69 million page views

Peter: sermo urbanus v sermo plebeius the Arabs and books and language

Reader comment on item: Is Israel Victory Still Needed?
in response to reader comment: The problem with Books

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Oct 15, 2020 at 18:39

Peter you wrote:

>Anti Israeli books would only be an issue if Muslims actually read books

You are half correct. In the case of let us say Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon there has always been great writers the likes of Naguib Mahfuz of Egypt. However, Egyptians do not read enough books. Why? There are several reasons :

1. Madboli the owner of the biggest book stores in Cairo was quoted as saying, and I'm paraphrasing, when he finds a book written in Egyptian Arabic, the book will be sold in no time. The reason is Egyptian Arabic is the mother tongue and classical Arabic is not the mother language. It is a foreign language! Even in the case of western literature the books will be translated into classical Arabic and I suspect this is indeed an obstacle to most readers. If Egyptians want their young people to read more books then allow writers to write and translate foreign books in their own language: Egyptian Arabic

What is really tragic, the likes on the Arabic BBC is more Arab than the Arabs themselves. Their presenters use Archaic form of Arabic that no sane Arab would use and many Arabs might not understand or even find it funny. But again, the BBC suffers from a bad case of "Virtue Signaling."

And BTW Egyptian Arabic has very different grammar and many loan words from many languages, Coptic, English, French, Turkish, Greek, Italian as well as from the Arabic language of the Levant.

2. The mosque: The average even uneducated Egyptian will understand the Khutba (the speech) of the Sheikh. So if the Sheikh is cursing the Jews, this average Egyptian will understand it, even if he is not a reader of the Qur'an

3. Even Muslim clerics and members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt when any of them gives a speech, he will start with a few words in classical Arabic then switch to Egyptian Arabic, the language of the people and a case of: Sermo Urbanas v Sermo Plebeius. In other words, too much stress on classical Arabic leads to less reading of books!

4. The Internet and the decline in illiteracy have changed every thing. And young people are reading more books than ever before, so there is hope.

And BTW anyone who tells you, even if he is Arabic speaker, that he understands what the Qur'an is really saying is a liar.

>It does not take much intelligence to fire missile, if you have 150,000 of them to fire. They cant all miss. That is the problem.

Very true. However, I would suspect that the whole lot would not be functioning but again one successful missile is too many.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)