السيرة الذاتية


Curriculum Vitae for Mohammed Abu-Risha

Translator, senior interpreter, language instructor and translation trainer

Last Updated: October 2011

Email: maburisha@yahoo.com

* Note: Have been a conference interpreter since 2002

* Have worked as a conference interpreter for almost all kinds of international and local organizations located in Jordan.

I – Personal Details

 

Marital status                          Married

Nationality                                Jordanian

Place of Birth                           Amman Jordan

Date of Birth                            October 5, 1973

Current Place of Residence Amman , Jordan

English Proficiency Tests

TOEFL IBT                              Score : 109 out of 120

IELTS                                        Score 7.0 out of 9.0 (Academic Test)

 

II- Education

MA in Translation (average: 3.69 / 4 = 92.25%) .1997 1999.

The University of Jordan Amman ,Jordan

BA English Language and Literature (average: Good)  1991 1995

Aleppo University Aleppo , Syria

III- Languages

Arabic and English (Fluent at both in speaking, listening, reading and writing)

 

IV- Work experience

 

A. Full Time:

-10/9/2008-up till now. Training Manager. Abu-Ghazaleh International Translation. Organized and delivered a lot of training courses in general translation, mass media translation, legal translation, simultaneous & consecutive interpreting and accounting and auditing translation.

Approximate number of hours taught in translation courses since September 2008 is:  (1660 contact hours)   (around 56 courses each averaging 30 contact hours)

– Work also as an editor

– Freelance interpreter and translator, trainer and researcher.   (Number of Interpreting Days: more than 500 days since 2003 (Attached is a list of some conferences and workshops.  Not all my work is documented unfortunately)

-September 16, 2006-August 31, 2008. Department  of English. University of Petra. Instructor

– September 16, 2003 September 15, 2006. Department of English. Al-Isra Private University -Amman , Jordan , Instructor

– September 16, 2000-September 15, 2003. Department of English. Zarqa Private University -Zarqa , Jordan , Instructor

-July 1996-September1997. Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property Amman , Jordan Trademarks Assistant

B. Part-Time

March 2003-Still. Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpreter. For all conference service providers in Jordan .

– Summer 2004 Lecturer of Argumentative and Instructive Translation. University of Petra .

– Spring 2003-Fall 2004 Lecturer of English Communication Skills at

Arab Open University

– Spring 2000-Fall 2001 Lecturer at New York Institute of Technology

Spring 1999-Fall 2003 Lecturer at the Language Centre and the Department of English. The University of Jordan .

C- Miscellaneous Works:

– Trainer of the Iraqi Parliament’s Translators Delegation.

Amman 6-9 Feb. 2005

Trainer. General Translation. University of Jordan Centre for Consultation, Technical Services and Studies.

– Trainer. Advanced Translation. Jordanian Translators Association.

Interpreter in seminars held at the International Institute

of Islamic Thought. Amman

Lecturer of a Preparatory Course for the TOEFL.

University of Jordan Centre for Consultation, Technical Services and Studies

– Interpreter at many international conferences and seminars in Amman

– Lecturer in training courses held by Abu-Ghazaleh Organisation

Publications and Research

–  Book Review for Studies in Contemporary Arabic- English Socio-linguistics to be published at JosTrans in its Tenth edition.

– Investigations in the ethnoliguistic theory across language communities. Published in  JoStrans. January 2008. http://www.jostrans.org/issue09/art_aburisha.php

– Towards more efficient courses of translation.

Atlas Journal for Studies and Research. Vol1:1. 2005.

Atlas Centre for Studies and Research. Jordan

Resources for self-training translators.

Atlas. Journal for Studies and Research. Vol1:2. 2005.

Atlas. Centre for Studies and Research. Jordan

– What should a learner s dictionary include? A refereed paper

published in Zarka Journal for Research and Studies

(Vol.5, No.1, Rabia 2, 1424, June 2003. pp.21-52)

You and People. Afaq Cultural Magazine. Zarka Private University

– Thoughts Outspoken. Published at my personal blogwww.aburisha.wordpress.com

– The theory of equivalence: A Survey.

– Questions and answers on the theory of translation for students

expected to sit the Comprehensive Exam in translation at the MA level in

Jordan .

– Norm of Interpretation and Norm of Interaction across Language Communities. Not published.

– Resources for self-training translators. (Referred Paper). Atlas

Journal for Studies and Research, Vol1:2, 2006, Amman

The Dictionary at www.atlassite.com

 

V- Miscellaneous

Secretary Editor of Studies in Translation (A refereed Journal published by the Jordanian Translators Association Jordan)

– Secretary Editor of Atlas Journal for Translation and Research. Jordan .

– Acquainted with the open university system.

– Skillful in using computer applications including email and internet applications (IBM + Apple Macintosh) and a beginner in composing web pages

– Skillful in writing business letters and memos

– Skillful in Typing (English)

– A one-month training in translation at Petra News Agency

– Attended a course in business communication

Courses Taught at the University Level

-English Communication Skills, Reading Skills, ESP, General translation (intermediate and advanced), literary translation, management translation,  the Theory of Translation, Listening Comprehension, Speaking Skills, paragraph writing, essay writing, translation of expository texts, translation of argumentative texts, Learning English through literature, Remedial English, Oral Skills, applied linguistics, English basic grammar, English advanced grammar.

Voluntary Activities

It was my honor and pleasure to carry out the following activities on a voluntary basis for the service of my students:

– March-April 2010.  A ten-hour course in translation at the Hashemite University.

-Fall 2000-Spring 2000. Coordinator and teacher of the language centre initiative remedial English courses, on a voluntary basis, to all university freshmen.

Translation courses. Zarka Private University

– A Course on the History of England and English Literature. Zarka Private University

– Two TOEFL courses. Zarka Private University

– Four courses in speaking. Zarka Private University

– Two English courses for teachers at Zarka Private University

– A course in translation and vocabulary development. Al-Isra University

– Two courses in speaking. Al-Isra University

– A TOEFL course. Al-Isra University

– Arabic for Non-native speakers. Al-Isra University

Seminars & Presentations

Translation between theory and practice. Zarqa Private University.  11/5/2010

– From Ethnolinguistic Eyes. Zarka Private University .

– A Formalistic Approach to Literature. Zarka Private University .

– The Ethnolinguistic Theory and Translation (in Arabic). Al-Isra University .

– A Step Towards Excellence: Demonstration on Presentation. Al-Isra University

– The Ethnolinguistic Theory. Al-Isra University

– Cultural Problems in Reading and Translation. Al-Isra University

 

VI- Papers Submitted at Conferences

 

– Translator as Cultural Mediator with Specific Reference to the Translatability of the Alchemist. Al-Zaytouna University Conference in Language, Translation and Literature, Jordan. 20/10/2011.

– Using Arab Heritage in Supporting Translation Theories with Specific Reference to the Role of the Quran as an Inspiring Source for Translation Studies. Sultan Qaboos University. May 14-15. 2011

Workshop on Translators’ Teaching Methodologies. Sultan Qaboos University. May 14-15. 2011

Translators and Labour Market. Isra University. April 28, 2011

Translators’ Teaching Methodologies. Irbid National University, April 20-21, 2011

Translators’ Communities. German Jordanian University, April 2011

Experiential Memory as a barrier to translation.  Applied Science University.

