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September 29, 2005

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» Inshallah, Bokra, Malesh from Easily Entertained
When I was in college, at USF in the late 1980's, I had to take two language classes. Trying to be different I took arabic both of my professors have subsequently been linked to terrorist fundraising. I didn't learn too much but one thing that stuck ... [Read More]

» Inshallah, Bokra, Malesh from Easily Entertained
When I was in college, at USF in the late 1980's, I had to take two language classes. Trying to be different I took arabic both of my professors have subsequently been linked to terrorist fundraising. I didn't learn too much but one thing that stuck ... [Read More]

» inshallah from Open Switch
This post by Major K. got me thinking. Just what is the correlation between people in America bashing the government and those same people tending to be in the lower tax brackets? Is it possible that some people blame their... [Read More]

Comments

Ruth

Major K
A whole different culture!
You did give me a chuckle though. I know it must be fustrating. It would be easier to teach children.

Yankee PaPa

..At least you haven't lost your sense of humor or tenacity..If you want to use an example in a humorus way..find a copy of "Full Metal Jacket"..Gy/Sgt Hartman.."God..along with a few Marines...."..I watch this film from time to time because I've been there..I laugh myself to tears during boot camp training..but I don't watch the rest..The battle of Que City..Not funny in any sense..I was there also..But R. Lee Ermy just flat cracks me up as he portrays Drill Instuctor Gy/Sgt Hartman..Being a real life Marine Drill Instucter himself in another life.."God Willing"..Semper Fi..

Edward

MajK,

You recognize and have described exactly what has stood in the way of progress in that region for the last 1000 years. Yes, it is the passive "blaming" God/Allah for failure or non-improvement that excuses inaction or personal responsibilty.

But your example, and that of all the American forces, plants the seed that truly "God helps those who help themselves." Don't let the weak ones divert or discourage you. The strong ones who learn are worth the candle!

Don Cox

Vicar (leaning over gate and looking at a beautiful garden): Isn't it wonderful what we get when God and Man work together?

Gardener: You should have seen it after God had it to himself for a while.

Perhaps if the saying "God helps those who help themselves" could be spread thoughout Iraq, it would improve attitudes.

eLarson

I wonder how it would look to them if part of the plan explicitly stated "Then we sit around, do nothing and wait for a miracle".

JJ

This reminds me of a book I had to read in college while taking an upper-division class on Middle Eastern Politics. The books is titled "Understanding Arabs: A Guide for Westerners." The professor was Iraqi and I took the class during the Gulf War, which added interesting context to the class.

One of the points made was that Arabs rely heavily on and live according to ideas and beliefs which have little basis in demonstrable truth much more so than Westerners. The point was that Western culture discards faith in the non-demonstrable to its detriment and Arabs rely too heavily on it to theirs.

I can't imagine how frustrating it is to have the job of bridging that gap and getting Iraqis to be more pragmatic.

alecthemad

This article recalls a paper called "Spotting the Losers: Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States" which has a discussion of why some countries never seem to be able to get their act together.

I also recall when I took arabic for my language requirement. The professor talked about IBM being important in arabic. It is an IBM society. Not that it is well-organized and runs like a computer. On the contrary, IBM stands for "Inshallah," "bokra," and "malesh"-Arabic for "Allah willing," "tomorrow," and "never mind."

(I could not remember the actual words so I took the last sentence from http://pr.utk.edu/alumnus/spring97/alabroad.html)

Jon

Before the fall of the Shah of Iran, the aerospace company I worked for was a key supplier of electronic systems. For part of these activities, we were to be housed in a new laboratory building. Unfortunately the construction schedule fell way behind leaving millions of dollars of sensitive electronics sitting outside waiting the building's completion.

It seems that the builders forgot to include the necessary plumbing.

As explained to me at the time, the Iranians were somewhat adverse to forward planning. This was because planning was seen as an attempt by man to second guess Allah's plans, a heresy.

Lucy K

I grew up hearing the phrase "si Dios quiere" as just another everyday expression,even more common than "ojala". In fact, my recollections are of the phrase being used by fairly secular people. If I stopped to think of the literal translation it would've shocked me to realize that every time this phrase was used God was being invoked. The contextual meaning was never anything more than "hopefully".

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