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Hi Dhimmi No More

Reader comment on item: Stop the NYC Madrassa
in response to reader comment: Hi Abu Nawas

Submitted by Abu Nuwas (Saudi Arabia), Aug 18, 2007 at 13:54

Hi Dhimmi No More -

Thanks for your comment on my post. However, it appears that you totally missed its point.

I didn't say that Debbie's interpretation of the word "Intifada" was incorrect. It does indeed mean "shaking off".

But that's not all it means. Debbie was not incorrect. But she was incomplete…which is often one and the same thing.

Most words in any language have multiple meanings. "Intifada" is one of these. One of its meanings in contemporary Arabic – apart from "shaking off" - is "Uprising" and this is how it's translated into English, particularly when one is talking about the Palestinian issue.

This is true also in Arabic…..when you run across the word in Arabic print, it almost always means the "Palestinian uprising". In fact, I have never seen it used with the meaning "shaking off", even though that might be its core meaning.

The same is true of the word I gave as an example. "Arab" which originally meant "desert dweller" (in Arabic [and in Hebrew and probably Aramaic]), also means (in English) a "member of the Semitic people originating in the Arab peninsula" (no matter where he currently lives). By the way, there are other meanings to the word "Arab" in English, but I won't go into those here.

Besides, a closer look at Debbie's explanation and insistence of the word "Intifada" as a "shaking off" of women's oppression is a little, well, embarrassing, in my opinion.

Considering that the word is printed on a T-shirt, and considering that a T-shirt is generally used to cover the torso of the wearer, this would include, in a woman, the covering of her bosom.

Now if the T-shirt is covering the bosom of a woman (which it does) and the word "Intifada" is PRINTED on the T-shirt…..and if one INSISTS that that word means "shaking off", well, it's very easy to conjure up all kinds of "erotic" and sexual scenarios of this situation…..something I'm sure Debbie did not mean at all.

Of course, "shaking it up" would be more appropriate, but I don't know how to say "shaking it up" in Arabic, at least with the meaning I have in mind.

But this is all beside the point. Debbie's idea remains harebrained, which is what I said originally.

-Abu Nuwas-

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