Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Arab Reactions in Israel to Recent Events

As I was sitting outside of Ben-Gurion University's Aranne Library eating lunch, I couldn't help listen in on a conversation between two Arab girls nearby. Judging from their accents, one of the girls was from a city in the north of Israel (my guess was Haifa or 'Akko), while the other was definitely a Bedouin from the Negev. The two were having a spirited conversation about the war. I could not hear enough to really understand what their views were, but the girl from the north, who was more vocal, seemed to say that it was really pointless for Hizbullah to have attacked. She kept emphasizing that the Arab countries were just sitting on the sidelines, and then she made this banal, but linguistically interesting incomplete remark. Talking about Nasrallah, she said "huwwe bihki 'arabi haval 'al ha-zman, bass..."* Here was a pretty funny example of a typical half-Arabic, half-Hebrew phrase that is characteristic of the speech of so many Arabs in Israel. Translated, the sentence, which starts in Arabic but then uses the Hebrew slang-expression "haval 'al ha-zman" to denote something very good, could be translated as "He [Nasrallah] speaks awesome Arabic, but ..."

*Transliteration into Arabic and Hebrew:
הוו ביחכי ערבי חבל על הזמן, בסס...
هو بيحكي عريي حفال عل ها زمان بس...

7 comments:

Osaid Rasheed said...

lol

Anonymous said...

Hey John,it's Patil from Montreal. Derek told me about your blog. It's nice to get this perspective, it might help subdue some of the anger I've been feeling the past couple of days. I've tried very hard to remain "neutral" and to be honest, I can't say I'm neutral- I know how you all feel about this but I do have to say that I agree with the French and Russian position that Israel's actions have been disproportionate. I read your sister's comments and can imagine what she is going through. As you already know I have a lot of family in Lebanon. What was unexpected though was that my grandfather would pass away last Sunday and my parents and my brother would head over to Beirut for the funeral on wednesday right when all this exploded. When I woke up Thursday morning and found out that they had attacked the airport in Beirut, I freaked out. It all felt like a bad dream and I only woke up when Sunday afternoon I got a call from my sister telling me that my parents and brother had managed to cross the border and get into Syria. It took them 10 hours to cross. I knew they were going to try to leave, I had been begging for them to do so from the start but when they finally told me that they were going to leave Sunday morning, I wanted to tell them to stay because they were safer in Beirut than they would be trying to cross the border. I'm not writing this to get any sympathy but I thought it would be helpful to have some personnal comments from the other "side". I hate to use that word but I can't find a synonym. Both sides are to blame. Lebanon once again is a playing field. If the Lebanese government tries to disarm Hizballah, it'll be 1975 all over again. These arn't excuses, just comments I'm making. I hope all this stops really soon, I hope you are all safe. In my little idealistic head of mine I still say, "there must be another way of dealing with this"....

Carmia said...

Dear Patil,
I'm sorry to hear that your grandfather passed away. I also hope your father and brother can safely find their way back to the family! This must be a hard time for you all, I wish you strength. Take care.
Carmia.

John said...

Patil, my condolences to you. May all innocents be spared.

Anonymous said...

Let's stop the b.s. about "disproportionate". The Arabs have been trying to "drive the Jews into the sea" through war after war. The objective has not changed, only the tactics. Israel is making it clear that salami tactics won't be tolerated with"proportionate" responses also known as Israeli suicide.

Finally Israel has returned to the only existentially workable response to such tactics: "Step on my toes and I'll drop a house on you."

Economist in Los Angeles

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Dees post eez a weist av taim! ;-)

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