January 30, 2011

A Controversial Language.

Took time off to think, I urge you to do the same...

I thought about being an Arab. What does it mean, what is an Arab, is there such a thing called an Arab, are there many Arabs or one type of an Arab, what is the common thread, the common denominator, is it an invented Identity, an acquired Identity or has it always been there, here? What is it composed of, what defines it ?

All these questions raced through my mind, all day long...

These were difficult questions. The difficulty laid in that I was, on some subconscious level, trying to find an answer within some "racial" parameter. Totally unsatisfactory, I may add.

Being an Arab is not about belonging to a race per se. Being an Arab is belonging to a LANGUAGE - the proverbial Mother Tongue. MOTHER tongue.

Language is the medium by which you express yourself in words, acquired words, learned words, but not only...Language shapes the perception and cognition of the world that surrounds you. When you start talking in Arabic, you feel and act in Arabic.

It is not just a question of an Arabic culture as some anthropologists like us to believe. Feeling and thinking in Arabic mean that there is a world view specific to the language, and that Reality can be fully only understood through that linguistic medium.

It is a well known fact that there are different world views - different concepts, inherited concepts, if you wish, by which one can interpret experience. I am simplifying to the maximum here.

There is the Semite and non Semite. Semite is not associated with Jewishness here. Jews are a tiny dead part of a Semitic culture/language.

I may not know what an Arab is, but I know what a Semite is - through the language.

A Sudanese, or a Mauritanian is not a Semite as such, but his language makes him so. Through that medium he acquires, incorporates the concepts associated with the language - Arabic.

When you INCORPORATE a language, you also incorporate everything else that comes with it...

I did not say when you SPEAK a language. I said when you incorporate a language.

So if being an Arab is not a race as such, but a Language, what are the implications of such an assertion ?

Let's get back to basics.

Take the EU as some example for comparison : A French can't understand an Italian, can't understand an Englishman, can't understand a Portuguese, can't understand a Russian, can't understand a Spaniard, can't understand...They have no common Language. They created a common language to understand one another - their common language is that of being a European i.e of belonging to the European race (whatever this racial profiling means). That is their language...or strive to have it as their common language.

An original Arabic speaker does not have this problem of creating, engineering a common language. It is already there. It is here. It is Arabic.

I go to Tunis, to Egypt, to Sudan, to Mauritania, to Morocco, to Algeria, to Libya, to Jordan, to Lebanon, to Syria, to Iraq, to the UAE, to Saudi Arabia, to Palestine...and I speak Arabic. They understand me and I understand them. I need no translator, no interpreter, no dictionary...

The language binds us. The language becomes our "race". And the language works on us, feeding us...so we share the same concepts, the same cognition, the same perception...we understand each one another.

Understand one another. Do not underestimate that.

We understand each other because we have the same references provided, offered by the language - the ARABIC language.

The Arabic Language (with a big L) is our Unifier.

The Language of the Koran, the word of Allah, God, is in Arabic.

Why did He chose this language, some language associated with a Bedouin desert, to reveal Himself ? Has anyone asked that pertinent question ?

After all, there are more Muslims in Indonesia than in the Arab World...the original text could have been in Indonesian for instance. But it was not. It was/is in Arabic.

All the Arab haters, when they want to learn Arabic, they turn to the Holy text as their prime reference. God takes you back to Him...always, even in Arabic.

When non Arabs embrace Islam, like the Iranians, the Kurds, the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Indonesians, the Malays, the Turks, the Africans...and others...their ritual prayers are in Arabic, even though they may not understand the exact meaning. They are forced to say it in Arabic. Why is that do you think ? What is the message here ?

The message to me is clear and not open to controversy.

God spoke and speaks, daily, in Arabic.