Towards a science of interpreting. Amman Private University. 13/5/2010

Emotion: the excluded aspect of translators.  Aal Al-Beit University.

Translator a Co-Author. Yarmuk University 19th Conference on Literature, Language and Translation. 27-29/4/2010

Translator as Co-Author. Language and Power Conference.  Science Applied University. Jordan. December 9, 2009.

Free Translation Training in the Cyberspace Atlas-

Applied Science University. Amman December 11, 2007

Towards More Efficient Courses of Translation.Yarmouk 17th

International Conference on Language & Linguistics, Literature and

Translation. Yarmouk University . April 12, 13 2005

– Resources for Self-Training Translators. Atlas International Conference on Linguistics, Translation and Lexicography. December 18-19, 2006. Amman

Verses of the Holy Quran in light of contemporary theories of translation. 18th International Conference on Literature, language, linguistics and translation. Yarmouk University. April 25-27, 2007.

Library for The Jordanian Translation Students. A paper submitted

in Arabic at Zarqa Private University Conference on Libraries as a source of

knowledge and development November 11-12, 2007. Jordan.

 

VII- Research Interests

– The ethnolinguistic theory across language communities

– Lexicography

– Translation studies (learning, practicing, mastering and error analysis)

– Ideological interference and the translatability of the Holy Quran

– Translation studies with reference to the translatability of sacred texts.

– Contrastive textology

– Transfer of linguistic habits

VIII- Books

– Translation into Arabic of the Grave Error

– Lectures in Translation

 

 

IX- Theories in Translation

– Proposed a theory on:

* Translator as co-author

* Orphanisation

X- Committees

– Head of the translation committee at Al-Isra University

– Member of the Translation committee at Zarka Private University

 

XI- Membership

– Jordanian Translators and Applied Linguists Association- Member of the administrative board since 2009 till now.

-Jordanian Translators Association, (administrative member for the years 2006-2008)

-Arab Translators Network Arab Professional Translators Society (Vice-President for Education and Training)

– Arab Translators and Intercultural Dialogue Association ATIDA

 

XII- Articles

Translators under stress

When the translator kills himself

-The theory of non-equivalence in translation: A survey

– From ethnolinguistic eyes

– Stop! You have the time

– A lesson in life

– Kul am wa antum bikhair

– The Amazing Connector

– You and People

– What the rumors say?

-Don t burn it please!

– Why!

– Finis

– In brief

– On the way to the Mosque

– At the end of the tunnel

 

XIII – Courses Taught at Abu-Ghazaleh Translation, Distribution and Publishing

– Eight 40-hour course in General Comprehensive Translation (English-Arabic, Arabic-English)

– Four  40-hour course in Simultaneous Interpreting (English-Arabic, Arabic-English)

– Four 40-hour course in Legal Translation (English-Arabic, Arabic-English)

– Two 40-Mass Media Translation (English-Arabic, Arabic-English)

– One Finance Translation (English-Arabic, Arabic-English)

– Online courses in NGO Document Translation (English-Arabic, Arabic-English)

– Online Courses in General Comprehensive Translation (English-Arabic, Arabic-English)

 

XIV- Courses Taught at Arab Translators’ Society

– General Translation (English-Arabic, Arabic-English)

– Management Translation (English-Arabic, Arabic-English)

– Legal Translation (English-Arabic, Arabic-English)

 

XV- References

-Dr. Nihal Amira, Department of English, Petra University, Jordan

– Dr. Ibrahim Shalabi, Department of Translation, Isra University. Jordan

-Prof. Wajeeh Abdul-Rahman, Department of English, Isra University, Jordan

-Prof. Muhammad Raji Zughoul, Department of English, Yarmouk University, Jordan

-Prof. Rajai Khanji, Department of English, University of Jordan.

 

 

Favorite Quote

Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country (John Kennedy)

 

XVI- SomeConferences, Seminars and Workshops in which I worked as a simultaneous interpreter

The following is a list of some conferences and seminars in which I worked as a freelance simultaneous interpreter. Unfortunately, I did not document all conferences and seminars.

17-19/12/2003 International workshop/ ILO & ICFTU

23/11/2004 The Social Dialogue/ Solidarity Center

2/10/2004-4/10/2004 Judicial System in Iraq/ UNDP

27/11/2004-29/11/2004 Islam and Muslims in the 21st Century/ Ministry of Waqfs

5/10/2004-6/10/2004 Discussions of ILO proposals for Jordan’s labor law amendments/ Ministry of Labor- Trade Unions

12/12/2004-13/12/2004 International Conference on Employment in Iraq/ ILO

12-13/7/2005 SMEs and Microfinance/ SANABEL

11/9/2005-15/9/2005 Iraq business association executive development workshop/CIPE

15/8/2005-17/8/2005 Democratic process and its implications on Iraqi media/ International Federation of Journalists

15-18/9/2005 THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE TO ENGAGE IRAQ SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMUNITY IN DEVELOPING ITS COUNTRY/ ASTF and Sandia Labs.

29/06/2006 Criminal Justice and Human Rights/ Amman Centre for Human Rights

11/2/2006-13/2/2006 Global Women’s Action Network for Children/ Children Defense

21-24/8/2006 Hazardous Material Workshop/ Civil Defense Department

23/7/2006-2/8/2006 Training Workshop on Emergency Interventions/ Relief International

27/5/2006-29/5/2006 Towards a democratic civil Islam/ Al-Quds Centre for Studies and Research

8/2/2006 Amman City Development Strategy Workshop/ Amman Greater Municipality

19-20/7/2006 Fighting Against Terrorism/ Interpol

18/6/2007-5/7/2007 Federalism for Iraqi Professors and Deans/ CIDA

6/8/2007-19/8/2007 Federalism for Iraqi Professors and Deans/ CIDA

7-9/1/2007 Auditing and Accounting Standards/ UNDP

4-5/6/2007 Developing Business Plans for Iraqi Institutions

4-8/2/2007 Interventions in emergencies/ CIDA

19/12/2008 United Against Torture/ UAT Steering Committee

1-3/7/2008 Labor Inspection/Ministry of Labor

21/1/2008-23/1/2008 Rational Governance for the service of development in the Arab countries

29/07/2008 – 30/07/2008 Regional Conference on Preventing Corruption and Strengthening Cooperation between Anti-Corruption Bodies in the Arab Region UNDP-POGAR

16/06/2009 International Federation for Islamic Insurance Sixth Conference/ IFIIC

1-2/4/2009 Jordan-Euro Conference on Renewable Energy/ Jordan Businessmen Association

12-24/4/2009 The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Malaria and Tuberculosis/ Regional Meeting

15-16/2/2009 Protecting Family From Violence/ Family Protection Council

16-17/1/2009 Role of training for human resource development/ Ministry of Finance-Jordan

23/5/2009 – 4/6/2009 Training Course for PAP Rangers/ USAID

31/10/2009-2/11/2009 US-Middle East partnership for breast cancer awareness and research/ US-Middle East Partnership

8-12/3/2009 LAMP international workshop

9-10/6/2009 Poverty Reduction Strategy/ UNDP

22/6/2009 Towards a Modern Competition Law for Jordan Workshop/ Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

23-24/6/2009 Progress Assessment Meeting on Private Sector Development Programme/ UNIDO

28/6/2009-24/7/2009 Musawat Project/ Regional Training: Governance, Disability and Public Policy/ Handicap International/Amman

20/8/2009 Consecutive interpreter for a working session at Aghadeer Agreement headquarters.

