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Science and Manners Posted by on Mar 24, 2012 in Arabic Language, Culture, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

     Our blog today is about a masterpiece poem of the famous Egyptian Poet of the Nile شاعر النيل ; Hafez Ibrahim. The poem is called “Science and Manners العلم و الأخلاق“. Hafez chanted this wonderful poem in an opening ceremony حفل افتتاح of a new girls’ school in the city of Port Said in 1910. In the poem, Hafez reflects on his great love to his beloved country Egypt. He dreams of a free modern country that is built on the traditional pure and inherited good manners and values. He wants to see his country strong with its people. He criticizes the bad practices of the hypocritical people who misuse their authorities سُلطات and betray their principles مبادئ . Hafez states that education التربية / التعليم is the best way to achieve the social and scientific reform إصلاح . He sees the mother in her house as the best and first teacher as long as she herself, is well-educated. Now, we are going to look at some lines from the poem with some English translation. The translation is mine.

    الـعــِــلــْــمُ  وَ  الأَخــْـــلاَقِ

كَــم   ذا  يُـــكـــــابـِـــــدُ عاشـــِــــــقٌ وَيُـــــلاقــــــــي

How much a lover suffers

فـــي حـُــــبِّ مـــِـصــــرَ كـَــــثـيـــرَةِ الـعـُـــشــــــــّــــاقِ

InEgypt’s love with her numerous lovers,

إِنــّــــي لَأَحــمــــــــِلُ فـــي هــَــــــواكِ  صـَــبــابـَــــــةً

My love to you,

يــا مــِـــصـــــرُ قـــَـــد خــَـــرَجــَـــت عــَــنِ الأَطــــــــواقِ

O, Egypt, is beyond all limits

لــَـهــفـــي عـَــلــَـيــكِ  مــَـتــى أَراكِ  طــَــلـيـقــَـــــةً

O,Egypt, when shall I see you free

يَــحـمـــــي كـَــريــمَ حــِـمــــاكِ  شــَـعـــــبٌ راقـــــــي

With civilized people protecting you

إِنـّــي لــَــتــُــطـــرِبـُـنــي الــخــِـلالُ كـَــريـمــَــــــــةً

I do get pleased with good manners

طــَــرَبَ الـغــَــريــــبِ بــِــأَوبـَـــةٍ وَتــَـــلاقــــــــــــــي

Like the stranger who is reunited

فــَـــالــــنـَّــــاسُ هــَــــذا حــَـــظـــــُّـــــهُ مــَــــالٌ  ,  وَذا

People do vary; this has wealth and that

عــِـــلــــــمٌ ,  وَذاكَ  مــَـــكــــــــــــارِمُ الأَخــــــــــلاقِ

Has knowledge, and that good manners

وَالــمــَـــالُ إِن لــَــم  تــَــدَّخـــِـــرهُ  مـُــحــَــصَّـــنـــــــاً

But wealth, if not protected

  بــِــالــعــِـــلــمِ كــــانَ  نــِــهـــايـَــــةَ  الإِمــــــــلاقِ

By science (knowledge), is full poverty.

وَالــعــِلــمُ إِن لـــَـم تــَــكــتــَــنــِــفــهُ شـَـمـــــائـِـــلٌ

And science if not joined  with morals

تـُــعـــلــيــهِ كــــانَ مــَــــطـــِـــيــّــــَةَ  الإِخـــفـــــــاقِ

That raises it, will lead to failure.

لا تــَــحــســَــبـَــنَّ  الـعـــِــلــمَ يـَـــنــفـــَــعُ وَحــــدَهُ

Don’t think that science only benefits

مـَـــا لــَـــم يــُـــتــــَـــــوَّج رَبــــُّـــــــهُ  بــِــــخـــــَـــــــلاقِ

Unless its lord is crowned with morality  

كــَـــم عـــالــِــــمٍ مــَــــدَّ الــعــُــلــــومَ حــَــبــائــِـــــلاً

How many scientists who used their science

لــِــــوَقـــيــــعــــَـــــةٍ وَقـــَــــطـــيــعــَــــــةٍ وَفــِـــــــراقِ

For slander, break up and separation.

وَأَديـــبِ قــــَــومٍ  تــَــســـتـــَـحـــِـــقُّ يــَـمـــيــنـــُـــــهُ

And a writer of a people whose right (hand) deserves

قــَـــطــــعَ الأَنـــَـــامــِـــلِ أَو لــَــظــــــى الإِحــْـــــــــراقِ

The fingers to be cut off or be burnt

يــَــلــهــُــو وَيــَـــلــعـــَبُ بــِــالــعــُـقــــولِ بَــيـــانُــهُ

Since his rhetoric plays with the minds

فــَــكَـــأَنــَّـــهُ  فــــي الــسـِــــحــــرِ  رُقـــيَــــةُ راقـــــــي

So its effect is like a magical spell

فـــي كَـــفــِّـــــهِ قــَـــلــَــــمٌ يَــــمُـــجُّ  لــُـــعـــابــُــــــــــهُ

With a pen in his hand that throws out its saliva

ســُــمــّــــاً وَيــَــنــفــِــثــــُــــــــهُ  عــَــلــــــى الأَوراقِ

Poison that is spread on the papers

الأُمُّ مـَـــــدرَســـَـــــــــــةٌ إِذا أَعـــــدَدتــَـــــهـــــَــــــا

The mother is a school that is if well-raised,

أَعـــدَدتَ شــَــعــبــــاً طـــــَـــــيــــِّــــــبَ الأَعـــْــــراقِ

Then you have raised a people of a good race

الأُمُّ  رَوضٌ إِن تــَــعـــــَـــهـــَّـــدَهُ الــحــَــــيـــــــَــــــــا

The mother is a garden that is if given,

بــِــــالــــــرِيِّ ,  أَورَ قَ أَيــَّــــمــــَـــــا إيــــــــــــــــــراقِ

Irrigation, it flourishes the best

الأُمُّ  أُســـتـــــَــــاذُ الأَســَــــــاتــِـــذَةِ الأولــَــــــــى

The mother is the Master of all teachers

شــَـــغــَـــلــَــت مـَـــــآثــِـــرُهـــُــم مـــَـــدى الآفـــَــــاقِ

Whose good deeds have covered all the horizons

فــي دُورِهــِــــنَّ شــُــــؤونــُـــهـُـــنَّ كــَـــثـيــــــــرَةٌ

In their homes, they have so many affairs

كــَــشــُـــؤونِ رَبِّ الــســَــــيــــفِ وَالــمـــِــــــــــزراقِ

Like those of the man of sword and spear (warrior)

رَبــّـوا الــبـَــنـاتِ عـَـلــى الــفــَـضــيـلــَــةِ  إِنـَّـهــَــا

Raise your girls on virtue as it is

فـــي الــمــَــوقــِــفـــَــيــنِ لــَــهـُــنَّ خــَــيــرُ وَثـــَـــاقِ

The best guarantee to them in both situations.

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To listen to this poem in Arabic, visit our Transparent Arabic youtube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArabicTransparent

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Check us back soon

Peace  سلام /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.