Farsi Is A Required Language At Some Lebanese Schools, More Important Than French & English

Khosh Amadid Lebanon Farsi Iran Hezbollah

You gotta give it to us Lebanese, we sure are languages aficionados. Of course, most of us are not born as such but are spoon-fed three languages over the course of a thirteen year education system before we head out to higher education centers. But, as the saying goes, throw us in any country around the world and we’ll land standing.

Add Iran to one of those countries.

Some schools in Beirut’s Southern Suburb are now teaching Farsi, Iran’s main language, as curriculum requirement. Students would then get to choose between French and English as their third language, according to the previously linked source, because – as we all know – French and English have no commonplace in today’s world, being imperialistic languages and all.

The schools in question are all private schools and as such can teach whatever language they want, according to Lebanese law. Public schools, on the other hand, have not had the same curriculum change.

I get that political ties exist between the country where Farsi reigns supreme and the people running the schools that have adopted such curriculums. I get that those political ties are crucial for the well-being of the parties running those schools. I get that those parties sure love Iran, their culture and believe it should be imported over here – but at the expense of the educational well-being of all students attending those schools?

How does it make sense to teach students a language spoken only in one country, a language that doesn’t have any international reach whatsoever? What benefits does teaching Farsi bring to the students who will be forced to learn it? I can only think of them understanding that Farsi MBC channel. How does it make sense to give such a language importance over others than can simply make or break a person in today’s world? Teaching Farsi doesn’t count as “resistance.”

If those schools are so hell-bent on teaching Farsi, let them make it as the third optional language for their students instead of the other more crucial languages they relegated to that level. That way, they’d fulfill the apparent needs of their political ties by giving that culture more importance and still preserving the fundamental right of those students to get the best education that they can get. Our economy and their upcoming jobs are not contingent upon Iran.

Would I have had the same reaction had some schools opted for teaching German, Italian or Spanish as a required second language? Probably not, because this isn’t against Iran and their culture as much as it is keeping intact that last good thing that we  – as Lebanese – have: our global competitiveness. Those languages can help it. Farsi does not.

Khosh amadid to you.

The Holy Orb (Short Story) – Part 4

Continued from Part 3.

“Okay…. But how do I know that what you are telling me is true? How do I know that you‟re not some fraud?”
“I‟m not a fraud because I am the only one who knows that I created the rime intentionally to infer you should read: the „ly‟ rime can be read as lit, which means read in French! Light does not always mean candles. Transparency is the clearest reference to the candle. And I am the only one who knows that the sequence in which you put the first three determines the next three. The poem is vague to the utmost point of vagueness on that because I didn‟t want anyone to get to the place that I called a refuge.

But now, the only way to set myself free from the chains of this pestilential and material world has come, and I am willing to take that chance and help you…”
He nodded, agreeing to the help she was offering. She smiled, took a deep breath, and looked at the poem and started to read. Something about her was far different from all the people he had met so far in his life… far different.

After about two minutes, it seemed that the woman had read the poem a good number of times. She gasped, straightened her sitting position, and began:
“The poem begins by telling you things that are true… I divided the three dozens equally, which means that you have four candles, four Chalices and four Crosses that intervene in the code. So when I say begin with light I mean that the light is something that would enlighten a soul spiritually, which is the Cross. I mean, if you think of it… I did tell you not to take it so lightly!”

Now, we begin with a Cross… let‟s take this” and she reached out for a Cross and placed it on the pedestal where the sequence should be built. A light appeared instantly.
She took the candle that shone transparently and placed it right after the Cross. Another light shone brightly and the woman nodded.

“Now we proceed to the chalice…”

Another candle followed, then another Cross. It appeared that the woman knew what she was doing. About three minutes later, she placed the final item of the sequence, a candle. And though sarcastically, David thought that at least one part of the poem was right: begin with light and end with light. The thing that puzzled him, however, was that, although the puzzle was complete, nothing had happened.

Then, David instantly found himself inside an empty church, where waves of light were pouring, and his body began to get nearer to the altar.
He looked under the altar and could see a trapdoor. He kneeled and pushed it up. It instantly opened and David slid under it. It closed, drowning him in total darkness.

