Yaffa cover, nibal qundos

Translated Excerpt from Nibal Qundos’ Novel “Yafa: A Story of Absence and Rain”


Screen shot 2016-02-20 at 3.36.10 PM

We’re going deeper into Autumn. It seems winter’s coming early this year, fortunately for those of us whom rain brings so much joy; earthly beings that come alive with rain, their hearts fluttering. In thinking of happiness, I think about visiting Yafa on the first rainy day. She might open her door to me in the winter. Maybe she’ll need some company, someone to sit with in front of the fireplace on rainy evening.

Rain makes us more fragile,  more needing to confess.Its droplets tapping on our windows and pouring yearning into our hearts, make us in more need of a friend or a lover to share the craziness of dancing  under the rain with and walking for hours tirelessly. How beautiful it is to reward ourselves with a warm cup of coffee from an old coffee shop that still believes in the necessity of playing Fairouz in the early morning and to watch from behind glass windows the passersby in their winter coats and hats and others seeking shelter beneath their umbrellas. Those umbrellas whose existence I still think is silly.There is nothing more beautiful than the patter of rain drops  on our heads, grown tired by the summer and longing for a warm moment, like someone  wrapping you in their coat, holding your cold hands and breathing some warmth into them.

In My Heart Is A Jewish Girl (Pt.3)

Literary, Translations, Uncategorized

in my heart 3.png

I was born to a Jewish mother and a Muslim father… Perhaps my father didn’t practice his religion much, but he’s a Muslim nonetheless.My mother, on the other hand, is from a conservative Jewish family that places an importance on practicing the religion and its rites. They met in Tunisia, where my family is from, fell in love and got married despite their families’ opposition. Strangely, their marriage didn’t last long. They fought a lot and ended up getting a divorce after my sister, Dana, and I were born.

“In My Heart Is A Jewish Girl (Pt. 2)”

Literary, Translations, Uncategorized

in my heart 2

Nada replied, “It’s okay… what’s happening around us makes us forget that we worship the same God, even if the details and conditions differ.”

Ahmad drifted for a moment, trying to take in her shocking words. He hadn’t gotten close to any Arab Jews before and didn’t know anything about their way of thinking. His main conception of them was that they secretly hate Muslims. But this girl standing in front of him is saying things unlike what he was accustomed to. Her words made him doubt many things he thought was sure of.

Her voice interrupted his thoughts. She clarified, “Don’t think what I’m saying is strange… I grew up in a family of different religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. There are no boundaries between them.

Excerpt from Dr. Khawla Hamdi’s Novel “In My Heart Is A Jewish Girl” (Pt.1)

Literary, Translations, Uncategorized

Screen shot 2016-03-06 at 2.58.48 PM

Nada stopped and turned to him, giving him her attention.

“Miss… you’re Jewish, right?”

Nada immediately looked down at the Star of David that gave her away from the start and did not respond.

“Then why are you helping us?”

She lifted her eyes, annoyed, and exclaimed, “What does my religion have to do with offering humanitarian help? Doesn’t your religion teach you to show mercy and kindness and give a helping hand to anyone who needs it, regardless of their religion or faith? Isn’t that the message of all Abrahamic religions?”

Ahmad was bewildered and taken aback by her response. He hung his head ashamed. A Jewish girl giving him a lesson in morals!

All he could do was mumble an apology, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.”

The Art of War book cover

Quotes From Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

Literary, Translations, Uncategorized

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

― Sun TzuThe Art of War

ابدُ ضعيفاً حين تكون قوياً وابدُ قوياً حين تكون ضعيفاً

سان تزو فن الحرب

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun TzuThe Art of War

” أرفع أنواع الفن هو قهر العدو دون قتاله “

سان تزو فن الحرب

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

” إذا عرفت العدو وعرفت نفسك لا داعي للقلق حول نتيجة مئة معركة. إذا عرفت نفسك دون معرفة العدو ستخسر معارك بعدد تلك التي ستربحها. إذا لم تعرف العدو ولا نفسك، ستخضع في كل معركة.

“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

” أعظم امتياز هو كسر مقاومة العدو دون القتال.

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

“لتكن خططك قامتة ولا يمكن خرقها كالليل وحينما تتحرك كن كالرعد.

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

” بفوز المقاتلون المنتصرون أولاً ثم يخوضون الحرب أما المقاتلون المهزومون يخوضون الحرب أولاً ثم يسعون للفوز

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

“كل القتال مبني على الخداع، لذا حين نكن قادرين على الهجوم يجب أن نبدو عكس ذلك وعندما نستخدم قواتنا يجب أن نبدو وكأننا لا نتحرك وعندما نكن قريبين يجب أن نشعر العدو أننا بعيدين وعندما نكن بعيدين يجب أن نجعله يشعر بأننا قريبين.

“Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?”

“هل يمكنك تخيل ما سأفعله إن فعلت كل ما أستطيع فعله؟

“Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:
1 He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
2 He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
3 He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
4 He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
5 He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.”

“لذا نعرف أن هناك خمس أساسيات للانتصار:

١يفوز من يعلم متى يقاتل ومتى لا يقاتل.

٢ يفوز  من يعلم كيف يتعامل مع القوات الأقوى والأضعف منه.

٣ يفوز من يتمتع جيشه بنفس الحماس في كافة الرتب.

٤ يفوز من جهز نفسه وينتظر ليوقع بالعدو دون أن يتوقع/ دون استعداد.

٥ يفوز من لديه قوة عسكرية ولا يتدخل في شؤونه رئيس.”

“When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move.”

“حين يكن العدو مسترخي دعه يرهق. حين يكن شبع دعه يتضور جوعاً. حين يكن ساكناً دعه يتحرك.”

“Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain.”

“تحرك بسرعة الريح و تراص الخشب. اهجم كالنار وكن ثابت كالجبل.”

“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. ”

“لا يوجد مثال لبلد استفاد من قتال طال أمده”

“Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.”

“عامل جنودك كما تعامل أولادك وسوف يتبعوك إلـى أعمق وادي.”

“When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.”

“حينما تحاصر جيشاً اترك منفذ. لا تشدد الضغط على عدو بائس.”

“To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill”

“ليس قمة المهارة أن تحرز على مئة انتصار في مئة معركة بل خضوع العدو دون القتال.

“If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be unless.”

“إذا عاقبت جنودك قبل أن يتعلقوا بك لن يكونوا خنوعين و إن لم يكونوا خنوعين سيكوبوا عديمي الفائدة. وإذا لم تفرض العقوبات حين يتعلقوا الجنود بك سيكونوا أيضاً عديمي الفائدة.