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Egyptian Arabic and Palestine

Reader comment on item: Solving the "Palestinian Problem" [with the No-State Solution]
in response to reader comment: Mistakes regarding Gazans' dialect(s)

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jan 23, 2009 at 07:55

Thank you Rayyan and indeed very interesting observaions

>--Sure, Hamas is an outgrowth of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Yet even most Hamas members--including top people such as Haniyeh and Zahhar--do not speak Egyptian Arabic, or even what you term the Sinai dialect, as their native vernacular.

I agree if you would listen to either one speaking, they for sure do not speak Egyptian Arabic. Can either one speak Egyptian Arabic? I really do not know.

>--It is common for Arabs who have been exposed to several dialects to make use of their knowledge when talking to other Arabs. Thus, a number of Palestinian politicans and other figures will adopt the Egyptian dialect

I must disagree with you here as Egyptian Arabic is really not a dialect and it is a real and uniqe language (see: "Sacred language ordinary people dilemmas of culture and politics in Egypt" by Niloofar Haeri who indeed argues that Egyptian Arabic is a language and not a mere dialect of Arabic as in the case of Italian and Latin). Egyptian Arabic ( be it sa3idi or buhiri or the Cairo or the Alexnadira dialect of Egytpian Arabic) is a uniqe language that has its own rules of grammar (eg: (EA) inta rayih masr (Cairo) leh? v. (MCA) li madha satadhhab ila al-qahira) and very uniqe vocabulary that is full of non Arabic words including many Coptic/Egytpian words (see: From the Pharaoh's lips by Ahamd Abdel hamid Youssef and Fayza Haykal) that would have no meaning to other arabs. And yes the main source of Egytpian Arabic is the Arabic language but this is not unlike the case of Italian v. Latin

>(or even just the accent)

If by accent you mean: using long (alif , yeh and waw and short vowels fatha damma and kasra) then you are correct but I would doubt very much that Egyptian Arabic words even vocalized with perefect command of vowels would be of any use outside of Egypt (eg: ta3miya for falafel or outa (which is a Coptic word) for tomatoes) when non Egyptian Arabs are addressing other non Egyptian Arabs

>when addressing Egyptians.

Yes you are correct here as most Egytpians expect other Arabs to undersatnd their langauge and use Egyptian Arabic when addressing them

>Among Gazans, this phenomenon is even more widespread. Many Gazans with college degrees were educated in Egypt, meaning that they can switch to a more Egyptian-sounding Arabic

No really Egytpian Arabic is a language so they are in actual fact bilingual (Arabic, Egyptian Arabic)

>when they visit Egypt or are interviewed by Egyptian television, etc.

This is very true even Islamists in Egypt when on let us say TV they start uttering a few words in modern classical Arabic then they switch to their own language and that is Egyptian Arabic

>--There is no single Sinai vernacular. Among inhabitants of the peninsula, the Arabic of the "Egyptians" differs from that of the Bedouin, and has sometimes been a source of discrimination by the former against the latter.

You are very correct and as matter of fact even with the recent rise of divisions between Copts and Muslims in Egypt Egyptian Arabic is the force that binds both communities and the Bedouins in Egypt have never been considered as real Egyptians and so are Palestinians even those that can speak Egyptian Arabic

Submitting....

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