Turkish retiree and his rooster, Chili Shalabi and Chili (photo credit: Anadolu Agency)

The Turkish Retiree Who Befriended a Rooster

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Turkish retiree Ismail Shalabi made a special friend when he retired, a friend who added a certain beauty and flavor to his life, but was also sometimes the source of negative comments from his friends.

Shalabi (62 years old) takes his rooster friend Chili with him everywhere: he has him sit next to him in the car, takes him shopping and to the coffee shop, and also shares his hobbies with him; Chili is the first to hear Shalabi’s poems.
In a conversation with Anadolu, Shalabi said, “Chili has become my retirement friend. I feel happy when I spend time with him. I have chickens and other roosters, but Chili has a special place in my heart. He is my best friend. I go everywhere with him. I feel like he almost talks to me and shares my worries.”
Shalabi, who is a father of three, likens his love for Chili to that of his children, saying, “Sometimes, I can’t sleep at night and wonder if Chili is ok, so I go outside and check on him.”
Shalabi is sad that some of his friend do not understand the feelings he has for Chili as they talk about him behind his back and wonder if he has lost his mind. He wonders, sadly, ” Is loving animals crazy?”
This a translation of an article that was published on Al Jazeera citing Anadolu Agency.
Photo credit: Anadolu Agency

Germans are Working Longer, More Frequntly, and Later

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Arbeit: Länger, öfter, später

© iStock

© iStock

Die Deutschen haben immer weniger Freizeit. 1,7 Millionen Menschen arbeiten mehr als 48 Stunden pro Woche. Im Jahr 1995 waren es noch 1,3 Millionen. Auch ist Arbeit an den Wochenenden und an Feiertagen für viele kein Tabu mehr. Jeder Vierte in Deutschland – das sind 8,8 Millionen Menschen – ist samstags und sonntags im Job aktiv (1995: sechs Millionen). Außerdem arbeiten 5,6 Millionen Deutsche im Schichtdienst(1995: 3,8 Millionen).
German have less and less free time. 1.7 million people work more than 48 hours a week. In 1995, they were 1.3 million people. Working on weekends and holidays, for many, is no longer taboo. One in every four people in Germany- 8.8 million people- are active in their jobs on Saturdays and Sundays (1995: 6 million). Also, 5.6 million people in Germany work in shifts (1995:3.8 million).
This is an English translation of a German post. Read this article and find out much more about German culture on deutsch-perfekt.

Palestinian-Icelandic Author Mazen Maarouf Wins AlMultaqa Short Story Prize

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الفلسطيني مازن معروف يفوز بجائزة (الملتقى) للقصة القصيرة في الكويت


من محمود حربي


الكويت (رويترز) – فاز الفلسطيني مازن معروف يوم الاثنين بجائزة (الملتقى) للقصة القصيرة العربية في الكويت في دورتها الأولى عن مجموعته (نكات للمسلحين) وقيمتها 20 ألف دولار.


وتتضمن المجموعة الفائزة 14 قصة قصيرة تسرد الواقع غير المنطقي من وجهة نظر طفل يعيش حياته اليومية في ظل حرب لا تتصدر موضوع القصص إنما تعتبره واقعا فانتازيا يعيشه الطفل ومن خلاله يقص المؤلف الرؤى الإنسانية والمفارقات والدعابات الساخرة.


والمجموعة الصادرة عن دار رياض الريس للكتب والنشر في بيروت هي الأولى للمؤلف الفلسطيني/الأيسلندي الذي ولد في لبنان عام 1978 لعائلة فلسطينية. وحصل معروف على بكالوريوس في الكيمياء من كلية العلوم بالجامعة اللبنانية وعمل لعدة سنوات بتدريس الكيمياء قبل أن يبدأ مشواره الأدبي في 2008 وصدرت له سابقا ثلاث مجموعات شعرية.


وقال معروف لرويتز بعد تسلمه الجائزة “لهذه الجائزة رمزية كبيرة لأنها ترد الاعتبار لأدب القصة القصيرة وهي تعزز المشهد الثقافي الفلسطيني وتكرم الكاتب الفلسطيني فأنا مولود في الشتات ولم أزر فلسطين إلا مؤخرا.”



Palestinian Mazen Maarouf Al Multaqa Arabic Short Story Prize in Kuwait

Kuwait (Reuters)- Palestinian Mazen Maarouf won on Monday, 5 December, the Al-Multaqa Arabic Short Story Prize of $20,000 in Kuwait. Maarouf received the first edition of the Prize for his collection “Jokes of the Gunmen”.

The winning collection includes 14 short stories that narrate the senseless reality from the point of view of a child living his everyday life amidst a war that is not the subject of the stories, but is rather seen as a fantasy reality the child lives and through which the author illustrates human visions, paradoxes, and sarcastic jokes.

The collection published by Riad El-Rayyes for Books and Publishing in Beirut is the Palestinian-Icelandic author’s first. Maarouf was born in Lebanon in 1978 to a Palestinian family. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the School of Sciences at the Lebanese University and worked as a chemistry teacher for a few years before starting his journey in literature and writing in 2008. He has three poetry collections published previously.

Upon receiving the Prize, Maarouf told Reuters that “this Prize has a major symbolic meaning as it brings back esteem to the short story, strengthens the Palestinian cultural scene, and honors the Palestinian writer; I was born in the diaspora and did not visit Palestine until recently.”

