I'm a PhD student in Arabic literature, and because of my specific subject, islamology as well. So you would think that mastering Arabic is an obvious thing to have among my set of skills. I have never heard of a PhD student in French literature who couldn't speak/write/understand French. Same for about any other language … Continue reading Learning the language
Yesterday I was minding my own business in a coffee shop, that is, I opened a book and tried to read it. However if people talk loudly right next to me, I first listen to what they say. Either it's boring and then I can actively concentrate on my book (I have a high power … Continue reading No myth and no legends ?
I really thought I'd be able to write one post a week, last semester. I once again wanted to believe that my overbooked agenda would let me time for writing things on the internet. Or at least, that my very efficient self-pressure button would not work so much this time, so that I actually took … Continue reading New Year … New hopes for my blog(s)
I just recently discovered an interesting blog, talking about digital resources for people like me, the "orientalists", as we called ourselves before Edward Saïd happened. Well, I still call myself this, fully aware of all the Edwardian implications of the word and some irony thrown into it ... Anyway, one of the posts about the … Continue reading Using Internet for Research
Today is the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, the Mawlid. Some celebrate, others don't, for as many religious reasons. The nice thing about living in Lebanon, is that in this tiny country, you have to manage 18 different religions and make their people as happy as possible. So that includes making holidays off everything, including holidays that … Continue reading Surprise Holiday
The problem of doing research nowadays, is that it is difficult to find a truly original subject to research. There are so many people doing PhDs out there, and such pressure to publish that... You usually end up finding someone working on what looks very much like your subject. It just happened to me: my … Continue reading Oh so someone is also working on it …
كدت أطير من الفرح “I nearly flew from joy” While reading a text and commentaries about it (the heavenly ascension of the medieval sufi master al-Bistâmî), that particular phrase stood out. An example of these little things I love about languages: idioms and untranslatable things, or at least things that don’t really exist word for … Continue reading Flying from joy