Braille
Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

Blind researchers no longer have to be accompanied when looking through references and books to complete their scientific papers or just when reading. Within weeks, they’ll be able to do all that on their own as a large number of books and references in Braille become available at the Egyptian National Library. Even more significant is the fact that they can request specific references to be translated to Braille using a printer at the Library.

Dr. Ahmad Shawky, head of the library, said to Al-Hayat, “The Library is following a methodical plan to make its resources available to all groups, including the visually impaired. Their section is being developed to include a library of the most well-known books and references, whether written in Braille or audio materials, as part of a greater plan to digitize the different contents of the library, including books, references, scripts,  documents, regular publications, as well as music and audio materials.”

The Hall of the Visually Impaired is one of the halls within the Special Groups Department of the Library (established in 1870). There is also a section for art and another for music but they weren’t very active. The Library is working to change that by not just limiting the services to reading and instead, extending them to include courses and workshops for the visually impaired. This direction is reminiscent of another undertaken by the national media organization Akhbar El Yom when it released the first general publication in Braille directed toward the visually impaired. It is also worth noting that the content writers of Akhbar Braille are visually impaired. The first issue was released last March.

 

This is a translation of an Arabic article by Rihab ‘Ulaiwah and was published on Al-Hayat Newspaper on 8 July, 2017.

Advertisements

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

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

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.

Bilal movie poster

Bilal: A Must-See

Uncategorized, Writing

The movie Bilal was released in Jordan cinemas this weekend and it should not be missed! This movie is inspired by the tale of Bilal ibn Rabah, Islam’s first Muezzin. Barajoun, the Dubai-based company behind this one-of-a-kind animation, sums up the movie’s premise as follows:

A thousand years ago, one boy with a dream of becoming a great warrior is abducted with his sister and taken to a land far away from home.

Thrown into a world where greed and injustice rule all, Bilal finds the courage to raise his voice and make a change.

Here are a few reasons why I loved the movie:

1-Beautiful animation– bright colors and rich details, whether in the depiction of the buildings, the desert or the characters, kept my eyes glued to the screen.

2- Universal ideals-Bilal tells the story of social justice and equality and tackles the issue of slavery, which affects and is a shared history among millions of people around the world. It also discusses themes such as family, brotherhood, conviction and freedom.

3- Relatable heroes- Though this is not the focus of the movie and is not made explicitly clear, Bilal and some of the other inspiring characters are Muslim and/or Arab characters. and this is important because they give viewers in the region, especially young ones, real heroes from their own culture, religion and history, that they can relate to and be proud of.

The feeling of empowerment, stronger faith and pride this movie made me feel are what I appreciated most about the movie.

What are you waiting for? Book your tickets now!

For more information visit the Bilal movie official website and Facebook page.

book cover

Excerpt from Radwa Ashour’s “The Woman from Tantoura” Translated Into English ترجمة فقرة من “الطنطورية” لرضوى عاشور

Literary, Translations, Uncategorized

الطنطورية excerpt from "The woman from Tantoura"

What do I do with that kiss? Where do I go with it? I’ll forget it ever happened. I’ll lose it on purpose and it’ll get lost. I went to Wissal, sought refuge in her as she, her mother and little brother had on that day long ago sought refuge in us. I hid behind her. I concentrated on her voice. It sounded strong and painstakingly close. Who says telephones allow us to connect? They don’t. They only affirm the distance by forcing you to come face to face with what you know, like the edge of a knife on your skin feels for the nerve, rips apart your warm skin and strikes. Her voice came to me close and clear and I was on the other side. We were like two women separated by glass, the barrier separating a prisoner from his visitor. More precisely: glass separating a prisoner from a prisoner. Even so, I’ll get ready. I’ll talk to her like she talked to me. I’ll swallow the lump in my throat, suppress the chill and the well of tears. Tomorrow.