Sunday, August 31, 2008


Hey all, Assalamaalaikum and Ramadan Mubarak - peace be upon you and a blessed Ramadan.
I am so excited about this one. Let's pray God-willing that our spirits and Iman (faith) will stay on a high, and continue in that direction for the rest of our lives.
I apologize for not posting so much, I have been meaning to, but I can never perfect what I would like to say.

Instead, here is a piece from a blog that I find inspirational. This is Layla Anwar's blog, a very educated Iraqi woman and her raw thoughts since the invasion of her country.

For those who are literalist in thinking and language, it can prove almost impossible for them to capture the essence of what I am trying to convey.

Take another example - the verb to Love in Arabic. There are over 99 ways to express the concept/feeling/state of Love in Arabic.

I am yet to come across a language that prides itself on its Love variations like in Arabic.

Love through and under all of its states is to be found in different verbs expressing the one thing -- Love. A yearning Love, a longing Love, a passionate Love , a liking Love , a burning Love, an infatuating Love, an ecstatic Love, a deep Love, a missing Love, a caring Love, a friendly Love, a bitter Love, a sorrowful Love, a grieving Love, a cruel Love, a platonic Love, a lustful Love, a waiting Love, a jealous Love, a possessive Love, a conquering Love....and keep counting over 90 variations of the verb to Love.

One state of Love in Arabic is "Shagan". "Shagan" is excessively hard to translate into English. Shagan is a state of Love where one experiences - yearning, longing, lamentation, waiting, nostalgia, tinged with a subtle taste of bitterness of something that has gone to pass but one is still hoping for...but nonetheless a creative, inspired state of Love, almost melodious in its Hopefulness...

See what I mean - this is the brilliance of the Arabic language, a language that combines in one word Shagan all those seemingly contradictory states of both despair and hopefulness -- of finally meeting and uniting with your Beloved, against all odds.

The state of Love produced by "Shagan" is a very peculiar one...It is an almost obsessive one...because everything reminds you and takes you back to the Beloved.

Everything - a smell, a color, a look, a familiar face, a taste, a perfume, a memory, a song, a melody, a scenery, a text, a letter, a book, a name, a word, a verb, a Language...

Painting: Iraqi artist, Abdul Hussain Al-Twaij.
The entry:

1 comment:

Artistic Logic said...

I loved that excerpt. I wish I could learn Arabic one day, it is truly a very deep language. Same goes for urdu, you can express things in those languages that you just can't in English.