30/9-1/10  Red Cross Federation

5-6/10/2009  Capacity Building Managing for Results and Impacts (CaMaRI),

4/11/2009 Lead without a Title

17/11/2009  Creative Commons/ TAG-CB

16-17/12/2009 The Technical Meeting in Preparation for the 2nd ITAP-IT Meeting

February 7-8, 2010.  Rule of the Law Project- TAG-CB

February 23-25, 2010, World Bank.  Iraq’s Trust Fund.

February 28- March 1, 2010, Rule of the Law Project, TAG-CB

March 6-7. Rule of the Law Project- Tag-CB

March 13-14, 2010, Rule of the Law Project, TAG-CB

April 11-13, 2010. Clinical Education. Istanbul-Turkey

April 15, 2010. Renewable Energy, VESTAS

April 17-18, 2010. Local Area Development Program. UNDP-Iraq

April 28, 2010. Technical trade barriers workshop. Arab Administrative Development Organisation

May 4, 2010. Women in Law Workshop.

May 9, 2010. SOFEX 2010. SOFEX-Jordan/ Royal Hotel

May 16-18, 2010.  ESSENTIALS OF MIGRATION MANAGEMENT TRAINING, Officers’ Training Institute. Muwaqqar

May 24, 2010, Karama Project, MIZAN. (Muna)

May 26, 2010 (morning) Karama Project, MIZAN

May 26-27, 2010. Civic Participation. Irbid and Kerak. Konrad Adenauer

June 17, 2010, Educational Reform Conference, Royal Hotel

July 4-9, 2010. Iraqi Census Technical Meetings.  Land Mark. UNFPA

July 17-30. Petra Park Rangers’ Training – USAID

September 18-22, 2010. Leadership Training Workshop, Women In Law. Dead Sea Moovenpick Hotel

September 26-30, 2010. Anti-Fraud Workshop. IOM

October 4-7, 2010. ICP Second Round Workshop- ESCWA

October 13, 2010. Iraqi Defense Centres’ Workshop. JISR Organisation

October 18, 2010. Combating Child Labour Through Education Workshop. US Department of Labour

October 17, 19, 20, 21. Iraqi Monitors’ Workshop. IOM.

October 28, 2010.  Water Management workshop.  GTZ. Isra University

November 9, 2010.  Interview with Former President of South Africa. Jordan Media Institute.

November 12, 2010. Empowering Children through Research. King Hussein Foundation.

November 23-24, 2010. Earth Charter’s celebrations plus 10. Dead Sea. Movenpick Hotel.

November 29-30, 2010. GTZ Food Safety Workshop.  Amman.

December 13, 2010. Report Writing. National Human Rights Centre.

December 14-15, 2010.  Anti-Corruption Commission workshop on Tax Evasion. Amman.

January 15-16, 2011. Workshop on the reform of Iraqi public sector in statistics. UNPFA

February 9-10/2011. Workshop on Protection for Victims of Trafficking: Building a National Referral System

March 26, 2011. Field visit to NFE centres in Amman – CHF

April 4?

April 26, 2011- Parks Management – Jordan Parks Project/USAID

May 1?

May 12-14, 2011. Workshop on Women’s Political Participation in Jordan. Sindyan Society. Ajloun.

May 18, 2011. Meeting between Four Seasons Hotel’s Manager and Staff. Amman.

June 17-18, 2011 Gender: Academics and Civil Society Organisations.  Konrad Adenauer. Amman

June 20, 2011, Migrant Workers and Forced Labor. Tamkeen. Amman.

June 28, 2011, Nuclear Energy: pros and cons. Amman.

October 1-2, 2011, Arab Film Organisation Forum.

October 9-13, 2011, Iraqi Bank Inspection Sector Reform. UNDP/World Bank

October 25, 2011- Conference on Raptor Pest Control, Hanns Seidel Foundation. Dead Sea, Jordan.

October 26, 2011. Highland Water Forum 7th Meeting, Landmark Hotel. Amman. Jordan.


مسائل حول تأهيل المترجمين


دورات الترجمة هنا

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

الموضوع يحتاج إلى تركيز فرجاء التركيز في كل كلمةوقراءته أكثر من مرة والتفكير فيه.

لنفترض أنّ لدينا متعلم الترجمة واسمه “عمر” يريد أن يكون مترجماً قوياً في يوم من الأيام.

من وجهة نظري الشخصية، وهي وجهة نظر قد تكون استفزازية لكثير من الأكاديميين والمترجمين على حد سواء:

الطبخ للجميع…والترجمة للجميع..
Everyone can cook…Everyone can translate.

نعود إلى صاحبنا الذي دعوناه “عمراً”. أنظروا الترجمات الثلاث المفترضة لعمر:

ذهب الولد إلى البيت.
الترجمة: The boy went home.

ثم الترجمة الثانية التالية:
My friend bought me a computer.
الترجمة: اشترى صديقي لي حاسوباً.

الترجمة الثالثة (ترجمة غير صحيحة):
أذهب إلى المدرسة لأنني أحب العلم.
I go to school because loving knowledge.

التحليل ومبدأ التثبيت:
– عمر مترجم. ولا يجوز أن محرمه من هذا اللقب.
– عمر قد تمكن من تجاوز المشكلات النحوية التالية في الترجمة:
1- التقديم والتأخير فهو يعرف أين يضع الفعل وأين يضع الفاعل
2- عمر يحب جمالية النص فهو يضع تنوين الفتح عند الضرورة
3- عمر يعرف إلى مستوى الجملتين الأولى والثانية كيف ينقل المعنى بصحة وأمانة

إذن، عمر مترجم على مستوى دعونا نقول إنّه المستوى 3

لكن عمر ليس مترجماً على المستوى 5 والذي يطلب منه أن يتقن الجمل المعقدة.

ماذا نفعل؟

على المعلم الحصيف أن ينتبه لذلك فيثبّت الاسلوب الصحيح ويدعّمه ويشجع عمر على الاستمرار فيه. ثم يعلمه قاعدة واحدة هي الجمل المعقدة. سيقع عمر في الخطأ مرة أخرى ولكن هذه المرة هو يخطئ لأنه يتعلم بعد فترة من الزمن يتغلب عمر على المشكلة فيصبح في المستوى 4 ثم المستوى 5. وهكذا.

نفس الشيء بالنسبة لمن يترجم مادة قانونية. فلنقل أن عُمر الآن في المستوى 6 وأعطيناه الترجمة التالية:

يجوز للمدير أن يأخذ إجازة طويلة.

فيترجمها عمر:
The manager can take a long leave.

هنا علينا أن نقول لعمر ممتاز لأنه ترجم الجملة بشكل صحيح على مستوى 6 فما دون ولكن نعلمه القاعدة الضرورية ليصبح على المستوى 7 فنقول له:

عندما نتحدث عن جواز فعل الشيء نقول may
The manager may take a long leave.

