Anis Mansour أنيس منصور Posted by Fisal on Oct 21, 2011 in Arabic Language, Culture, Vocabulary
Anis Mansour أنيس منصور
(August 18, 1925 – October 21, 2011)
This morning, Anis Mansour, aged 87 years old, left our world. Anis was a philosopher فيلسوف , author مؤلف and media figure. The Egyptian writer كاتب is known for the breadth of his interests as well as for his penetrating intelligence ذكاء .
Anis Mansour was born in Al-Mansoura. He memorized all the Qura’an at very young age and was an excellent student throughout his school years. He joined the College of Arts, studied philosophy and got his BA in 1947. He worked as a Philosophy Professor أستاذ at Ain Shams University for a while before he moved to journalism. He started what became a successful media career, working for Al-Akhbar الأخبار daily newspaper, then Al-Ahram الأهرام and later serving as editor-in-chief رئيس التحرير of about half a dozen magazines. Mansour was very good at several languages like English, German and Italian. He read a lot and translated about 200 short stories and more than 20 plays into Arabic. He wrote more than 170 books on many subjects and many of these books were translated into French Dutch and Russian. His best known book is ‘Around the World in 200 Days حول العالم فى 200 يوم ‘ which was his actual journey around the world in the 1960s. The book gives many facts and traditions of the countries he had been to, includingIndia,Japan, theUSA and many others. He also talked about his meeting with the Dalai Lama. Anis Mansour lived at the time of Gamal Abdel-Nasser and was a close friend of Muhammad Anwar Al-Sadaat.
Mansour’s book about existentialism الوجودية was the first book of its kind in Arabic and was reprinted five times and sold a record of 30.000 copies. Although he has gained a different kind of fame شهرة for his books on travel الرحلات , the paranormal ما وراء الطبيعة and space travel, his passion was philosophy; the only way to try to understand topics like the relationship between man الإنسان and society المجتمع , life and death, and ethics and aesthetics, as he says. To Mansour, societies are not in the habit of change because of the doctrines they pursue. Rather, they change because of the socio-economic forces. Philosophy may offer understanding, even inspiration, but when it comes to action, things work themselves out differently.
Mansour was puzzled by the process عملية of writing – the irregularity of it, the place from which ideas الأفكار come from. “I don’t know where my ideas come from but they do come,” he says. “I also don’t know why in some days I may be able to write 1000 lines in a session and then in another, I can’t be able to get a single line down on paper.” Part of what Mansour writes comes from the heart and the other part he has to think more about it. “I don’t know how many times I have been aware of my heart and my mind seeming to switch places.” It took Mansour a while to find the smooth style; the anecdotal ease and easy flow of fact and humour which he is famous for. “I always try to say something useful in an elegant way,” he says.
In fact, Mansour is known for his sayings, many of which will always be associated with his name. “Ignoring people is the worst form of cruelty تجاهل الناس هو أسوأ أنواع القسوة ” . “Every time an artist dies, part of humanity’s vision disappears في كل مرة يموت فيها فنان, يختفي جزء من بصر الإنسانية ” . “Nothing is new in art except talent لا يوجد شيء جديد في الفن سوى الموهبة ” . “Every love has an expiry date … except for your love to yourself كل حب له عمر افتراضي … إلا حبك لنفسك ” . “It is easier to love humanity than to love your neighbnour أن تحب البشرية اسهل من أن تحب جيرانك “.
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Peace سلام /Salam/
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