's works much better.
I blame precisely the politicians for this paradox. They pose as devouts, yet think only of giving a certain artificial image to the voting public.

On a side note, I have composed a post that's much more "achtung minen!" than the present one, but decided to leave it in ice for an undetermined period. Until some major changes occur in this country, I'd rather not take certain daring chances with my physical freedom.
Let's just say it was about how over here everybody keeps talking about I*s*r*a*e*l, yet officially that country appears to not exist. Not on the maps, not in the international phone code directories, and certainly not in the instruction manuals that come with videogames.
But enough tickling the alligator's nostrils...

I'll undoubtedly post it as soon as I feel geographically safer.

Joe Dick said...

Ah, well, there you go - I remember saying before about how few Christians have actually read the Bible! (Not that I'm a believer myself anyway.) They like to rely on their preachers who will cherry pick only the good parts and leave out those passages which raise uncomfortable questions.

I actually looked up the speech of Lincoln's that's used in and he put it in quotes, a clue you don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to pick up on. :-)

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"Elementary, my dear Dickson".

Spoofing the apocryphal quote which Holmes never said in the books.

With a pun to Harry Dickson, "the american Sherlock Holmes". (A much overdone title, if you ask me...)

Joe Dick said...

Just like no one ever said "Beam me up, Scotty." Variations of that were said but not that exactly. Speaking of Holmes, it's funny how his famous Deerstalker hat was never mentioned in the books. They say it would be equivalent to someone today wearing one of those bright orange hats hunters wear. (Probably there are people who would, but not Holmes.)

They also have a museum about him in London, which is quite an achievement for someone who didn't exist. If civilization ever crumbles again like it did when Rome fell, in the future it would be funny to see historians arguing over the historicity of the great Sherlock Holmes.

Carrie said...

Well written article.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Thanks, Carrie. Always nice to receive feedback.
And useful, too. Helps an author's self-assessment.

I very recently realized how much of Lebanon's relevant cultural elements are nearly to completely absent from the Web. Not just Gebran. When I wanted a picture of our national drinking jug, the ibriq, and of Lebanese bread, to illustrate my #100 post, there was none to be found online, at least not easily. So I found it far easier to grab my digicam and walk to my kitchen! :-)

Also, a local guy invented a board game, heavily inspired from the Lebanon civil war, that's actually quite funny and got much international praise worldwide. Okay, it WAS some 20 or so years ago, but I can't believe I couldn't find a single hint of it on either Google or Yahoo!

Suddenly, sarcastic devil-may-care me feels invested with a cultural duty. And I find it awesome that nowadays, a lambda citizen can just up and open a free website/blog and contribute to spread some knowledge.

Hey, after all, the Internet isn't JUST for porn. Not that I mind having terabytes of instantly accessible free smut. ;-)

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