نفس الشيء عندما يعطينا عمر ترجمة حرفية، فما دامت صحيحة قواعديو نثبتها ونقول له ممتاز ولكن نعلمه المستوى الأعلى فإن لم يتمكن نبقيه على مستواه إلى أن يتطور. ولا بد لنا إذن أن نعلمه كيف يرتقي إلى المستوى الأعلى وكيف يتحرر في الترجمة.

ممارسات خاطئة مدمرة في التعليم:
كنت يوماً مع صديق لي في سيارة تعليم القيادة وكان قد فشل في الامتحان للمرة العاشرة ثم غيّر المدرب. هذا المدرب قال له: إنس كل ما علمك إياه المدرب السابق لأنه لا يفهم.

جميل

لكن المدرب الجديد كان يريد أن يعلم المتدرب كل شيء في نفس الوقت فكان يقول له اضغط كذا وافعل كذا وانتبه لكذا… قلت له وقتها: إن أردته أن ينسى كل شيء فذلك يعني أنه عليك أن تبدأ معه من الصفر وتتأكد من مهاراته واحدة واحدة بالتفصيل الممل وإلا لن يتعلم أبداً.

وكذلك معلم الترجمة هو ذلك الشخص الذي يجب ان يبقى مع المتعلم المتدرب ويعطيه التمارين ويرشده في كل شيء إلى أن يصبح مترجماً متقناً لصنعته.

واخيراً، الترجمة صنعة كغيرها من صنعات الدنيا كلها، والتعليم الصحيح ينتج مترجماً ضليعاً.

Why?


دورات الترجمة هنا

Thoughts Outspoken

Zul Qi’da 11, 1423

ABU-RISHA, Mohammed

Why

“Yes let us have your lorry over the whole please.  Go ahead! Still ahead! Right. Left. Stop!”  My lorry, or verbally my brother’s lorry, is now over the large hole from which the mechanic is going to fix the dry-shaft.  I put the lorry in such a way so it could leave a space for him to get into the hole beneath the lorry and to start working.  But there was another car that needed some little work before he could start with mine.

Perhaps because I am not naturally a waiting person- well I never wait for the bus until it comes, as I usually walk to and fro until the bus arrives- I started jumping over the hole from one side to another, a habit which has been long inherent in me.

I was jumping from side to side of a wet pond in the school square after a rainy morning.  It was enjoyable to see how I could jump successfully from one side to another without falling inside the pond which was full of water.  “Good boy, come with me”, she said with a smile.  She was much bigger than I was and I used to feel excited when seeing such a girl or a boy in her age in the school, because I always dreamt of arriving at that queue one day where the sixth-grade pupils used to stand.  It is really funny now because 23 years passed since that moment.  Such a girl was remarkable for me.  As other boys and girls of my age, I considered her privileged for holding that badge over her school apron which reads “Disciplinary Committee”, the holder of which should have been among the most hardworking and well-mannered pupils.  They were my example, and I hoped one day to be like them privileged in both manners and studies and finally could have the privilege of holding that badge on my body or on my arm, though I did not equally like the arm badge which read “Cleanliness Committee”.

Well, there came a day when I was very very very privileged for having the distinction of holding on my chest the “Badge of Honor” for a whole weak.  Imagine, for a whole weak, the badge of honor attesting to my perverseness and manners.  Indeed I was then the example for every pupil to follow.  Well, many teachers, especially Mrs. Haifa and Mrs. Amina used to tell other pupils: be like Abu-Risha in everything (pupils used to be called by their family names).

“Good boy”, said the girl who approached me with a gentle smile and held my little hands.  She pointed out to a teacher who was standing over there top of the stairs leading to the door of the inner school square.  She was holding a stick in her hand. The girl said to me “Come with me to that teacher.  She says she will give you a reward because you are a good boy.”  I felt excited and satisfied although I said to myself, “Why should they bother themselves telling me that I am a good boy?”  Yes I thank them from the depth of my heart, and I am indeed a good boy and everyone is proud of me.  I didn’t do anything remarkable except jumping on that wet pond, but perhaps the teacher noticed something excellent for which I deserved a reward.  I smiled to myself while walking with that girl and said to myself: “How bad are my friends!  They told me that the teacher I am going to right now is a ‘tyrant’ and that she beats all pupils until they cry even for simple or no reasons.  She is nice to recognize me and give me a reward.”  On the way also I was thinking at the same time of the reward.  Yes I am a good boy and a hardworking pupil and certainly I deserve a candy, or perhaps it is something else. Anyway, it is a reward which I deserve even if I do nothing.

I woke up from my thoughts as I arrived with an innocent smile and with happiness in my bright face and my head rose to look at the teacher with the childish innocent eyes that all human beings have at that stage of their lives.  I did not have any reason to worry or fear as other pupils did when looking at her face.  On the contrary, she will give me a candy or a rew…………..

……? !…………………….

)            ………………..2 2

!                                                                 Tik Tik

……………………rew…………..?

what

why ……how………

……

.

She held my little hands and bit them strongly with her stick.  When a pupil did something bad he/she used to have 2 stick-beats on his/her hands, and this is what happened to me.

But what about the rew……a….rrrrrd… no need to continue thinking about it.  It is over.

I went back to the place where I was playing but did not dare approach the wet pond looking at it silently.  But, what is the mistake that I committed to deserve these sticks,,, but they said I am a good boy……..  I opened my mouth to ask myself a question, but my mouth closed back slowly and my words died at the edge of my tongue.

Old habits die hard, and perhaps this feeling of deserving a reward stayed in me for a long long time.  I saw a letter in my pidgin hole, and with a smile I rushed to it saying “For sure another letter thanking me for something.”  I used to do a lot of things on a voluntary basis for my university where I teach, and I can hear from time to time how people here in this university praise me and talk about me as the one who is excellent at everything, who never says ‘no’, who is sincere in his work, although I sincerely say that it has never been my intention to attract their attention to me.  Such letters were usual for me because they sent me on two occasions letters of thanks for translating some documents.  Certainly there are some thanks waiting for me because I am a good person.  I rushed to read it ……………….

“Instructor Mohammed Yahya Abu-Risha

Peace be upon you,

In accordance with Article 42 (A) of the Teaching Staff Statutes No.1 for the year 2001 effective in Zarqa Private University, and since you have taught outside the university without a prior permission, I have decided to give you a written notice.  The university will also deduce half of your reward from your salary.  I hope that this [punishment] will be an incentive for you in the future to comply with the statutes and regulations of the university.

And, peace be upon you.

President”

Half of the reward.  The candy.  The two stick beats on the hands.  Yes the reward.  I worked outside the university which denied me overtime.  I was dreaming.  Every lecture I taught I was thinking of the smile that will come on the face of the one whom I most love and adore when I give her the bracelet I was planning to buy by the money I get from teaching overtime lectures at another university.  Another dream that I do not have the right to see real.  Another smile that has been killed, and another bitter reward for my sincerity, hard work and love.  The two stick beats are alive again, the same smile has been fated to die, the same aspirations and optimisms were destined to founder on the rock of despair.  The same “why” and “how”, the same shock and the same bitterness.  My eyes showed me everything as black and dark for seeing the murder of my smile and the killing of my small dream.  I read the beautifully colored letter again and again but understood nothing, had no answer for my why.

