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Showing posts from October, 2012

Samarkand, Amin Maalouf

"Time has two faces, Khayyam  said to himself. It has two dimensions, its length is measured by the rhythm of the sun but its depth by the rhythm of passion."

"What a strange clan those Abbasids are! Their ancestors conquered the best half of the world, they built the most flourishing cities and just look at them today! I take their empire and they put up with that, I take their capital and they are happy, they shower me with presents and the prince of believers says to me, "I give you all the lands which God has given to me, and I place in your hands all the believers whose fate He has entrusted to me."  He begs me to put his palace, his person and his harem under my protection. However if I ask for his daughter he rises up and wishes to defend his honor. Is the only territory for which the sultan is ready to fight the thighs of a virgin?"

"God, she was beautiful - my first image of the Orient - a woman such as only the desert poet knew how to praise…

A Thousand Splendid Suns Quotes

"Marriage can wait, education cannot."

"A society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated..."

"Behind every trial and sorrow that He makes us shoulder, God has a reason."

"Perhaps this is just punishment for those who have been heartless, to understand only when nothing can be undone."

"Learn this now and learn it well. Like a compass facing north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always."

"...Every Afghan story is marked by death and loss and unimaginable grief. And yet, she sees, people find a way to survive, to go on."

"And that, ...is the story of our country, one invasion after another...Macedonians. Saddanians. Arabs. Mongols. Now the Soviets. But we're like those walls up there. Battered, and nothing pretty to look at, but still standing."

"Each snowflake was a sigh heard by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. All the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then…

بن عربي: أدينُ بدينِ الحبِّ

ألا يا حَماماتِ الأراكَة ِ والبَانِ ترَفّقْنَ لا تُضْعِفْنَ بالشجوِ أشجاني ترَفّقْنَ لا تُظهرنَ بالنّوح والبُكا خفيَّ صباباتي ومكنونَ أحزاني أُطارحُها عند الأصيلِ وبالضحى بحنَّة ِ مشتاقٍ وأنَّة ِ هيمانِ تَنَاوَحَتِ الأرواحُ في غَيضَة ِ الغَضا فمالتْ بأفنانٍ عليَّ فأفناني وجاءتْ منَ الشَّوقِ المبرَّحِ والجوى ومن طُرَفِ البَلْوَى إليّ بأفْنانِ فمَن لي بجمعٍ والمحصَّب مِن مِنًى ومَنْ لي بِذاتِ الأثْلِ مَنْ لِي بنَعْمان تطوفُ بقلبي ساعة ً بعدَ ساعة ٍ لوَجدٍ وتبريحٍ وتَلثُمُ أركاني كما طاف خيرُ الرُّسلِ بالكعبة ِ التي يقولُ دليلُ العقْلِ فيها بنُقصَانِ وقبّلَ أحجاراً بها، وهو ناطقٌ وأينَ مَقامُ البيتِ من قدرِ إنسانِ فكَم عَهِدَتْ أن لا تحولَ وأقسمتْ وليس لمخضوبٍ وفاءٌ بأيمانِ ومنْ أعجبِ الأشياءِ ظبى ُ مبرقعُ يشيرُ بعنَّابٍ ويومي بأجفانِ ومَرعاهُ ما بينَ التّرائِبِ والحَشَا ويا عَجَباً من روضة ٍ وَسَطَ نيرانِ لقدْ صارَ قلبي قابلاً كلَّ صورة ٍ فمَرْعًى لغِزْلاَنٍ وديرٌ لرُهْبانِ وبَيْتٌ لأوثانٍ وكعبة ُ طائفٍ، وألواحُ توراة ٍ ومصحفُ قرآنِ أدينُ بدينِ الحبِّ أنَّى توجَّهتْ رَكائِبُهُ فالحُبُّ ديني وإيماني لنا أُسْوَة ٌ في…