“Welcome, David Parker” the eerie voice of the snake man hissed. And then he felt a gentle hand grabbing his hand from behind. “Don‟t worry!” Elodie‟s mature voice rang in his ear. “I am with you!”
And then there was a flash of bright, yellow light…

Elodie jumped in front of David and got the full blast of the spell. Her body flew in the air in slow motion, as if suspended by invisible strings and then she fell in front of David, her face blue. She was dead.

The Holy Orb (Short Story) – Part 3

Continued from Part 2.

David read the verses back and forth several times before the fact that he was supposed to solve a riddle dawned on him.
He began to whisper the verses:
“So three dozens, that makes about thirty-six object, are divided equally, so among the twelve there must be four Crosses, four Candles and four Chalices… that‟s clear. Now, begin with light and end with light… maybe the first artifact is a candle…”

He looked at the poem again and thought he got the first clue but he soon turned skeptical.
He looked around and he could see people walking. Some were praying near the altar, others were kneeling in front of statues of Mary and Joseph and Jesus. Everyone was preoccupied with asking God to help him with his own troubles, and not one of them cared about the difficulties David was facing.
He looked around and saw an old woman, with long silvery hair. She had a serene look on her face. She moved gracefully as if flying a couple of inches above the ground. She was moving towards David at a slow pace. But there was something about her that he couldn‟t quite describe.

She moved closer and sat on the bench right in front of him but did not talk with him.
That situation lasted for about three minutes until David breathed a deep sigh and the woman looked at him. He looked back, straight into her eyes and a look of shock appeared on her face.
“Tu peux me voir?” she gasped in amazement.
“Oui, je peux, c’est une stupide question… tu es la et j’ai des yeux”
“Ah! Alors tu ne sais pas qui je suis ou quel est mon état physique, metaphysique pour etre de plus en plus precis?”
David looked at her in awe. What was she talking about? She was right there, flesh and bone, in front of him. But who was she? He didn‟t have any clue whatsoever.
“Look!” he spoke in fast English. “I don‟t know who you are, and I don‟t know what sort of metaphysics you‟re discussing. Now if you‟ll excuse me, there is something time-consuming that I‟m preoccupied with!”
The woman did not reply. David couldn‟t figure out if she understood him or not; he did appreciate, however, the silence as he returned to the poem.
It was then that the woman caught a look of what he was reading and a look of utter happiness appeared on her face.
“I can help you with that poem!” she said calmly.
“Excuse me?” asked David, half not-hearing what she said exactly and the other half not quite sure if what he heard was true.
“You heard me…. I can help you with the poem. I know the sequence. I created the poem. That’s my handwriting…”
David looked up at the woman and tried to comprehend what she said.
He looked at her again and thought for a moment. He decided that he had nothing to lose.

The Holy Orb (Short Story) – Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

“David, do you really have to go?” his girlfriend said in a rather sing-song voice. “I really want you to stay with me!”
He smiled. “Elodie, I honestly can‟t – the Magiliement has forbidden me from even trying to come see you! What would they do if they saw me here? A lot of people are dying, and no one is knowing how” he said as he caressed her hair. “I‟d rather stay with you! But they are after me! Whatever! I don‟t really care!”

“I know! By the way, I like your new necklace!”

And then a man came out of nowhere. He took David by the hand and pulled him away – the next thing David knew he was standing in a bustling downtown. Italian sentences were jumping out everywhere. David was in Rome.
He looked at the man who he knew was from the Magiliement: the magical parliament. He smiled, attempting to make things feel less tense. The man, however, did not smile back. He kept looking ahead as if his gaze was trying to conjure something – a moment later, a birch tree stood right in the center of the piazza.

“Come on!” he said as he ran to the tree. David followed suit. “Ok… this tree is a gate to Nostro Signora Del Spirito!” the man said, and David looked puzzled. “It‟s a church!” he said impatiently. “And I‟m supposed to go to a church because –?” asked David sarcastically, receiving a stern look. “Ok… ok!! I‟ll go!” and he entered the newly opened portal.

