Thursday, 25 October 2012

Favourite Arabic Sentence

Today, my relative, May Hanna taught me a few new bits of Arabic and I put together a sentence of my favorite Arabic lines.

"Kol leila 3eed le 2alby, tool ma 2albak ganb 2alby" 

I picked this out from the song 'Kol sana wenta tayeb' by Hani Shaker. In English, it translates to:

 "Every beautiful night is a feast to my heart, as long as your heart is near mine".

(Note: Arabic written in English letters has numbers used which help determine the pronunciation of the word if in case, the Arabic letter within the word is non existent in Latin/English script. For example, the 7 written in "ana Bi7abek" creates the breathy 'haaah' sound needed to say the word correctly.)

#KnowledgeIsPower ....;)


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Song of the week- Desert Rose by Sting.

This isn't a book review but I wanted to post this anyways. Its a song I recommend, which I used to enjoy listening to a few years back and I wanted to share because I think the concept behind the lyrics are beautiful and Sting, like many, is quite an underrated artist. The song overall is very poetic with a mix of themes relevant to 'Alf Leila Wa Leila' ( The tale of A Thousand and One Nights).
It's by Sting but also features Ashwarya Rai ( a Bollywood actress), in some versions of the video although I'm not sure of her relevance considering the theme is middle eastern and not Indian; perhaps it could be because of her exotic looks and exceptional beauty. Anyway, enough of my digressing and back to the lyrical meaning.
Sting originally wrote the lyrics inspired by a beautiful enigmatic Arab woman when he discovered the meaning of the Arabic lyrics of a song written by an imprisoned Nigerian song writer, Cheb Mami. The story Mami told seemed to match and fit in perfectly with his own.
Mami's Arabic intro and backing tell the story of an egyptian traveller who fell in love with a mysterious and secretive woman he met in a village. The woman then disappeared and still haunts his soul. The idea of a "desert rose", that Sting sings of,  is metaphorical for the woman he longs for but can't have because really, there are no roses in the desert.

    Thursday, 4 October 2012

    The Hunger Games

    I'm about to start off this blog with recommending The Hunger Games. I read the whole Trilogy twice in the last summer after being drained from reading boring (in my opinion) books like 'Never Let Me Go' and 'The Handmaids Tale'. I needed something easy to read, something that was more fun, action packed and adventurous and after being recommended by so many people over 2012 to read the books, I finally decided to give them a go. When I started the first book on a sunny Saturday morning I was completely hooked and ended up staying up until 2am to finish it. After that I continued into the other two books, and after a weekend and bank holiday to read them, I was done with the whole trilogy. I ended up giving in and reading the whole series again during my plane journey to and from Egypt to England, because I hadn't given myself enough time to enjoy and appreciate the series and reflect upon the different themes and messages that the author gives because I was so taken by the whole action part.

    The first book of The Hunger Games introduces the reader to the world that the novels are based around. Set in post-apocalyptic America, the story is told in first person by one of my favorite female literary protagonists Katniss Everdeen. I always enjoy novels written in first person, especially coming from the point of view of such a character that I can identify with in so many aspects of my life. I want everybody I know to read the whole trilogy because I think they teach you so much. Although the author, Suzanne Collins may not be acclaimed as the best writer in contemporary literature, it doesn't take long complicated Austen-like lines to make a great book. The author obviously put a lot of research and planning into writing the series as it is so thoroughly thought out with innovative  ideas and unique characters and story lines. What I loved most was how unexpected and unpredictable the plot was, especially in the last third of Mocking Jay.

    Themes present in the books are power, identity, futurism, society and class, love, strength, loyalty and sacrifice. I think that the messages that the books give are valuable to be acknowledged as part of growing up and this is the main reason I really want my little sister and cousins to all read the stories. Having said that I didn't particularly like how the whole thing ended, especially the tragic, depressing parts which I think were unexplained and rushed by the author and were a bit of a let down to how the series ended. It seems that after all Katniss fought for, it didn't help her much in the end. She still couldn't live in happiness even after the end of the rebellion because of the sacrifices she made as well as the awful tragedy and the way she seemed to have lost her mind! I feel that having the author end the story so dully preaches to the reader that there is no light at the end of the tunnel so don't waste yo time!


    Okay I was going to start off by writing a review for the hunger games trilogy and fingersmith for my mam and little kate and megan to read but it wont let me post on the pages that i made D: