What Should You Know about the Arab Spring?

Posted on 14. Oct, 2014 by in Arabic Language, Culture, Current Affairs, Language

Marhaba! Millions of Arabs took to the streets and toppled what they viewed as authoritarian and unrepresentative regimes (أنظمة). With the plethora of news outlets reporting from Tunisia (تونس), Egypt (مصر), and Libya (ليبيا) during the high tide of the ongoing revolutions (ثورات), it is impossible not to have seen a glimpse of these protests (إحتجاجات) and uprisings (إنتفاضات). But many questioned the origins of these protests. Are they inspired from the West (الغرب)? Were Western intelligence agencies rallying the masses against their own leaders? Are all these protests part of a great conspiracy theory to keep the Middle East bogged down in turmoil (إضطرابات) and upheavals? Well, as most of you know, the list can go on forever. Today, I want to introduce you all to an important book that I think provides historical context to the Arab Spring (الربيع العربي), and in many ways really tells you what should be known about these waves of protests. The book is called The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know (الانتفاضات العربية: ما على الكل معرفته) and is written by one of the world’s leading historians of the Middle East, Professor James Gelvin who teaches at UCLA in Los Angeles, California.

Image by Jonathan Rashad

Tahrir Square in Egypt on February 9, 2011 | Image by Jonathan Rashad

The book is divided into 6 chapters (فصول). The first deals with the question of a ‘Revolutionary Wave’ (موجة ثورية) in the Arab world. The second focuses on the beginning of the protests in Tunisia and Egypt. The third concentrates on the mass protests and role of tribes (القبائل) in Yemen and Libya. The fourth centers on the unexpected developments in Algeria and Syria. In this chapter, Gelvin focuses on how the Syrian ruling regime dealt with the beginning of the uprisings. The chapter before last focuses on the question of monarchies (الملكيات) in the Arab world and the reasons behind their endurance. The last chapter provides the backdrop to the Arab Spring by considering American intervention in Iraq and how Iran perceived these protests. Gelvin’s book uses a Q&A format to explain and answer all these questions across the chapters. His attempt is framed as what everyone should know about the causes (الأسباب) and beginnings (البدايات) of the uprisings in the Arab world from Tunisia to neighboring states in the Arab world, and the reasons that compelled millions of Arab citizens to revolt against their rulers. One of the most important contributions that Gelvin makes is that these uprisings do not fit traditional theories on democratic transition, and that attempts to contextualize the Arab Spring as a beginning for democratic transitions that follow a Western paradigm is but “wishful thinking.” I have had the pleasure to meet Professor Gelvin in person and as an Arab I firmly believe that this book makes an important contribution and provides context to the Arab Spring. The book is available on Amazon.com and if you’re sometimes worried and as passionate as I am about what is happening in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and other Arab states, you will certainly find this book useful.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts!

Have a nice day!!

نهاركم سعيد


Index of Arabic Grammar

Posted on 12. Oct, 2014 by in Arabic Language, Grammar, Language, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

     Ahlan Arabic lovers! Since Arabic grammar is giving some headache to most non-Arabic speakers, today’s post will be devoted to recycling Arabic grammar. Here, I will publish the topics and links of all the grammar posts that I have written since March, 2011 in the same chronicle order they were posted. I hope that this post will be an easier and useful reference for all of you.

Index of Arabic Grammar

 …… Save this blog post in your favorites and check it back more often for more grammar posts and updates.


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Peace  ســَــلام  /Salam/ 

Listening Comprehension Answers: The Arabic Language

Posted on 09. Oct, 2014 by in Arabic Language, Culture, Current Affairs, History, Language, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

    Ahlan Arabic lovers! How did you do in the last listening exercise? In this post, I am presenting the answers for you all to check. To view the exercise again, click here.

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الإجــَـــابــَـــات Answers

كــَــان الــهــَــدفُ الــرئــيــســىُّ لــِــمــُــؤتــَــمــَــر أبــُــو ظــَــبــْــى الــدّولــِــي لــِــتــَــعــْــلــِــيــم الــلــُّــغــَــةِ الــعــَــربــِــيــَّــة لــِــغــَــيــْــر الــنــَّــاطــِــقــِــيــنَ بــِــهــَـــا هــُــو الــلــُّــغــَــة الــعــَــربــيــَّــة و الــنــُــهــُــوض بــِــهــَـــا فـِـى الــعــَــالــَـــمْ       

1) لإhe main goal of the Abu Dhabi International Conference for Teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers was the Arabic language and how to promote it worldwide.