His feet left the ground … he was weightless, moving through nothingness… and then he hit firm ground. He was standing on a hill, next to a gothic looking church. He opened the door and entered. The place inside was sublime.
He ran towards the only thing he considered to be out of place: a golden table on which a scroll was found. Then, something else appeared: a rather complex looking pedestal with spots for objects, along with three dozen different artifacts: Crosses, chalices and candles. It was the first time David saw bare candles burning glowing red, blue, green and transparent lights.

Then he looked at the scroll, which seemed to be old since its edges were rather worn out. Before reading it, however, he looked around and noticed none of the other worshipers in the church could see him. Not wanting to dwell on that idea for long, he unrolled the scroll and read.

Three Dozens divided equally

In fours, you create a symbol, religiously.

Crosses, Chalices and Candles conjured magically

Will get you to the place you seek so desperately,

Begin with light and end with light… but not so lightly,

Lucidity is a color created powerfully,

Then lines combine and become divinely

A vessel follows and cradles so motherly

The next lines that embrace a soft glittering so passionately,

Next, you ought to, recognize the existence of a series, logically

Dozens divided to occupy twelve spots so perfectly,

Get the first six, right and the next six will follow smoothly

Only reversion and disorientation will fail your quest greatly

We leave you the option to decipher our Scroll intellectually

To get past our mind maze manufactured so meticulously

The power that is bestowed upon us is not to be taken carelessly

Either you get it or you’re stopped on your quest unquestionably…

The Holy Orb (Short Story) – Part 1

This is a short story that I wrote a few years ago for an English course. It’s Harry Potter-inspired and I hope you’ll take the chance to read it and let me know what you think.

I’ll be posting it in a few parts. Presenting part 1.

As mortals bristled by to their workplaces, it seemed no one noticed as a long golden-scaled snake slithered next to their feet. Its eyes gleaming bright blue; its slit-tongue hissing, the snake took a detour into a shady alleyway right outside an antiques shop. It remained still in front of a wall before spitting three drops of poison on a small lever that was only visible to it.

The lever revolved and spun upwards as the bricks of the wall in front of it started to fade away to reveal what seemed to be another dark alley.
The snake hissed something that seemed strangely satisfactory before entering through the newly opened passage.

The lane was bordered on the right by low and strangely crafted sculptures. They showed people getting tortured.
On the left, a brick wall stood erect, on which characters of an unknown language were carved. The snake continued, hissing furiously trying to sense its way.

It stood in front of the seventh statue and slithered up to the woman‟s neck, who was shielding herself from a tall wizard. The snake, then, wrapped itself around the neck and squeezed three times. A scream emanated from the woman‟s mouth each time it did so. The statue‟s neck broke the third time, sending the woman‟s head tumbling to the ground.
As the statue‟s stones faded into nonexistence, a staircase appeared where the woman‟s feet had once been.
The snake slithered down into what seemed to be an underground church.

The Cross-shaped ceiling was all that remained to indicate the true nature of the place. Everything else was dismantled.
An empty chair stood on the altar.
The snake moved to the chair and as it neared the altar, it transformed into a man.

He flicked his fingers around and a bluish glow illuminated the place. Then, one by one, people started to appear, surrounded by heavy dark smoke.

“So…” he breathed eerily. “Will we be able to get the boy before he gets to the orb?”
A man who appeared to be one of his followers approached him fearfully, shaking.
He breathed. “David Parker is nowhere to be found – the Magiliement has sealed him well!” “SILENCE!” the snake man roared. He pointed his wand at the man who breathed furiously, shallowly in front of him – a jet of yellow light emanated out of the tip of his wand and the man fell to the floor, lifeless – dead. “This is what you get when you disappoint me!” he said calmly, his mouth twisting into a smile.

He drew out his long, pointed yellow nail and drew a sphere in the air. He looked at bright blue eyes that shone at him, as David Parker sat with his girlfriend on the lawn of his university, his hand bristling through her hair.

Google Translate’s Hidden Political Message?

I found this out today and thought it’s interesting enough to blog about it.

1) Go to Google Translate.

2) Choose your input language as English, output as Arabic. Type in: Israel Will Finish.

3) Take out the resultant translation and translate it back to English. Check out the result.

4) Try out any other country. I’ve tried Lebanon and the U.S.A.



You can’t blame the interlingual variations for the difference you see here. Thoughts?