Wisdom of Bruno

It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people. Time takes all and gives all. We delight in one knowable thing, which comprehends all that is knowable; in one apprehensible, which draws together all that can be apprehended; in a single being that includes all, above all in the one which is itself the all. It may be you fear more to deliver judgment upon me than I fear judgment

An Eyeless World

I'm the source of abomination, of anger, hatred and disgust. I'm the evil, the sadness and the loneliness. I'm the darkness, not black, but grey, all shades of grey, all shades of lameness and badness. The colors of my world dim in the greyness of thoughts, and I choose not to see. Slowly my eyes fade away, they're swallowed inside me and they leave me in the world of nothingness, the eyeless world of emptiness. Soon the whole world that I fail to see starts fading in my greyness of abomination, my world too turns eyeless. The cat of tenderness, the bird of love, the gazelle of vitality, the dove of peacefulness, they all turn eyeless, they all become colorless. In my eyeless world I see how the grey abomination faded the eyeless cat, and I know I'm the source, and I know I'll be where it ends. I know that soon, it will be my turn to fade too in my own grey abomination.

Push the Limits

Yesterday a man jumped down to Earth from a height of more than 39 Km, and while he went up some have called him crazy and others thought of it as a game. But it's not only that he did this for research reasons that makes it a serious matter, what is even more important is that he pushed the limits of what the human body can do. What Felix, gymnasts, swimmers and Paralympians have in common is that they prove to us that there is always better than the best, that there is always more we can achieve, that our bodies do evolve and that every world record is actually breakable. This is what inspiration is all about, to do more than you're told you can do, to go where nobody else has ever been, to believe in yourself, to know that impossible is just another meaningless word.

Yesterday Felix has been able to see a different view of the world, he saw with his own eyes that the world is not a flat land. He went out of of the world, out of his comfort zone, and only by doing this he wa…

My Ithaca

It is I who is Ithaca, my true self, the ultimate truth that I always seek to know and be close to. Ithaca is meaning that gives life purpose, a blow in the soul, a breath of The One. It is reality and I'm its shadow; always pulled toward authenticity, but I know I'll only be almost there. Ithaca is the unreachable destination, the intangible truth, the un-understandable virtue, but that doesn't matter. Its journey is eternal peace, the open arms of life, timeless happiness. The voyage of betterment is the will to take the journey, the wisdom to know which path to take, and the intelligence to not stumble into fakeness. A voyage of body and spirit, motions and emotions, ideals and ideas, refined opinions and those that are yet to be refined. It is what I say and what I do, what I feel and how I act. The closer I get to Ithaca, the closer they all become, and when I'm almost there what I do, say and feel all become one.

Ithaca

Ithaca When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy -
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don't in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach th…

The Untouched Apple

With eyes wide open he looks at her, with a seducing rhyme he speaks to her. "Take the apple Eve, you don't know what you're missing". She feels it, curiosity pulling her like a magnet towards the unknown. Her legs carry her, she loses control over them, she goes closer to the tree. She stands in front of it, her hands move to the apple....But no, the devil himself can't control her. Before she touches the apple she moves back, she leaves, she goes back to paradise. Her body leaves, but her spirit stays, always wondering about the unkonwn, but never really knowing. She lives the perfect life with no worries, all her wishes coming true. In paradise hate doesn't exist, evil doesn't exist, dirt doesn't exist, boredom doesn't exist, anger doesn't exist, injustice doesn't exist. For Eve, this was the unknown. But how could she understand the love, kindness, cleanliness, fun, peacefulness, and justice she experiences everyday if she doesn't …

Guilt

I don't have any memories of that day, not even one. They are all audience memories, memories that everyone else has. On that day, on October 9, 2011 I was part of حزب الكنبة. I woke up in the morning not knowing that there will be a protest happening in a few hours, and not even imagining that on that day 27 pure souls will be taken. It was only when I was leaving work that I figured out that something was wrong through Twitter, but that thing was not even a disaster, it's something that happens everyday to many protests. I only knew that there was a Coptic protest going from Shubra to Maspero against the endless sectarian strife incidents, and some thugs with beards, or so they say, threw rocks at them, but that's our normal. I got home and the disaster began, and I watched it on air, all on air. But by that time, watching people die live on air had also become our normal.

