Arabic Wedding in the US!

Posted on 28. Jun, 2012 by in Culture, Vocabulary

A special زفـــــاف (wedding ceremony) took place in the US last week.

At Marie G. Davis Military and Global Leadership Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina, an 8th grader student wore white and carried a bouquet of purple flowers. Her “groom”, wore a black vest and sneakers.

However, this was no actual ceremony, but rather a reenactment of a traditional Arabic wedding, which concluded the school’s four-day summer Arabic camp!

According to the “Charlotte Observer”, “Marie G. Davis, a magnet school for grades K-12, has offered Arabic classes for three years, making it the first public school in North Carolina to do so. This was the school’s first summer camp and about 45 elementary and middle school students participated. The camp was intended to give students a weeklong immersion into Arabic culture and language.”

The students said they found the week “fun and interesting”, adding that they all hoped to speak fluent Arabic very soon.

أُردنــــــــي (A Jordanian) who moved to the U.S. 30 years ago, the Arabic teacher at the school said they chose to end the program with a wedding ceremony to “break stereotypes surrounding Middle Eastern weddings – that not all cultures require arranged marriages.”

“We wanted to show that marriage is about the women’s freedom to choose,” he said. “We wanted to clarify that you aren’t forcing them.”

“The kids here are really smart, very inquisitive, very curious”, he said.

A rising 6th grader who played a flower girl in the wedding, said she has learned a lot this week – “from information about Cairo, Egypt to new Arabic words.”

Her favorite word? برتقــــــــال (orange), she said.

She said she hopes to continue learning Arabic to become a translator.

All elementary school students are required to take Arabic once a week, with the idea in mind that by the time they graduate they will be fluent.

“Everything about it seems unique,” Castillo added.

The program was funded by a $600,000 federal Foreign Language Assistance Program grant. The grant expires June 30 but will not be renewed because المنحــــــة (the grant) was eliminated.

But Assistant Principal Ann Laszweski said the loss of the grant won’t jeopardize the program, and the school is already looking for new grants. Next year, the school will expand the program to offer North Carolina’s first Middle Eastern history curriculum.

Ashley Williams, a teacher at Marie G. Davis and mother of بنتيـــــن (two daughters) who take Arabic, said she supports the program. “Its a unique opportunity,” she said. “My daughter) wouldn’t have learned this anywhere else.”

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/06/21/3333797/at-marie-g-davis-academy-an-arabic.html#storylink=cpy

 

الحديقـــــــــــــة السِّريـــــــــــــة (The Secret Garden)

Posted on 27. Jun, 2012 by in Arabic Language, Culture, Literature, Vocabulary

Today’s post features the Arabic intro to the Japanese Anime “The Secret Garden.”

The cartoon is itself based on the novel of the same name by the English playright Frances Hodgson Burnett, whose other novels were also the subject of anime adaptations, such as the famous “Little Lord Fauntleroy”, translated in Arabic as “الفتــــــــى النَّبيـــــــــل” (“The Noble Boy.”)

The song is interpreted by هالــــــــة الصبَّـــــــــــاغ (Hala al-Sabbagh), the Syrian artist known to be very fluent in Japanese, and whose early career as a kid was far more distinguished than her later “Arabic Pop” conversion!

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الحديقـــــــــــــة السريـــــــــــــة (The Secret Garden)

في يوم همست في اذني: “من يمسح عن قلبي حزني

One day, she whispered in my ear: “Who will deliver my heart from sadness

“يرجعني خضراء اللون اعشاشا للاطيار؟

Recover my green color to host the nests of birds?”

في يوم همست في اذني: “من يمسح عن قلبي حزني

One day, she whispered in my ear: “Who will deliver my heart from sadness

“يرجعني خضراء اللون اعشاشا للاطيار؟

Recover my green color to host the nests of birds?”

لحديقتنا في قريتنا باب و لها اسوار

Our garden in our village has a gate and high walls

لا يعلم احد ما فيها تخفي عنا الاسرار

No one knows what secrets it conceals from us

اقبلت بجد اسقيها اروي الاشجار احييها

I took upon myself to irrigate it, water its trees to revive it

و غدى من اجمل ما فيها زهر لا كالازهار

So its flowers bloomed and blossomed like no other flowers

لحديقتنا في قريتنا باب و لها اسوار

Our garden in our village has a gate and high walls

لا يعلم احد ما فيها تخفي عنا الاسرار

No one knows what secrets it conceals from us

!ما أجمل أن تسقي الشجرة لتضاهي في الحسن القمر

How beautiful it is to water a tree to make it rival the moon’s splendor!

أن تغرس في اليائس أملا زرعا يعطي الأثمار

To plant within the desperate a fruitful hope

لحديقتنا في قريتنا باب و لها اسوار

Our garden in our village has a gate and high walls

لا يعلم احد ما فيها تخفي عنا الاسرار

No one knows what secrets it conceals from us

لحديقتنا في قريتنا باب و لها اسوار

Our garden in our village has a gate and high walls

لا يعلم احد ما فيها تخفي عنا الاسرار

No one knows what secrets it conceals from us

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An Italian show featuring Hala al-Sabbagh as a kid—Also admire the Arabic/Italian translation of this other little girl on the show!

