Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies presents:

Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East
الاستدامة البيئية في الشرق الأوسط

by Sheikh Abd al-Aziz bin Ali al-Nuaimi — الشيخ عبد العزيز بن علي النعيمي

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/green-sheikh-reaches-out-to-youth
http://www.buildgreen.ae/v1/Content.aspx?sID=5&fID=189

Recorded April 8, 2011

MP3

Posted in Circles | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Aesthetic Imaging in the Qur’an

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies presents:

The Aesthetic Imaging in the Qur’an
التصوير الفني في القرآن

by Eman Gamaal — ايمان جمال

Eman Gamaal is a graduate student at the Divinity School in the University of Chicago.

Recorded April 1, 2011

MP3

Posted in Circles | Tagged | Leave a comment

Observations from the Revolution

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies presents:

Observations from the Revolution
ملاحظات من الثورة

by Farouk Mustafa and Amina Abd el-Alim — فاروق مصطفى وأمينة عبد العليم

This is a free-form presentation by two of the Arabic faculty at the University of Chicago, Farouk and Amina, on the revolution in Egypt and its potential repercussion in the Arab world.

Recorded March 4, 2011

MP3

Posted in Circles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Egypt between Enlightenment and Revolution

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies presents:

Egypt between Enlightenment and Revolution
مصر بين التنوير و الثورة

by Emran El-Badawi — عمران البدوي

Emran El-Badawi is a PhD candidate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago.

Recorded February 25, 2011

MP3

Posted in Circles | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Dove’s Call (Rhymed Prose) in Olden Times

This week’s Arabic Circle presents:

The Dove’s Call (Rhymed Prose) in Olden Times:
Qur’anic Inimitability or Soothsayer’s Magic
سجع الحمام في قديم الزمان : اعجاز القرآن أم سحر الكهّان؟

by Kevin Blankinship
كفين بلانكنشپ

Kevin Blankinship is a PhD student in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago.

Recorded February 18, 2011

MP3

Posted in Circles | Tagged | Leave a comment

1001 Nights

This week’s Arabic Circle presents:

After one-thousand years the beautiful, enchanting daughter returns virtuously and safely to her creator
بعد أكثر من ألف سنة تعود الإبنة الحسناءُ الفاتنةُ الضالّةُ
(ألفُ ليلةٍ وليلةٍ)
إلى مبدعها كريمة مصونة

by Mahmoud Saeed
محمود سعيد

Mr. Saeed is a well known Iraqi author who has published over 20 novels and collections of short stories during his career. Unfortunately, our recorder shut off after 15 minutes, so the talk is truncated, but the first bit should be interesting.

Recorded January 21, 2011

MP3

Posted in Circles | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Tale of al-Aṣmaʿī, the Caliph al-Manṣūr, and the Amazing Qasida

The Arabic Circle proudly presents:

The Tale of al-Aṣmaʿī, the Caliph al-Manṣūr, and the Amazing Qasida
حكاية الأصمعي والخليفة المنصور والقصيدة العجيبة : صوت صفير البلبل

by Cameron Cross
كامران صليب

Cam L. Cross is a graduate student of Arabic and Persian literature in the department of NELC at the University of Chicago. He enjoys both modern and classical literature, prose and poetry, and you can see some of his work at his website.

Recorded January 14, 2011

MP3

Here is the version of the poem that I recited:

صَوتُ صفيرِ البُلبُلِ هَيَجَ قلبِ الثَمِلِ
الماءُ والزَهرُ معا مـع زَهْرِ لَحْظِ المُقَلي
وأنتَ يا سيدَلي وسيدي ومَولَلي
فَكَم فَكَم تَيَّمُني غُزَيِّلٌ عَقَيقَلي
قَطَّفْتُهُ مِن وَجـنَةٍ من لَثمِ وَردِ الخَجَلِ
فَقالَ لا لا لا لا لا وقد غَدا مُهَرْوِلِ
والخودُ مالَت طَرَباً مِن فَعلِ هذا الرَّجُلِ
فَوَلوَلَت وَوَلوَلَت ولي ولي يا وَيلَلي
فَقُلتُ لا تُوَلوِلي وبَيِّني اللُؤلُؤَ لي
قالَت لَهُ حِينَ كَذا اِنْهَض وَجِد بالنُّقَلِ
وفِتْيَةٍ سَقَوْنَني قُهيوَةً كالعَسَلِ لي
شَمَمْتُها بأَنَفي أزكى من القَرَنْفُلِ
في وَسْطِ بُستانٍ حُلي بالزَهْرِ والسُرورِ لي
والعُودُ دَنْدَنْ دَنَ لي والطَبْلُ طَبطَب طَبَ لي
طَبطَبِ طَبطَبِ طَبطَبِ طَبطَبَ لي
والسَقفُ سَقسَق سَقَ لي والرَّقْصُ قَد طَابَ إلي
شَوى شَوى وَشاهِشُ على وَرَق سِفَرْجَلي
وَغَرَّدَ القِمْرِ يَصيحُ مَلَلٍ في مَلَلِ
ولَو تَراني راكِباً على حِمارٍ أَهزَلِ
يَمشي على ثَلاثَةٍ كَمِشْيةِ العَرَنْجِلِ
والناسُ تَرجُمُ جَمَلي في السُوقِ بالقُلقُلَلي
والكلُّ كَعكَع كَعِكَع خَلْفي ومِن حُوَيلِلي
لكن مَشَيتُ هارِباً مِن خَشْيَةِ العَقَنقَلِ
إلى لقاءِ مٰلِكٍ مُعَّظَمٍ مُبَجَّلِ
يَأمُرُ لي بخَلعَةٍ حمراءَ كالدَّم دمَ لي
أَجُرُّ فيها ماشياً مُبَغْدِداً للذِّيَلِ
أنا الأَديبُ الألمعي مِن حَيِّ أَرضِِ المَوصِلِ
نَظَمتُ قَطعاً زُخْرِفَت يَعجِزُ عَنها الأَدبُلِ
أقولُ في مَطلَعِها صَوتُ صَفيرِ البُلبُلِ