Read the full Reuters article by Mahmoud Harbi.

Egyptian Globe-Trotter: “The most dangerous and difficult journey I embarked on was the journey of discovering myself, my inner journey.”

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Egyptian globe-trotter Islam Kamel embarked on many adventures. He climbed the world’s most famous mountains, swam with white sharks in the Atlantic, walked alongside lions in the jungles of Zambia, befriended the gorillas of the Congo mountains, and crossed the world’s most turbulent rivers in a rubber boat. He is also the first Arab to dive under the Antarctic ice sheet, among many other adventures. But when we asked him about the most difficult adventure he has had, his answer is unexpected: “The most dangerous and difficult journey I embarked on was the journey of discovering myself, my inner journey.”

Islam finds that travel gives him the chance to rediscover himself. He says, “I find that during travel, no matter how strange the destination is, it’s another journey to the inside, to discover the self, challenge it, test the limits of its skill; it is a chance to develop and grow into a better human being on several levels. I used to fear, water, dogs, and even cats! Then, in one moment, I decided to face all these fears, to push past their limits. For example, if I feared sharks, then I would have to swim with them and so in constantly pushing the limits of what I thought were my maximum abilities. I started testing myself in different situations when I found that only when we give ourselves the chance to try are we really surprised with what we can do. That is the basis of my philosophy in life now.”

To view more of Islam Kamel’s adventures visit The Adrenaline Blog’s Facebook page and website.

Read the full Arabic article by Mustafa Fathi.

The Simpsons Predicted Trump’s Presidency 16 Years Ago

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The cartoon television series, The Simpsons, showed Donald Trump as president of the United States 16 years before winning the elections and holding the highest position in the country in an episode the writer says shows “the vision of America going insane”.

Writer Dan Greany says that his episode “Bart to the Future” from the year 2000 “was a warning to America”.

Greany had previously this year told Hollywood Reporter, “And that just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom. It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane.”

 The creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, told The Guardian last month that if Trump is elected, he expects that people will leave the United States, adding that he does not intend to leave “because I actually think it will be amazing in all its horror”.
Trump and Hillary Clinton appeared in another episode of The Simpsons in July this year that showed Clinton becoming president.
Read the original Arabic Al Ghad article.
Note: Quotes were adapted from English sources
Mudar, syrian refugee cooks Tabuleh with German president

Tabouleh Brings Syrian Refugees and Germans Together

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صاحب الـ31 ربيعاً، فاجأ “العربية.نت” بدايةً بعدم خبرته بفن الطبخ عند وصوله ألمانيا، لكنها كانت هواية تطورت بمشروع الاندماج الذي أسسته جمعية أوبر دين تيلراند كوخن، التي شارك فيها مضر وتسعى في أهدافها إلى تحقيق عملية اندماج طويلة الأمد عبر بناء مجتمع متعدد الثقافات، من خلال مشاريع متعددة بينها الطبخ، يشارك فيها كل فئات المجتمع، بحسب موقعها الرسمي: هذا ما حفزني لتطوير هوايتي في المطبخ السوري كان الهدف نشر الثقافة السورية واللقمة الطيبة بنفس الوقت، وبحمد الله حصلت على جائزة أفضل طباخ في برلين لعام 2015 أنا ومجموعتي

مضر أوضح أن فكرة المشروع التي بدأت من مشروع تخرج لأربعة طلاب ألمان تقوم على تقريب اللاجئين السوريين من الشعب الألماني من خلال الطبخ وتشارك المعرفة: بدأنا بتطوير فكرة المشروع لأن الطبخ رابط عالمي فالجميع يحب الأكل

Al Arabiya.net was surprised to find out that the 31-year-old dud not have culinary experience before arriving in Germany. It was a hobby he developed when he participated in the integration project established by Tellerand Küchen, which aims to achieve long-term integration by building a multicultural society through a variety of projects, including cooking, open to everyone. According to its official website: “This is what motivated me to develop my hobby in cooking Syrian cuisine. My goal was to spread Syrian culture and good food at the same time and all praise be to Allah, my team and I received the 2015 Best Chef in Berlin Award.”

Mudar clarified that the project idea, which began as four German students’ graduation project,  aims to bring Syrian refugees closer to the German people through cooking and sharing knowledge: We started developing the project’s idea because cooking is a universal link; everyone loves food.”

Read Mohammad Al Hassan’s original Arabic article on Al Arabiya.net

How to Transform Negative Energy to Positive Energy

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… The human resource specialist explained that if you face any of these causes you may be experiencing negative energy but you can move away from that through transforming it into positive energy through the following 10 steps:

  1. Return to God in saying and action
  2. Always repeat the phrase, “I am capable, I can achieve all my ambitions whatever the circumstances” and imagine you are in the place you dream of, see yourself succeeding, people clapping for you and the world speaking of you. Live the moment deeply until your subconscious mind believes it and opens the door of positive success to you.
  3. Believe in values, role models and sound life principles
  4. Create a clear future plan executable in a specific time frame
  5. Expose yourself to the sun, exercise, pray and feel gratitude
  6. Discover your skills and positive qualities to put them to use
  7. Attract positive energy through attracting positive thoughts
  8. Focus on the solution when facing crises
  9. Benefit from your own and others’ experiences of failure and success
  10. Learn skills of effectively communicating with others as well as thinking and success skills

Read the full Arabic article in Al Ghad newspaper.