I remember nothing because my mind stopped. They say Maspero and I see the face of the girl crying …

Wisdom of Plotinus

It is by participation of species that we call every sensible object beautiful.

It is now time, leaving every object of sense far behind, to contemplate, by a certain ascent, a beauty of a much higher order; a beauty not visible to the corporeal eye, but alone manifest to the brighter eye of the soul, independent of all corporeal aid.

We shall never be able to tell of virtue's brightness, unless by looking inward we perceive the fair countenance of justice and temperance, and are convinced that neither the evening nor morning star are half so beautiful and bright.

All souls, as I may say, are affected in this manner about invisible objects, but those the most who have the strongest propensity to their love; as it likewise happens about corporeal beauty; for all equally perceive beautiful corporeal forms, yet all are not equally excited, but lovers in the greatest degree.

Perhaps, the good and the beautiful are the same, and must be investigated by one and the same proce…

Memories that Remain

When one street carries so many memories that are so overwhelming. When you feel it in the air, on the walls, on the faces, in the shops, on the buildings, everything carries never-ending memories. They carry memories that tell the story of a thousand years. Your feet touch the ground and you feel your breath sucked away from you. You feel your soul traveling through time, going back, living it all over again. Every single minute of it, it's all carved in all our hearts, no matter how much it changes, it's all kept deep in every single heart.

Memories of the 18 days, of the street I used to take to Utopia. Memories of the bakery shop, عتمان, that my parents used to buy food for the sit-inners from. Memories of every single time I've been searched from the committees with an apologizing smile. Memories of Thursday February 10, 2011 when I saw that Tweet and we all thought that Mubarak is leaving, of how fast the news traveled.

Memories of the Friday of celebration, of when I …

Away

You get out of your comfort zone. You go against the flow, you think of things that you were told were facts of life. You fight for what you believe in, you fight even the people you love most. You break the walls, walls that you lock yourself up inside. You let your mind fly, to look for meaning. You set yourself free of protection, protection you set for yourself and that set for you by others. You feel light, a free soul, you get a taste of a truth...

What is your comfort zone? A 9 to 5 job? A family that will always love you and support all you do? A lover that will make your life a fairytale? Never wondering why things are this way or that? Never questioning the meaning of things, of life? To build walls of a home that you feel so protected inside, and mental walls that limit your view to protect you from whatever is different, whatever is hard to accept or to even think of?

But isn't this the perfect life that everyone wishes to have? If you have a good job, loving family and …

The Great Learning of Confucius

What the great learning teaches, is to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence. The point where to rest being known, the object of pursuit is then determined; and, that being determined, a calm unperturbedness may be attained to. To that calmness there will succeed a tranquil repose. In that repose there may be careful deliberation, and that deliberation will be followed by the attainment of the desired end.

Things have their root and their branches. Affairs have their end and their beginning. To know what is first and what is last will lead near to what is taught in the Great Learning.

The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the Kingdom, first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishi…

The Analects of Confucius, 3

The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.

Guide the people by law, subdue them by punishment; they may shun crime, but will be void of shame. Guide them by example, subdue them by courtesy; they will learn shame, and come to be good.

What Heaven has conferred is called The Nature; an accordance with this nature is called The Path of duty; the regulation of this path is called Instruction. The path may not be left for an instant. If it could be left, it would not be the path. On this account, the superior man does not wait till he sees things, to be cautious, nor till he hears things, to be apprehensive.

There is nothing more visible than…

The Analects of Confucius, 2

They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it.

When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honor are things to be ashamed of.

He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place when all the stars are rotating about it.

The virtuous is frank and open; the non-virtuous is secretive and worrying.

When you serve your mother and father it is okay to try to correct them once in a while. But if you see that they are not going to listen to you, keep your respect for them and don't distance yourself from them. Work without complaining.