“‘Hub’ is love, ‘ishq’ is love that entwines two people together, ‘shaghaf’ is love that nests in the chambers of the heart, ‘hayam’ is love that wanders the earth, ‘teeh’ is love in which you loose yourself, ‘walah’ is love that carries sorrow with it, ‘sababah’ is love that exudes from your pores, ‘hawa’ is love that shares its name with ‘air’ and ‘falling’, ‘gharam’ is love that is willing to pay the price.”
An Excerpt from the book “The Map of love” by Ahdaf Soueif.
I just finished reading the book and was sad to see it come to an end. Although from the excerpt it might seem that it was a soppy love story but this is so far from the truth. It is an amazing saga of several generations with a historical backdrop of Egypt at the beginning and end of the century. The characters were so entertaining and their lives were like windows into that era. I had previously read “In the Eye of The Sun” by the same author which I also loved but did not grab me like this one. Perhaps the reason why I enjoyed the book so much was because it transported me to a time in Egypt when things were so much better yet so much worse, a time when people had political aspirations and the will and drive to fight for their rights, like universities, women’s education and independence. It might seem weird that I mention independence last but I truly believe that when a nation is educated its independence becomes and inevitability.
As for the above excerpt, it truly is amazing to look at Arabic from the point of view of a non-Arabic speaker. I had always wondered why we only have one word in Arabic which we use interchangeably for love and like but I realized now that we have so many more versions of “love” than I had previously though. Arabic is truly poetic and romantic yet at the same time it is timeless and strong.
Yesterday, I stumbled upon Princess Diaries by chance on TV and watched it. I know it s a pre-teen movie and in theory I am way too old and intellectual for that kind of movie, but I am a sucker for Disney movies. Every little girl has always wanted to be a princess in a fairy tale especially a Disney one, where life is filled with colorful characters, evil characters are ugly, the prince is always handsome and the ending is always happy. Come to think of it, even big girls want to be a Disney princess. All through my childhood I have been mesmerized and fascinated by the different stories and back drops of the animated characters, on a deeper note though they all seem to be a positive influence on girls unlike some of the violent cartoons of today.
Cinderella manages to find her prince even though she lives a tough life after losing her father and being treated like a maid by her step mother and step sisters.
Ariel is an explorer and defies her father, King Titan to follow her enthrallment with all things human and then fights for her prince. I have always had a soft spot for the mermaid with her red hair and amazing world under the sea.
Pocahontas teaches tolerance of other cultures and shows that acceptance and respect really can go a long way.
Snow White is a princess who learns the hard way that trust should be earned not given to anyone, and that even tiny dwarfs can be yours best friend.
Belle from Beauty and the Beast learns that even ugly beings can be really beautiful inside.
I could go on forever, and even though I know that I am slightly dancing on the cheesy side of life, I think ever girl is a princess in her own world and should be encouraged to believe she is (without being catty or bitchy). If I am blessed with a little girl I think I would like to read her the stories first and explain why she too is a princess, a princess who can grow up to be a scientist, a doctor, an artist or anything else she wants to be and then let her enjoy the movie on her own. The world really is a girl’s kingdom we just have to teach them and show them how it can be.
Which Disney princess are you?
How Fairy tales shape our lives.
Last week we were driving by and saw a car burst into flames and in seconds the firetrucks were there and put it all out. It really is hot here.