“Write Down, I am an Arab”

Posted on 26. Jun, 2012 by in Arabic Language, Culture, Current Affairs, History, Literature, Vocabulary

بطاقـــــــــــــــة هويـــــــــــــــة” (“Identity Card”) is a poem written some 40 years ago by a symbol of the Palestinian people, Arab poet محمـــــــــــود درويـــــــــــش (Mahmoud Darwish), inspired by the collective انتحـــــــــــال الهُويــــــــــــة (identity theft) to which the Palestinians have fallen victims since at least the year of النكبــــــــــــــة

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بطاقـــــــــــــــة هويـــــــــــــــة (“Identity Card“)

بطاقـــــــــــــــة هويـــــــــــــــة (Identity Card)

:سجل

Write down:

أنا عربــــــــــــــي

I am an Arab

ورقم بطاقتي خمســــــون ألف

And my ID number is 50,000

واطفالي ثمانيـــــــــــــــة

I got eight kids

وتاسعهم سيأتي بعد صيـــــف

And the ninth is due after the Summer

فهل تغضـــــــــب؟

So will you be mad?

: سجل

Write down:

أنا عربــــــــــــــي

I am an Arab

واعمل مع رفاق الكدح في محجر

And I work along my labour buddies in a stone quarry

واطفالي ثمانية

And I got eight kids

اسلّ لهم رغيف الخبز والأثواب والدفتر

I secure them bread, clothing, and notebooks

من الصخر

Hacked out from the rocks

ولا اتوسل الصدقات من بابك

And I don’t beg for charity at your door

ولا اصغر امام بلاط اعتابك

And I don’t lower myself at the footsteps of your court

فهل تغضـــــــــب؟

So will you be mad?

:سجل

Write down:

أنا عربــــــــــــــي

I am an Arab

انا اسم بلا لقب

I am a name without an epithet

صبور في بلاد كل ما فيها

Patient in a country where everything

يعيش بفورة الغضب

has a tantrum

جذوري

My roots

قبل ميلاد الزمان رست

Were deeply entrenched before the birth of time

وقبل تَفَتُّــح الحقب

And prior to the ushering of eras

وقبل السرو والزيتون

Before cypresses and olive trees

وقبل ترعرع العشب

And even before the grass grew

ابي من اسرة المحراث لا من سادة نجب

My dad hails from a family of plowers, not blue-blood barons

وجدي كان فلاحا بلا حسب… ولا نسب

My grandpa was a farmer, totally unkown

يعلمني شموخ النفس قبل قراءة الكتب

Taught me about the zenith of the soul before teaching me how to read

ويبتي كوخ باطور من الأعواد والقصب

And my home is a cabin made out of sticks and bamboos

فلا ترضيك منزلتي؟

So are you displeased with my status?

!انا اسم بلا لقب

I am a name without an epithet!

:سجل

Write down:

انا عربي

I am an Arab

ولون الشعر فحمي ولون العين بني

Hair color: coal-like; eye color: brown

وميزاتي: على رأسي عقال فوق كوفية

Distinguishing marks:  I wear a headband on top of a keffiyeh

وكفي صلبة كالصخر… تخمش من يلامسها

And my palm is rock-solid, scratches whoever touches it

وعنواني: انا من قريــــة عزلاء… منسية

As to my address: I am from an isolated village, forgotten

شوارعها بلا اسماء

Its streets are unnamed

وكل رجالها… في الحقل والمحجر

And all its men are in the field or in the stone quarry

فهل تغضب؟

So will you be mad?

:سجل

Write down:

انا عربي

I am an Arab

سُلبت كروم اجدادي وارضا كنت افلحها

You stole the meadows of my ancestors and a land I used to cultivate

انا وجميع اولادي

Together with all my kids

فلم تترك لنا ولكل احفادي

You didn’t leave to us or to my offspring

… سوى هذي الصخور

Anything—except these rocks

فهل ستأخذها حكومتكم… كما قيلا؟

So will your government take them away as well, as it’s been announced

اذن

In that case

سجل

Write down

:برأس الصفحة الاولى

On top of the first page:

انا لا أكره الناس، ولا أسطو على أحد”

“I don’t hate people, and I don’t rob anyone

ولكني … اذا ما جعت،

But… If I starve to death, I’m left with nothing else but

آكل لحم مغتصبي

 The flesh of my usurper to feed from

“حذار… حذار… من جوعي ومن غضبي

So beware, beware of my hunger and anger”

* * *

 محمـــــــــــود درويـــــــــــش: “أوراق الزيتون” – 1973

Mahmoud Darwish: “The Olive Leafs“, 1973