I opened my mouth to ask myself a question, but my mouth closed back slowly and my words died at the edge of my tongue.

“Sir, your lorry is ready, but don’t forget to bring it back tomorrow to fix the brakes.”

Rumours


دورات الترجمة هنا

Thoughts Outspoken

Shawal 24, 1423

ABU-RISHA, Mohammed

What the Rumors Say

“What are you reading?

Words, words, words”

(Hamlet)

We call them rumors.  They spread like fire in dry stalks.  They are made of simple words but often do they destroy.  Here is a list of some rumors and the truth  about them.

I- Rumors Say:

1- Pokemon is a cartoon series and a game enjoyed by children almost everywhere in the world.  Its characters had an influence on children as well as on adults, some of whom decided to call second-year students “Pokemons”, having already called the freshmen “Sanafer”, characters of an older series in the cartoon world.

Last year, it was said that the real meaning of the name Pikashu, the main character of this series, means in Japanese “God is mean”.  Charamander, another character of the same series was said to mean “God is poor”.  The word “Pokemon” itself means “I am a Jew”. Certainly, this is a conspiracy which aims to turn our children from……. from Islam.

The rumor thus called all Muslims to watch out for this devilish series and prevent their children from watching this haram program on TV.

2- Some years ago, people boycotted PEPSI products here for a significant reason: PEPSI is an acronym of “Preserve Every Penny to Serve Israel”,,, well I was told that it meant “Preserve Each Pence to Serve Israel”.  So anyone faithful to Palestine and faithful to Islam shall certainly stop drinking that another “devilish” product.

3- Coca Cola:  When you produce the brand against a mirror you can clearly read it in Arabic as: “la Muhammad la makka” (No Mohammed, No Mecca).  Again, you cannot expect a devoted Muslim to drink something that holds such a bad slogan against Muslims.  It goes without saying…..

4- A few days ago, I received an email warning faithful Muslims of the use of the word “mosque”.  The warning says that the word “masjid” should be used instead because the English word has a blood-stained and shameful story.  According to the email, when the Spanish invaded Andalusia, they saw the mosques and said “Let us destroy that mosquito-like buildings”. Thus the word “mosque” is derived from the word “mosquito”.

B- Facts:

1- Last year, I sent an email to Messers Nintendo, the company in charge of manufacturing and selling Pokemon products, and I asked them for a response to the criticism about the pokemon names.  Their answer was amazing.

To begin, the Japanese company first designed the names of the Pokemon characters in way that is meaningful to the Japanese, but when they wanted to present their products to the English-speaking communities, they decided to choose names that could explain simply the function or the main characteristics of each pokemon.  Thus the Japanese name for “Pikashu” is to be understood in English as “the Electric Mouse” because it uses electricity.  By the same token, the names “Magnemite” and “Mr Mime” refer to “magnet” and “mimetic” respectively, two characteristics of the two pokemons.

Nintendo furthermore told me that such a rumor mentioned above has been plotted and circulated by competitive companies in the same field.  The word “Pokemon” itself is derived from two words representing the true nature of the monsters that can be put in one’s pocket: “POCKet MONster”.

If you have time, just check your browser on the internet and search for the following two strings: (“pokemone” “I am a Jew”) and you will see how the whole world is making fun of our “linguistic smartness”!!!

2- I checked at the internet the online site of PEPSI Co. to check for the history of the word PEPSI.  The result is funny:

“The trademark appeared in 1898, when Caleb Bradham, a New Bern, North Carolina pharmacist, renames “Brad’s Drink,” a carbonated soft drink he’s created to serve his drugstore’s fountain customers. The new name, Pepsi-Cola, was first used on August 28 in the same year. “

My brain also has some information about the matter :+D The above drink “PEPSI” was meant by the pharmacist, Bradham, to help his customers overcome their “dyspepsia“.  Now I know that you are intelligent enough to know where the word PEPSI came from.

3- Coca Cola:  Well, I did not bother myself to check, but I know that the result is the same as experience taught me that such a smart discovery of the relationship between Coca Cola and Mecca is just a product of another type of dotage in some people’s mind.  I am 100% sure that turn it upside down, tilt it right or tilt it left, “Coca Cola” will stay “Coca Cola” and nothing else.

4- I traced the etymology of the word “mosque” and had the following result:

mosque – 1717, from Middle French. mosquée, from Italian. moschea, from Spanish. mezquita, ultimately from Arabic. masjid “temple, place of worship,” from sajada “he worshipped.”  In M.E. as moseak, moseache.

Thus the Spanish word “mezquita” is genuinely related to other similar words “moseak, moseache” referring to the act of sojood from which the Arabic word masjedi is derived.

Moreover the word “mosquito” in Spanish is “el mosquito“.  Had the name “mosquito” been used to refer to a mosque, we would not have two distinct words “mosquito” and “mosque“.  In other words, “mosque” and “mosquito” were never used interchangeably to refer to the masjid.

C- Conclusion

The above logical discussion will lead me to ask the following question:  “Why do we Muslims and Arabs equally allow ourselves to be referred to as idiots by those who find in us a good instrument for fulfilling their plots and their defaming designs against each other in a rat-race competition which we are gaining nothing from?!!!”

You and People


دورات الترجمة هنا

Thoughts Outspoken

Shawal 9th, 1423

ABU-RISHA, Mohammed

You and People

“The Self does not get to know itself unless it encounters the Non-Self”

Every now and then you often think about other people and your relations with them.  You often talk of them.  You praise, you blame, you applaud, you curse….. But, do you really understand these relations correctly?  Here is a way to understand how your interpersonal interactions take place.

1-               When you speak to them you see the tears jumping from their eyes, right?

This is not because of your eloquence or because your words are impressing, but people have feelings.

2-               You get some money from them and then decide not to give them back what you have borrowed.

You are not clever, but they have trusted you.

3-               They have done something wrong and when they came to apologise, you refused to listen.

They are not weak, you are merciless.

4-               You saw one with worn-out clothes, you laughed.

They are not amusing, you are heartless.

5-               You asked someone to give you a lift although he was very busy, and he did.

They do not adore you, you are tactless.

6-               You said something bad to someone, they kept silent and did not reply

They are not cowards, you are insolent.

7-               You are the boss and all of them around you obey you without objections.

They do not respect you, you are a tyrant.

8-               When they see you they try to get away from you.

They are not indifferent, you are disgusting.

9-               When you are delivering a speech, people start yawning.

They are not negligent, you and your speech are both boring.

10-               People say they love you, you get annoyed, you feel they are lying.

They are not hypocrite, you are skeptical.

11-               They recited to you verses from the Holy Quran, to convince you of something, but you didn’t listen.

They are not “too religious”, you are devilish.

12-               People told you that you are not doing the job in the right way.  You grew angry.

They are not envious, you are bad-tempered.

13-               People in your work ask you to do a lot of things.  You smile and feel very pleased that people cannot breathe without you.

They are not dependant on you, you are simply carrying out your duties.

14-               People often backbite you, hate you, despise you, wish you everything bad, count your mistakes, try to harm you, lie to you, misquote you, cool your friends, warm your enemies, dig a hole in your way for you to fall in, they are furious at your success and often they laugh at your failure.