اِســْــم الــجــِــهــَــة الــتــِّــي نــَــظــَّــمــَــتْ الــمــُــؤتــَــمــَــر هــِــى دَار زايــد لــِــلــثــَّــقــَـــافـــَـــة الإســْــلامــِــيــَّــة   

2) The body that organized the conference was the Zayed House for Islamic Culture.

الــذي يــَــحــْــدُثْ لأىّ لــُــغــَــة عــِــنــْــدَمــَــا لا تــَــكــُــونْ مــُــســْــتــَــخــْــدَمــَــة فــِـي كــَــافــَــة الــمــَــجــَــالات هــُــو أنــَّــهــَـــا تــَـــضــْــمــُـــرْ أو تــَــجــْــمــُــد و تــَــتــَـــوَقــَّــفْ  

3) What happens to any language that is not used in all fields is that it shrinks or declines and stops.

نــِــســْــبــَــة تــَــعــْــلــِــيــم الــلــُّــغــَــة الــعــَــربــيــَّــة فـِـى الــولايــَــات الــمــُــتــَّــحــِــدَة اِرتــَــفــَــعــَــتْ لأكــْــثــَــر مــِــنْ 126 %  

4) The percentage of teaching Arabic in the USA has increased to more than 126 % .

يــَــتــَــزايــَـــد الإهــْــتــِــمــَــامُ فـِـى إســْــبــَــانــيــا بــِــتــَــعــَــلــُّــم الــلــُّــغــَــة الــعــَــربــيــَّــة لأنَّ عــِــنــْــدَهــُــمْ حــِــقــْــبــَــة تــَــاريــخــِــيــَّــة مــَــكــْــتــُــوبــَــة بــِــالــلــُّــغــَــة الــعــَــربــيــَّـــة  

5) The interest in learning Arabic increases in Spain because they have a period in their history that was written in Arabic.

الــذي جــَــذَبَ هــِــنــْــد لــِــتــَــعــَــلــُّـــمْ الــلــُّـــغــَــةِ الــعــَــربــيــَّـــة هــُــوَ الــثــَّــقــَـــافــَـــة الــعــَــربــيــَّـــة  

6) The Arabic culture attracted Hend to learn Arabic.

كــُــلُّ الــصــِــيــنــيــُّـــون يــَــعــْــرفــُــون قــِــصــَــص ألــْــف لــَــيــْــلــَــةٍ و لــَــيــْـــلــَــة  

7) All Chinese people know the stories of One Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights).

الــصــُــعــُــوبــَــاتْ الــتــي يــَــجــِــدُهــَــا الــصــِــيــنــيــُــونْ فـِـى تــَــعــَــلُّــمْ الــلــُّــغــَــة الــعــَــربــيــَّــة هــِــى الــصــُــعــُــوبــَــات فـِـي الــنــُــطــْــق ، و الــنــَّــحــْــو ، و قــِــلــَّــة الــمــَــواد الــســَّــمــْــعــِــيــَّـــة الــتــِّــي تــُــنــَــاســِــبْ الــمــُــبــْــتــَــدِئــيــنْ  

8) The difficulties that the Chinese people find in learning Arabic are the pronunciation difficulties, the grammar difficulties and the rareness of audio materials suitable for beginners.

أكــمــِــل الــعــبــارات الآتــِــيـــة :

9) Complete the following sentences:

- “و أنــَــا لــَــرُبــَّــمــَــا أعــْــتــَــقــِــدُ أنَّ هــُــنــاكَ 30 % مــِــنَ الــغــَــربــِــيــيــن هــُــمْ مــُــهــْــتــَــمــُّــون بــِــالــلــُّــغــَــةِ الــعــَــربــيــَّــة

- “أردتُ أنْ أتــَــعــَــلــَّــمَ الــلــُّــغــَــةَ الــعــَــربــيــَّــةَ لأنــَّــهــَـــا لــُــغــَــةُ أهــْــلِ الــجــَــنــَّــة ، و لأنــَّــهــَــا لــُــغــَــة الــقــُــرآنِ الــكــَــريــم”

تــَــرْجــَــمــَــة الـجــُــمـْــلــَــة إلـى اللـغــة الإنـجــلـيــزيـة :

10) Translation of the sentence into English:

“تــَــســْــتــَــعــِــيــدُ الــلــُّــغــَــةُ الــعــَــربــيــَّــةُ الــيــَــوْمَ حــُــضــُــورَهــَــا و قــِــيــَــادَتــَـــهــَــا لــِــتــُــصــْــبــِــحَ لــُــغــَــةً عــَــالــَــمــِــيــَــةً بــِــكــُــلِّ الــمــَــقــَــايــيــسْ”

“The Arabic language today restores its presence and leadership in order to be an international language on all scales.”


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Peace  ســَـــلام  /Salam/