December 25, 2005

Welcome to Al-Baal

Café Al-Baal is a young philosophers nest in the older part of Damascus where a new generation of thinkers and youth get together and discuss the why's and how's of life over a cup of "ahwe" and "sammoun". This would be next to a world wide web version of that only in this case I dine alone with me, myself and I to the background music of the world as I see it however, you're welcome to join in...

Watch out for my web polls, every now and then questions like "how to achieve world peace" might pop up...nah, joke aside, haven't you ever wondered why people take the stairs when they see an escalator that isnt running? this resulting in a whole herd of people cramped up on the stairs when the escalator would work perfectly as a set of stairs as well?

Is our world that squared and boxed up that an escalator must only be walked on if it moves, otherwise it would be useless because we fail to recongnize its value as a set of non moving stairs as well...

Perhaps it's symbolic for the human beings compulsiveness in branding and placing people and things in predefined boxes... and God forbid we shoud step out of that box and do something contrary to the norm, we should be so lucky if we were to be concidered capable of anything other than what everyone else already decided we can do...

21 comments:

Zee said...

Insightful, something I never really thought of that way. I hope to read more like it!

Der Muslim von nebenan said...

Nice to see you blogging now ;)
I started view month ago, but didn't have the time to continue :(
So I wish you good deeds ....

Abdul-Halim V. said...

Salaams,

good luck with your new blog :)

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Thank you :)

BuJ said...

Interesting! looking forward to future posts :)
mabrook on the new blog..

"samoon" is lovely.. yummy...

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Shukran buj! yeah I miss it over here... :)

BuJ said...

Samoon is just like a mini-baguette, have you tried irshalle?

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

I don't think I have tried irshalle? Or perhaps I have under a different name. What exactly is it? I have discovered the lahjas and amiyyeh of the different arab countries often varies enourmously...often it's harmless and one quickly gets into the mode of the country one is in but I confess I had a few embarrasing moments when I spent a moth in Cairo... ended up scolding a poor zalame (or perhaps zol is more accurate) at Khaan al Khalil souk for saying "bossi" to me... I did not know it was the same as "shoofi" and instead interpreted it as menaing kiss, as in "bose".. talk about lost in translation ey? :)

BuJ said...

I guess you would be more than embarrased if you spent a full "moth in Cairo" (sic) hehe!

Seems you're a keen learner, here's a few things:

zalame : used in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan.
zol: used in Sudan.
raagil: used in Egypt.
ray'yaal: used in the UAE.

Irshalle is yummy crunchy biscuit (quite thick) similar to the Italian cantuccini if you've come across it. It's quite light, and a bit sweet, with bits of aniseed in it. It goes very well with hot tea in a cold winter's night :)

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

I'm getting free tutoring here I see? cheers!
Never tried irshalle but sounds good and remarkably like a Swedish bread with aniseed in it that one also has with tea and it too is not very sweet... so I expect to be sent some home made irshalle from you anytime soon... yislamo!
Speaking of Italian biscuits, you ever been to Rome?

BuJ said...

haha.. Free tutoring it is :)
I've never been able to make irshalle, but I know a place that makes it!
As for Italian, my passion towards Italian is similar to yours towards Arabic. I've been learning Italian for the last couple of years (part time of course). I've been to Rome two years ago, beautiful place, beautiful...

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Non é possibile! I spent a week in Rome summer of 2004. Mi piaciuto molto. and I challenge you regarding your passion for Italian being equal to mine for Arabic :)

I am mad about languages. I think I have seen Roberto Benigni's movie La vita é bella about a 100 times and all the Italian I needed when in Rome I got from there. Vorrei un gelato da San Crispino!

On the subject of Rome, are you an art, architecture and history lover? Did you visit Villa Borghese and Cardinale Borghese's private collection of art and sculptures? Rome also holds one of Europes largest if not the largest mosque. It's beautiful, prayed jum'a there.
Sono molto felice d'incontrarla.

BuJ said...

La frigatura!!! Ho parlato "similar" non "equal"!!
LOL@"vorrei un gelato".. very yummy!
I was in Rome as well in the summer of 2004.. interesting!
Mi piaccio l'arte, ma non descrivere che sia un amante di arte. Non sono andato alla collezione di Borghese, o la moschea (mosque). Dovrò vedere che loro in prossimo vado a Roma.

My dream is to live there for a year or so.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Too bad you haven't seen either of them, you missed alot :) ok fair enough, similar it is :) Yeah I know what you mean about living there. A flat in Trastavere or perhaps Piazza Navona with the laundry line tied between two facades. A chance to learn italian..why not?

I was there in august 2004..what are the odds ey?
Well how can one not become a lover of art after seeing Rome even if one wasn't earlier :)

BuJ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BuJ said...

i was there in sept 2004.. was visiting a close "friend" in napoli.. aah.. the good times we had :)

we spent 23 hrs exactly in roma, then took the train back to napoli.. it was such a funny site.. an arab and a napolitan as tourists in roma.. my "guide" kept getting lost, even though obviously her italian was much better than mine!

definitely need to spend more time in italy!

BuJ said...

Sha3ira,

Unrelated topic. Have you considered turning "word verification" off?
I find it's such a waste of time to try to de-cypher these letters. I turned mine off a long time on my blog and I haven't got a single spam post. Actually I rarely get posts of any nature these days, hehe.

just a suggestion!

BuJ

BuJ said...

Happy blog anniv. 2005-2006

Buj
2 Jan 2007

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