You are worried about it, you think you are right and they are wrong.

You feel how bitter they treat you? Right?

You can’t stand the way they treat you?

You want to know why?

It is just because you are what you are in Points (1) – (13) above

And that is why people are what people are in Point (14):

May God guide you to the right path.

God bless you.

Lesson in life


دورات الترجمة هنا

Thoughts Outspoken

Ramadan 10, 1423

ABU-RISHA, Mohammed

A lesson in life

Abdullah is now a professor in English, or at least this is what I think he is, the last time I heard of him being when he was preparing for the PhD around seven years ago.

As I saw him only once or twice in my life, my weak memory fails to produce an image of Abdullah of whom I just remember few things which are: a beard, blue jeans, a shirt and sport boots

He was one of my father’s brilliant students at the Department of English in the 1980s, and often did he visit my father at home when feeling the lectures did not satisfy enough his hunger and thirst for knowledge.  When he graduated, he was listed among the top students with a good average at his time.

The above is just the introduction of a story that I used to hear many times from my mom when telling other people on many occasions the story of this person who was esteemed by his professors as a real giant in his field of study.  The story is full of excitement that my words here unfortunately cannot reproduce.

The story says that Abdullah was not rich.  The bitter life he had prevented him from having the luxury of affording more than a jeans and a shirt.  His father could not finance him and he used to work and work and work.  Anyway, he graduated but his desire to allay his thirst for knowledge namely for learning other languages exceeded the limits, and thus he decided to leave for France and pursue the Master’s degree.

He worked hard and worked hard, and day after day he could save up only 15,000 Syrian Liras (around 108 JDs at that time) and bought a one-way ticket to France.

In France, he was admitted to a university, but when the hostel administrator, who was a Jew, learnt that he was an Arab, Abdullah was denied accommodation.

The only solution for Abdullah was to sleep in a sleeping bag on the street, distribute his books among friends and try to find a job.  When he told us his story he recollected how frequently he used to be frightened when drug addicted people passed by thinking he was like them and asked him for some drugs.  He suffered a lot, until he found a butcher who was of an Arab origin and let him work and sleep in his butchery.

“On the floor of the butchery, I typed my MA thesis”, said Abdullah with a deep sigh.  “And, the time came for me to submit and attend the public defense of my thesis.”  With despise, the external examiner looked at the ragged and long-bearded man submitting his thesis, for this person when judged from appearance could be anything but a scholar who was about to be granted a graduate degree in literature.  Here, I remember how my uncle’s wife, who is French, met Abdullah later on and attested to his excellent command of the French language in addition to English.  Well, anyway, Abdullah showed excellence in presenting and defending his thesis and amazed his examiners, who could not escape granting him the MA degree with an Excellent grade with honour.  Now the external examiner fully understood what a “giant” Abdullah was, he handed him the degree, shook hands with him, and with a warm smile he said to him: “Vous êtes le l’un que ne peut pas être battu!”

Now as a teacher, when remembering this story of Abdullah Mahmoud, I know that the bitter circumstances I had in my life as a student were a luxury in comparison with Abdullah’s, but I am sure that some of our students are undergoing similar circumstances, indeed bad circumstances, sad moments of despair and agony.  To each of them I say, be like Abdullah Mahmoud.  With patience and perseverance proceed forward.  With your faith in God admit no failure.  And, there will come a day when I will shake hands with you, and with a warm smile I will say to you: “anta ar-rajol al-lazi la yoqhar

Eid Sa’eed


دورات الترجمة هنا

Thoughts Outspoken

Shawal 1st, 1423

ABU-RISHA, Mohammed

Kul ‘am wa antom bi-khair

When it is Eid-Alfitir you usually go out to visit friends and relatives or take your children, if you have any, out somewhere for the sake of entertainment and refreshment.  During the three-day holiday of Eid, you find pleasure and happiness in the faces of all having fulfilled the orders of God by fasting the whole month of Ramadan.

Today, as usual for me in every Eid, I woke up late before noon, said kul ‘am wa antom bikheir” to my family and in the afternoon I went out heading to Amman downtown.  Well, this is one of my few idiosyncrasies, as I don’t have much passion for seeing people on this occasion.

On the way to the main street, where I could take the bus to Amman, you could see so many children playing here and there, laughing, shouting and running full of energy.  A smile would for sure be drawn on your lips, if you have a nostalgic nature, as you would recollect how you were once like them joining fiends and playing with them, after your father kissed you and gave you the usual eidiyeh, with which you could by a toy gun and play with your peers the thief-and-police or gangs games.  You would suddenly remember how you passed the golden gate of childhood and how those jovial moments of innocence started to vanish by the coming of years.  Well, you can see your little “you” when looking at these happy little beings, and there will cross your mind a strange idea that some day, those children, who are what you were, will be you.

This bright side of life however started to wither while I was proceeding to Amman downtown.  There you can find a confused and confusing world of dichotomies; happiness and despair, richness and poverty, the privileged and the miserable, all together walking into different directions.  The picture that I saw started to be more gloomy when I came across a child whose dress and shoes were not as I thought every child do wear in a joyful day like that of the Eid.  I gradually started to see the dark side of the Eid when my eyes saw a man teaching his around-6-year-old  (ostensibly) daughter how to sit and beg from passing-by people.  If you are clever enough, you will no doubt conclude that some children on the Eid have to work rather than play.  Here, I remembered a song entitled “Sympathy”.  I learnt it at school fifteen years ago.  The song truly mirrors life as it is, not life as we wish it to be, in such an occasion like that of Eid Al-fitir:

Now when you climb into your bed tonight

And when you lock and bolt the door

Just think about those out in the cold and dark

‘Cause there’s not enough love to go ’round

No there’s not enough love to go ’round

And sympathy is what we need my friends

And sympathy is what we need

And sympathy is what we need my friends

‘Cause there’s not enough love to go ’round

No there’s not enough love to go ’round

Now half the world hates the other half

And half the world has all the food

And half the world lies down and quietly starves

‘Cause there’s not enough love to go ’round

No there’s not enough love to go ’round

No there’s not enough love to go ’round

No there’s not enough love to go ’round

And sympathy is what we need my friends

And sympathy is what we need

And sympathy is what we need my friends

‘Cause there’s not enough love to go ’round

No there’s not enough love

No there’s not enough love to go ’round

My feelings of sympathy soon found someone else to go for.  His disposition taught me how one with dirty or torn shoes is more privileged and much luckier than this man who was begging in front of a mosque.  He had no feet.  The latter, still, I later on realized was much more privileged than another one I saw.  He was without legs!

In fact, the story with your sympathy starts with the last day of Ramadan when a preacher reminds you of the less-privileged people who did not have even food to eat or clothes to wear, urging you to be generous and to spend every penny you can and give for those people, whose silence was a treacle blinding one eye letting the other see a mirage: the brighter side of the Eid.  It makes you forget for a while that not all children are as lucky to have a father or mother as you have; not all men and women have a homeland as you have; not all people can eat and wear as you can; and, not all children were what you were in your childhood once as you have already fancied!

Your mind would now perhaps trigger a series of questions: How do those sufferers manage to survive all over the year? How do their children eat and dress? How many are those people? Do they form the minority of population, or are you an exception to their rule of cheerlessness?

