The Bastard of Istanbul book cover

The Bastard of Istanbul-Elif Shafak لقيطة اسطنبول


Rain is an agony here. In other parts of the world, a downpour will in all likelihood come as a boon for nearly everyone and everything-good for the crops, good for the fauna and the flora, and with an extra splash of romanticism, good for lovers. Not so in Istanbul though. Rain, for us, isn’t necessarily about getting wet. It’s not about getting dirty even. If anything, it’s about getting angry. It’s mud and chaos and rage, as if we didn’t have enough of each already. And struggle. It’s always about struggle. Like kittens thrown into a bucketful of water, all ten million of us put up a futile fight against the drops. It can’t be said that we are completely alone in this scuffle, for the streets too are in on it, with their antediluvian names stenciled on tin placards, and the tombstones of so many saints scattered in all directions, the piles of garbage that wait on almost every comer, the hideously huge construction pits soon to be turned into glitzy, modem buildings, and the seagulls…. It angers us all when the sky opens and spits on our heads.

فقرة مترجمة من لقيطة اسطنبول

What Causes Mental Illness مسببات الأمراض ذهانية

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized
We don’t know what causes mental illness.
That doesn’t mean the question is now moot. It’s not necessarily the established facts that make the causation question interesting, but rather the exploration of (and between) different factors.
Before we dig into those factors, let’s acknowledge how broad the term “mental illness” is. It may bring to mind a severe psychotic disorder, like schizophrenia, but mental illness has many shades of severity, both between diagnoses and within them. To start out, let’s look at two common categories.
  1. Mood disordersaffect how a person feels emotionally. This group encompasses depression and bipolar disorder, among others.
  2. Anxiety disordersare known for the fear and uncertainty they instill in people living with them. Phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder all fall here.
Of course, this is just a small sample. Conditions as disparate as Alzheimer’s and anorexia are also mental disorders. And while we can’t make a comprehensive list of every potential cause of every known mental disorder, we can discuss how one condition can illustrate both genetic and environmental factors, while still not entirely revealing much about why mental illness affects one person and not another.
And maybe it’s something that could nearly be called bad luck. According to the journal Pediatrics, adults who were spanked as children (also shoved, slapped or grabbed — actions short of harsh physical or sexual abuse, in other words) were between 2 and 7 percent more likely to develop a psychiatric disorder (including mood disorders like depression and alcohol or drug dependencies, as well as more severe psychotic disorders)

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The Kite Runner Book Cover

The Kite Runner Arabic Translation

Literary, Translations, Uncategorized

Chapter One
December 2001

I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

One day last summer, my friend Rahim Khan called from Pakistan. He asked me to come see him. Standing in the kitchen with the receiver to my ear, I knew it wasn’t just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatoned sins. After I hung up, I went for a walk along Spreckels Lake on the northern edge of Golden Gate Park. The early-afternoon sun sparkled on the water where dozens of miniature boats sailed, propelled by a crisp breeze. Then I glanced up and saw a pair of kites, red with long blue tails, soaring in the sky. They danced high above the trees on the west end of the park, over the windmills, floating side by side like a pair of eyes looking down on San Francisco, the city I now call home. And suddenly Hassan’s voice whispered in my head: For you, a thousand times over. Hassan the harelipped kite runner.

I sat on a park bench near a willow tree. I thought about something Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought. There is a way to be good again. I looked up at those twin kites. I thought about Hassan. Thought about Baba. Ali. Kabul. I thought of the life I had lived until the winter of 1975 came along and changed everything. And made me what I am today.

الفصل الأول

ديسمبر ٢٠٠١


أصبحت الشخص الذي أنا هو اليوم في يومٍ غائم قارس البرودة في شتاء عام ١٩٧٥ حين كنت في الثانية عشر من عمري. أذكر تلك اللحظة.  كنت مقرفصاً وراء حائط طيني يكاد ينهار.أختلس النظر إلى الزقاق بقرب البحيرة المتجمدة. لقد مرّ زمن طويل على ذلك اليوم ولكنني تعلمت أنه لا يمكننا دفن الماضي كما يقولون لأنه يتسلل من بين ثنايا الدهر.أدرك الآن أنني  كنت أختلس النظر إلى ذلك الزقاق المهجور طوال السنوات الستة والعشرين الماضية

اتصل بي صديقي رحيم خان في الصيف الماضي من باكستان وطلب مني أن آتي لأراه.  وأنا واقف في المطبخ والهاتف على أذني علمت بأنه لم يكن رحيم وحده فقط من ينتظرني على الجانب الآخر بل الماضي المليء بالسيئات التي لم أكفرعنها. بعد إنهاء المكالمة ذهبت لأتمشى عند بحيرة سبركلز في الجانب الشمالي من حديقة غولدن غيت. لمعت أشعة الشمس في ساعة الظهر الباكرعلى سطح الماء حيث أبحرت عشرات القوارب الصغيرة التي تدفعها نسمة هواء منعشة. نظرت إلى الأعلى ورأيت طائرتين ورقيتين لونهما أحمرذو ذيل أزرق طويل محلقتين في السماء. لوحتا عالياً فوق الشجرات في الجانب الغربي من الحديقة وفوق طواحين الهواء وطارتا جنباً إلى جنب كعينين تنظران من الأعلى على سان فرانسيسكوحيث أعيش الآن. وفجأة  همس في ذهني صوت حسن عدّاء الطائرات الورقية ذو الشفة الأرنبية:  لأجلك، لقمت بذلك ألف مرة

جلست في الحديقة على مقعد بجانب شجرة صفصاف. فكرت بما قاله رحيم خان قبل إنهاء المكالمة كأن الكلمات خطرت في ذهنه عندها فقط. هناك فرصة لتكن شخصاً جيداً ثانيةً. نظرت إلى الطائرتين التوأمين. فكرت بحسن. فكرت ببابا.علي. كابول. فكرت بالحياة التي عشتها حتى جاء شتاء ١٩٧٥ وغيّر كل شيء. وجعلني من أنا اليوم