A wisdom interlude with Imam Ali: The Heart

وقال عليه السلام: أعجب ما في هذا الانسان قلبُه وله مَوادّ من الحكمة وأضداد من خلافها: فإن سخ له الرجاء أذلّه الطمع وإن هاج به الطمع قتله الأسف. إن عرض له الغضب اشتدّ به الغيظ وإن أسعد بالرضى نسي التحفّظ. وإن ناله الزع شغله الحذر وإن اتّسع له الأمن استلبته الغرّة. وإن أفاد مالا أطغاه […]

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العقل والحياء والدين

وفي الحديث أن جبريل عليه السلام أتى آدم عليه السلام فقال له إني أتيتك بثلاثٍ فاختر واحدةً، قال: وما هي يا جبريل? قال: العقل والحياء والدين فقال: قد اخترت العقل فخرج جبريل إلى الحياء والدين فقال ارجعوا فقد اختار العقل عليكما فقالا: أمرنا أن نكون مع العقل حيث كان من كتاب السؤدد – ابن قتيبة

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Zagreb

If you thought Beirut was a complicated place in a complicated (made-up) country, in a chopped-up region, then wait until you travel to one of the Balkan territories where different religions, languages, tribal affiliations are stacked in territories formerly part of different age-old empires. Their entry into “modernity” is paved with tragedies: first joining the […]

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Thoughts from India II

Starting probably with Gandhi, but all throughout the twentieth century, it is my belief that Indian societies (not that I think India does not preserve some blatant forms of injustice) have been both judicious and clever in protecting the importance of ethics to maintain forms of social stability and power. By ethics, I mean social […]

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Good Friday or Cow Day

Yesterday night, Christians commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus. The streets of Beirut saw hundreds of people in their best clothes flocking towards churches, in little groups of three or four. Big speakers played chants from the top of churches and moving cars. People remembered the death of someone as a symbol for human sacrificing, suffering […]

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Hare Krishna Inc.

The London School of Economics is considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in the world where a tremendous amount of “international” students flock in to receive the benediction of the neo-liberal priests, from the capitalist-technological temple otherwise known as western academia. They then go back to their countries to preach the new […]

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It is in the music

There is a mass on LBC for some saint, and there is a choral playing the most horrible type of badly westernized melodies. Major and minor scales with little sharps and flats thrown in really awkward places. It is so ironic to think that a couple of decades ago you could still find traditional Maronite […]

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Caring

I love it… Al Manar TV station that is close to Hizbullah has a very recurrent ad about the celebration of the birth of the prophet Jesus (Yasu3), son of Mariam, inviting viewers to pray and ponder on the event over the same type of fairy music they air for Eid el Adha, Eid Moubarak, […]

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The "Islamic" as outside the "secular"

Check this very interesting passage of Asad’s series of lecture on suicide bombing: …however reprehensible it was to liberals, the violence of Marxists and nationalists was understandable in terms of progressive, secular history. The violence of Islamic groups, on the other hand, is incomprehensible to many precisely because it is not embedded in a historical […]

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Maman …

Okay, so Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so this post goes out to She Who Brought Me Into The World. Having already established herself as the foremost (okay, only) Arab nationalist in the Middle States, the Giver of Life has abandoned such profane matters and taken an earnest, but somewhat comic (earnest + […]

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