If you are like me, careless and carefree, alas, you will never be able to ask yourself a more inescapable question: Why!  Why on earth do those people live in bitter conditions? Why do they suffer while people like you know how to entertain themselves?  We will not dare to ask more questions for otherwise we have to explain, at least for ourselves, why we luxuriously eat while others starve, why we feel warm while others feel cold, why we do enjoy our time while others are estranged by us in their own country and left alone deprived even of the blessing of hearing the usual greetings of the Eid.

All the above queries disturbing your mind, my dear friend, have one answer.  You can’t wipe out a tear; you can’t draw a smile on an innocent face, not because we, you and I, do not have much time to do that.  It is not because you and I have nothing to give to them.  It is not because you and I are helpless and can do nothing.

It is simply because there is not enough love …..to go around.

In the final analysis, who cares; it is a matter that doesn’t concern us the least.  Kul ‘am wa antom bikhair.

Stop! You have the time.


دورات الترجمة هنا

Thoughts Outspoken

Ramadan 3rd, 1423

ABU-RISHA, Mohammed

Stop! You have the time

It is 8:45 p.m., Friday the third day of Ramadan al Mubarak 1423 Hijri.  I have just finished my taraweeh prayers at home as the sever flue I am having is preventing me from going to the Mosque to attend the usual congregational prayers.

I am also still intoxicated with an overwhelming feeling of happiness and pleasure for finishing the recital of, so far, the fourth division of the Quran although I have started on the second day of Ramadan not on the first one.  It has always been an uneasy task for me to recite the Quran completely within a period of one month until students at the club of the English language came to me and asked for my help in translating a paper that they wanted to distribute among other students at the Department of English.

The paper proposed a simple way for reciting the Quran once even twice a month without sensing any kind of difficulty.  Actually, I don’t think that ELC students at that moment could imagine that I was really in need for an advice on the matter.  The way was very simple.  It says that since each division of the Quran is made up of about ten sheets of papers, you can recite two sheets of papers (i.e. four pages) before or after each compulsory prayer.  At the end of the day, one whole division will be recited.  And it worked!

Yes I could recite more than the paper suggested and I found it extremely easy which stunned me for a while, for how come I could not learn this way years before!  Actually, when I came back home with the ELC sincere advice in my mind, and after salat al-isha’, the TV was turned on and my family were watching a program called “Maraia”.  At the beginning of this program, an actor was asking his secretary about “khabeer al-seesan al-sini” (The Chinese expert of chicks).  I did not join my family, and rather decided to apply the new lesson that I learnt.  And indeed, I started reciting the Holy Quran per the instructions on my ELC colorful slip of paper and as I said I had to do the taraweeh prayers in my room because of the flue.  The result was astonishing: I completed the recital of two divisions instead of one and had the desire to proceed with the third one!  I joined my family to see the TV still on, and the actor in the “ckichen episode” of the comic series still talking just a few seconds before the end.

In retrospect, reciting the Holy Quran was not a difficult task.  The difficult thing indeed was to determine your priority: is it spending half-an-hour or so watching “halal” or “haram” programs on TV, or spending half-an-hour or so proving at least to yourself that you do obey the orders of God whom you “claim” to LOVE!

Last Ramadan, I used to go to the mosque and attend the taraweeh and with bitterness I remember that once on Friday while I was heading to the mosque, I said to myself: “Is it necessary to go to the taraweeh everyday?  I really sometimes feel tired so let me rest for a while”.  Yes I said that, forgetting that I never felt tired spending the time, or verbally wasting my time, staying agape and staring at the screen for hours after hours after hours.  I forgot how I used years ago not to miss any prayer of taraweeh at the mosque in Ramadan.  I forgot past days when I never let anyone before me sit just immediately behind the imam.  Yes, I said to myself “It is not necessary to attend the taraweeh everyday”.  But just one hour later, God only knows, I found myself lying in bed in the hospital with nothing moving in me except my eyes.  At that time only did I understand how necessary it was for me to pray.  At that time in fact I prayed to God: “O God!  I pray you let me be healthy again just to let me practice my prayers.”  Instead of going to the mosque, I drove to the downtown to buy something for my sister.  On my return, the car slithered into a valley and I found myself flying out of the car and losing conscience and breaking my arm, which took a long time to completely heal.

When I had the car accident, I knew for the first time what it is like to face death: it is to see that you are going your way to hell in part for not reciting the Quran during the day and over the night.

It is a time where nothing can help you except a moment that you spent in life preferring reciting the Quran to watching the “chiks”-like rubbish programs on TV.

On the way to the Mosque


دورات الترجمة هنا

Thoughts Outspoken

Rajab4th, 1425

ABU-RISHA, Mohammed

On the way to the mosque

“I’m going.  Do you want anything from the supermarket?”

“No, darling. Take care”

I left the house making my way to the mosque for the usual weekly Friday preaches and prayers.  On my way, I was confused about a ‘fatwa’ I read the other day.  Opposite to what I used to think long time ago, it said it is not a problem, although not preferable, if you arrive late to the mosque on Friday.  Today, I am going late without the feeling of guilt for arriving late.  However, what was confusing me is that I always wanted myself to be an example for others.  I wanted myself to be among the first to come, the last to leave the mosque so that others would feel they should stay a little bit longer for performing the sunnah prayers instead of leaving quickly.

But, what I was most obsessed with in my way was something else.  I really wanted her to know but I don’t know how.

“I’ve been working here for four years, but you don’t see me frequently because I usually work at the other branch”, he said.  The barber was a young man, who seems to have understood from the expressions on my face that I thought he was a trainer or a piece of amateur and that my hair was passing into the danger of being miscut.  I told him that “this is a place I trust for my hair cut”.

“I didn’t have much luck with barbers. This shop is, by and large, one of the fewest ones that appreciated my style of hair cut.  It is a problem for a university teacher, you know, to have his hair badly cut.  Students would never miss that.  It would be the joke of the day.”

He assured me again that he was experienced enough to know how to do with my hair and kept asking me how I like my hair to be cut, but with my hair hardly surviving terrible hair-cuts in the past, I felt it wouldn’t be a big deal if my hair was half cut, and one side of my face were full of cotton. I had to say it’s “ok, just do it as you like and then you’ll have my remarks.”  It seemed however that he needed once again to “make me rest-assured” so he brought me a cup of coffee and we both had a break before he proceeded with my hair.

The coffee didn’t taste bad.  In fact it was good, and it was important to accept his invitation lest he think I wasn’t happy.  The shop was a bit changed since my last visit to it about three or four months ago.  There were empty tubes of shampoo, shaving foams and gels put all together in one line on the shelf in front of me.  The coconut cream boxes disappeared, or may have been replaced.  On the other shelf was the huge cassette player playing that sort of songs suitable for your night travel on the road.  The song anyway fit perfectly in that night at the barber’s.  There were a number of cassettes piled up or cascaded.  My eyes suddenly fell on one of these cassettes.  The photo of the singer on it attracted me and took me back twenty years ago.

“Reading is my favorite hobby.  And you can make sure your dream will be correctly interpreted.  Ibin Sireen and other dream interpreters I read thoroughly.”  What I didn’t mention, or perhaps didn’t really know that I was born to a sufist family, which might account in part for the thousands of books available then in my father’s library.