Various forms of the poem and its story can be found at the following YouTube links:

And finally, the poem performed in song:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
Posted in Circles | Tagged | Leave a comment

My Experiences Working in a Resettlement Agency

The Arabic Circle proudly presents:

My Experiences Working in a Resettlement Agency
تجاربي عامل في وكالة إعادة التوطين

by Andrew Alger
أندرو الجار

Andrew Alger graduated from the University of Chicago in 2009 with a B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He worked at Catholic Charities’ Department of Refugee & Immigration Services in Boston for a year before returning to Chicago, where he is currently pursuing an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies.

Recorded January 7, 2011

MP3

Posted in Circles | Tagged | Leave a comment

Strategies for Learning Ameyya in Film

by Cam Cross

I recently gave a presentation for the Arabic Circle where I talked about different kinds of films one could watch to work on their Arabic. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to find a film that will fit perfectly with your goals:

1) Am I working on Fusha or ‘Ameyya?
2) Do I want to learn vocabulary and expressions, or focus on cultural content?

(Not that these questions are mutually exclusive, most films will have some formal Arabic in them, and cultural content and expressions can be extracted from all scenarios; however, think of it in terms of “weights” and ease of acquirement.)

Let’s say you want to work on ‘Ameyya. Now you can choose films or TV shows produced in the country whose dialect you want to practice. You’ll have the easiest time finding Syrian, Lebanese, and Egyptian productions online, although there are many resources for Maghrebi and Khaliji dialects as well.

Within that, however, you can then opt for a film that will either be more culturally “foreign,” which will be more difficult to understand, but more loaded with features specific to the place you’re learning about. An example of this is the very good Egyptian film بحب السيما (I Love Cinema), which starts with a little survey of the main character’s surroundings and the people he lives with:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=To-ARthRS-A

Films like these are great for learning about social issues, sticking points, ways of interaction, and all kinds of things. It may be, depending on your Arabic, hard to follow at times. A second strategy is to pick films that are culturally very “local,” where you already know what is going on and can guess what the characters are saying. The most extreme of this kind are dubbed films, especially Disney cartoons. They hire great voice actors and do a good job localizing the script, and presuming you already know the plot and dialogue of the movie, you can focus entirely on how the characters say certain things in Arabic.

Aladdin (علاء الدين), is especially nice because they Arabize all the names.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkoyw7v56bw

Monsters Incorporated (شركة المرعبين المحدودة) the comedian Mohamed Henedi and some great dialogue. See if you can get the part where Shalaby names the girl “Boo” and how Marek says “I’ve had it!” (انا زهقت) after their little مسرحية.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tqY3fUFHwo

DEFINITELY check out this user’s uploads list. They have the Arabic and English in translation written out, so you can follow word-for-word what is being said.

http://www.youtube.com/user/99meemo99#p/u

Watch, for example, this scene from the Lion King:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU0CFFV0IFo

Posted in Circles, Resources | Tagged | 1 Comment

Arabic Studies in Senegal

Arabic Circle invites you to join us this Friday for a very special presentation:

Arabic Studies in Senegal
دراسات عربية في جمهورية سنغال

by Babacar Samb

Professor Samb is the former director of the Department of Arabic at Université Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, former Senegalese Ambassador to Egypt, an expert in Arab-African relations, and currently a visiting scholar at Michigan State University.

Recorded November 12, 2010

MP3

Posted in Circles | Tagged | Leave a comment