Arabic Language Blog

In Memory of Mai Ziyadah Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in Arabic Language, Culture, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

      Although Mai Ziyadah passed away and left our world in a day like today, she still lives with us through her great works. Reading any of her works, makes us feel that she is still living with us in this world. She sometimes laughs and some other times cries. Sometimes you see her silent, sad or dreaming and some other times you see her full of life and action. In a previous post, I gave a very short biography of her life. Today; I will be speaking about her works and what other people said about her. I will be doing the translations into English.

     Mai was a woman of letters and in a letter to a friend, she says about herself;

أصـحـيـحٌ أنـّـكِ لـم تـهـتـدى بـعـدُ إلـى صـُـورتـي ، فـهـَـاكـِـهــَـا : اِسـتـحـضــري فـتــاةً سـَـمـْـراءَ كـَـالـبـُـنّ أو كـَـالـتــّـمـْـر الـهـنـديّ ، كـَـمـَـا يــقــول الــشـعــَــراءُ ، أو كــَـالـمــِـســْــكِ كـَـمـَـا يـقــولُ مـُــتــَـيــَّـمُ الـعــَــامــِــريّة، وضـَـعـِـي عـلـيـهــا طـابـَـعــَــاً ســَـديــمـيــٍا مـِـن وَجــْــدٍ وشـَــوقٍ وذُهــُــولٍ وجـُــوعٍ فـِــكــْـريّ لا يـكــتــفــي، وعـَــطــَــشٍ رُوحـِـي لا يـَـرتــَـوي، يــُـرافــِــقُ ذلـِـكَ جــَـمــيــعــَــاً اِســْــتـعــدادٌ كـَـبـيــرٌ لـِـلــطــَّــربِ والـســُّــرورِ، واِســتــِــعــْــدادٌ أكــبـرُ لـِـلــشــَّــجــَــنِ والألــَــم-  وهــذا هــُــو الـغــَــالــِــبُ دَومــاً- وأطــْــلــِــقــِـي عــَــلــى هــذا الـمــَــجــْــمــُـــوع مـــَــــيّ

“Is it right that you were not guided yet to my picture? Here it is: recall a girl black like coffee or tamarind as poets say, or like musk as the lover of the Amiriyah says, and on it, put a sad impression of love, longing, distraction and mental hunger that is not satisfied and a spiritual thirst that is not fed. All this is accompanied by a huge readiness to singing and joy and bigger readiness to anxiety and pain – which is the dominant status quo – and call all this mix Mai ..”

     Mai says about revolutions;

الــثــورةُ كـَـكـُـلٍ جــُــرأةٌ … فـى وقـتـهــا عـبـقـريـةٌ و إنـتــصـَــارٌ , و فـى غـيـر ذلـك حـَــمـَــاقــَــة و إنـدحـَــار

 “Revolution as a whole is boldness … if at the right time and place, it is genius and triumph or otherwise, it is foolishness and loss.”

  Mai says about love;

كـُـل مـَـن خـَـبـرَ الـحــُـبَ عـَــرفَ أنــه لا يـُــقــَــاس و لا يــُــكــَــال و لا يــُــوزن و لا زيــَــادة فــيــه  و لا نــُــقــصــَــان .. و إنّ الــذى يـُـحـِــبُّ صـَــادِقــَــاً , يــُــحــِــبُّ بـِــكــُــلــيــَّــةِ قــَــلــبــِــهِ و رُوحــِـــهِ و بــِــمــَــجــمــُــوعِ قـــُـــواه و أفـــكـــَــــــاره

“All those who have known love, know that it is not measured or weighed up or down … and he who loves sincerely, loves with his whole heart and soul and with the total of his powers and thoughts.”

Dr Zaki Mubarak says about Mai;

إنَّ هـذهِ الــفــتـــاةِ مـَـتــيــنــةُ الـثـقــافــةِ إلـى حـَــدِ بـَـعــيـدٍ و هـِــى نـَــمــُــوذجٌ لـِـلــفــتــاةِ الـمــُـثــقــفــةِ الـتـى يـَـنــشــُــدُهــَـــا أهـْــلُ هــَــذا الــجــِـيــلِ , و مـَـعــْــرفــَـتــُــهــَــا بــِــالأدَبِ مــَــعــْـــرفـــَـــةٌ صـَــحـيـحـــة  و هـِـى مـِــن أجــْــلِ ذلـك تــُــعــَــدُّ مـِـن نـَـوادر الـمـُـثـقــفــات

This girl is strongly educated and she is a model of the cultured girl whom people from this generation aspire for. Her knowledge of literature is correct, that is why she is considered a rare educated girl.


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Peace  ســـلام /Salam/

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.


  1. Sami:

    Why Hisham stopped writing in this blogg? His articles always talked about the different Arabic countries , like the maghreb which you never talk about . Its nice to learn about egypt but you must talk about others like Syria Algeria Bahrein Iraq Somalia Mauritania etc etc. I have a question to Hishem about his article “beit el hikma” and the “arabic origin of english words”, can i publish them on our magazine with his approval? please write me back at
    thank you

    • Fisal:

      @Sami Hi Samir,
      You can find Hisham on the French Blog. I am sure he would not mind answering any of your questions. We sure will talk about other Arab countries.