My ten-year-old dearest peer used to look at me with admiration especially when I mentioned the achievements of my father in mathematics and when I mentioned unusual religious stories that my father used to narrate to me and to my brother.

“I dreamt of something last night”

“Don’t say ‘dreamt’ because dream is from the Shaytan, say ‘I had a vision’ because the vision is from Allah”

“Ok.  I had a vision, let it be so”, he agreed.

“I had a very strange vision in which I saw angels.  They were ordered to take Warda the Algerian to Heavens and to drive Um-Kulthoom to the hell fire”

“Very strange indeed!”, I exclaimed

“The opposite should have happened”, both he and I shouted.

We were then children, not having yet passed the golden gate of innocence into the sinful world of experience.  A vision, it was.  A revelation unto a pure human.  That’s it: the deceased Um Kulthom was a celebrated singer and was widely respected especially by the old but it doesn’t guarantee her passing to paradise.  This is what children at my age at that time could never understand.  It is also a fact that Warda the Algerian is still alive and is still able to revert unto God and leave that destructive thing called ‘art’.  She should realize that her songs have contributed to the state of chaos and loss besetting the youth nowadays; the youth now are aimless chasing just superstar songs, new fashions; throwing themselves off inhibitions, leading a life of spiritual dearth, waiting for new songs to spring out and new fashions to replace old ones until they become old and die aimlessly.  She should remember, when hearing her audience’s acclamation, how lost these desperate souls in front of her are; she should remember that God in the Holy Quran stated clearly that

“إن الذين فتنوا المؤمنين والمؤمنات ثم لم يتوبوا فلهم عذاب جهنم ولهم عذاب الحريق (البروج 10)”

The vision is surprising, for what deed could this woman have done or what will she do to make God the Merciful forgive her sins, she the one who spent most of her life in profligacy called ‘art’?

I believe in Ahmad Al-Aas’s ru’aya and wish the singer concerned to know it and to do something to save her soul, but how?

Alahu Akbar, Alahu Akbar, la ilaha illa Allah”.

Finis


دورات الترجمة هنا

Thoughts Outspoken

Muharram 27th, 1424

ABU-RISHA, Mohammed

Finis

Between the abode of evil and that of the good there stood the lofty wall.  The angels dragged a goat on it ostensibly to slay it for some reason or another.  We all knew the goat.  We all know why he is being slain now.  In the abode of evil, people were standing agape, and you could see the terror in their eyes wishing time to stop, supplicating to God once more that this moment be delayed, being frightened to “death” to live a life that would not end. On the other side of the wall, I stood with other people like me with glittering looks waiting with suspense for this moment to be over, for the slaying of that goat, looking forward for a renaissance, for a life that would not end.

Everyone of us, those waiting in the abode of the good, was satisfied realising once again indeed that the promise of God was true and that the time of sadness and that of weariness we underwent in earthly life were but an interval which came to an end for good……

Some of us, like me, did not have the blessing of being on this side of the wall only as a result of our virtuous deeds but also because of the devilish treatment we received at the hands of those in hell.  Eye for Eye: they have taken with them our sins; we have taken their good deeds.  We suffered at their hands a lot, but our belief in God’s promise strengthened our wills and made us endure the earthy injustice just because we always knew that we could be the winners in the other life.  And, yes, the other life has come at last, and we have seen the promise of God fulfilled.

Among those people whose faces turned black by their sins and by the wrath of God the Almighty, I saw those whose hands were the reason behind my torture and distress in the former life.  I opened my mouth and said to them, for they could here me clearly having turned once a deaf ear to my tears and cries, “Can you now see how my Lord’s promise has been fulfilled?  I have seen this myself.”

I read an advertisement in the newspaper announcing for granting a scholarship on the doctoral level, and with great happiness and hope I rushed with all my documents and papers to apply.  On the way, my dreams were coming true.  I finally got the chance to apply.  I will certainly win that scholarship because they will be very pleased if they read my CV and have a look at my academic performance. But I was told, you cannot EVEN APPLY simply because the grade of your secondary grade is not satisfactory.  I went back home depressed.  I cried and cried and cried, but in vain would my tears be seen by the eyes of hard-hearted people.

I applied for a job per the advertisement of that university in the newspaper.  I went there and applied.  And, later on the results were incredible.  They showed me the list of applicants in order of preference with my name as the second one or the “just-in-case alternative”.  The list showed the first person had an average of “Very Good” while my average was “Excellent”, and still they hired her just because “she is beeeeeeeeetter”.

A few months later: another announcement in the newspaper by another university revived me because of its fair requirements.  I jumped out of joy that kills and prepared with my friends all the papers again, took our books and prepared ourselves for the long journey to the far-southern part of the country to attend the written test.

The journey lasted for about three hours during which you could see in the bus a good number of would-be applicants from a variety of fields of specializations: accountancy, English, Arabic, law and other more ones.  Their eyes were glittering with hope.  From their smiles of satisfaction, you could understand that he/she was daydreaming: “I got it!  I can’t believe myself.  I will be a doctor in the university.  At last!  My sufferance has come to an end,,,,, the sufferance of my family too…..”  You could see with them books, rulers, calculators and other things that would tell you how those people prepared hard for the exam,,, how they are clinging to that opportunity that might not come again.  Each two persons of the same field were conversing with each other trying to revise important details in their subjects of study.  As for me, I was discussing with my friend the theory of translation and some other related topics like pragmatics and discourse analysis.  In other words, the bus was full of life and energy, a beehive so to speak.  A laugh from someone from time to time could uncover inner feelings of joy and pleasure.  It was an incredible moment for all of us, and all of us could not believe ourselves when we arrived at the university, but

“Who was the first Arab leader of the city of…….. appointed by Byzantium?”

The exam silenced us or verbally killed us.  It was shocking, for we could not believe that now our dreams were fake!  Someone rose and shouted: “Would you conclude that I am no patriotic if I don’t know how to answer these questions!”

On my part, I could answer no question.  We went to the bus station, but unlike the way we came, in our journey home, all of us were tired and silent.

That was perhaps the last time I dared apply for a scholarship.  But I did not give up applying for jobs and this time was upon the advertisement of a university for its need of an examination officer.  In short: I applied and I was refused, which was very normal for me by then.  But still I had to be shocked six months ago, when someone surprised me by telling me that he knew about my application, that my application was the most successful, that the committee decided on me for the job but just a slip of paper by a big wasta was entered to the committee reading: “Hire Mr. So and So”.

Today I went to apply for a job at some university, and I was not surprised when I was told “We cannot accept your application because your secondary education grade is not satisfactory”……………………………….

The first drops of his blood started to fall followed by a stream!  Time stopped or in fact ended, and Death, the companion of mankind, was slain.  He died marking a new beginning and a new era: an eternal life for the miserable and a new beginning for the pleased:

وسقى الصلصال الإنسان فرحا

وسقى الصلصال الإنسان ترحا

وبين السور الفاصل بين الظالم والمظلوم

جلجل صوت الحق

لا ظلم اليوم

.                                     لا ظلم اليوم

.                                                                    لا ظلم اليوم