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.

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Sudan map with flag

Facts on Sudan

Translations, Uncategorized

تقع جمهورية السودان شمالي شرقي القارة الأفريقية، وتبلغ مساحتها مليونا و881 ألف كيلومتر مربع، وفقدت 25% من مساحتها بعد انفصال الجنوب لتتراجع بذلك من المرتبة الأولى في أفريقيا إلى المرتبة الثانية بعد الجزائر، وإلى المرتبة الثالثة عربيا بعد الجزائر والسعودية.

ويبلغ إجمالي المساحة الصالحة للزراعة في السودان 200 مليون فدان، في حين تبلغ مساحة البر مليونا و752 ألفا و187 كيلومترا مربعا، والبحر 129 ألفا 813 كيلومترا مربعا.

تجاور السودان سبع دول هي جنوب السودان (انفصلت عن السودان في يوليو/تموز 2011)، وإريتريا وإثيوبيا وأفريقيا الوسطى وتشاد وليبيا ومصر. ويبلغ طول الشريط الحدودي بين السودان وإثيوبيا 725 كيلومترا، ومع أفريقيا الوسطى 380 كيلومترا.‏

The Republic of Sudan is located in northeastern Africa. It is 1,881,000 square kilometers and lost 25% of its land after the separation of the South, moving down to second place after Algeria in terms of size in the African continent and to third place in the Arab world following Saudi Arabia and Algeria.

The total area suitable for agriculture in Sudan is 200 million acres and the land area is 1,752,187 square kilometers, while the sea is 129, 813 square kilometers.

Sudan neighbors seven countries: South Sudan (separated from Sudan in July 2011), Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Chad, Libya, and Egypt. The border between Sudan and Ethiopia is 752 kilometers and 380 kilometers with the Central African Republic.

Read the full Arabic report on Al Jazeera.

 

 

Poem Translation: Incomprhensible by Deek al-Jin

Translations, Uncategorized

عصيّ على الفهم..

بغرغرة الحوت يشعر بالموت يجري مع الدم..
وتمنعه سنوات من العنفوان العظيم بأن يستحيل طعاما ..
وأن يغدو منهشة لصغار السمك..
فيجنح في كبرياء مهيب..
نحو شطّ غريب ..
يموت عليه وحيدا..

ببؤس الحمامة حين يختطف القط روح زغاليلها في الظلام..
ويقعدها الجبن عن أن تحاول إنقاذ تلك العيون الصغيرة ..
تلك الضلوع الكسيرة..
فتجلس رابضة فوق غصن قريب..
تراقب هذا العشاء الأخير بقلب محطم..

بكل الأسى الذي يسكن صدر حصان أصيل..
ألقت به الريح ..
بعد سنين الفحولة..
بعد عصور البطولة..
في يد سائس بائس يعرضه في مهرجان ملون..
ليصبح تسلية للصغار ..

بحزن الفدائي يجلس فوق حطام ربوع صباه..
يعانق بارودة باردة..
يعض على الشفة الجامدة..
يحاول أن يتذكر ما كان قبل الطغاة وقبل الغزاة وقبل انهيار سماء الوطن..
يفكر فيها وفي أمه العاجزة..
أما زالتا حيتين؟
أما زال في العمر متسع للأمل؟
يحدق نحو السماء ..
فيدرك أن قد لا يعود ..
وإن عاد قد لا يراها..
وقد لا يرى أمه..
يعانق بارودة باردة..
ويعض على الشفة الجامدة..

بحزن عصي على الفهم.. آتي إليك..
بقلب عصي على الفرح .. آتي إليك..
بنفس تمور كما الطير في لحظات النزاع الأخيرة.. آتي إليك..
فلا تتركيني..

Incomprehensible

Gargling, the whale senses death running through his blood

Memories of his heyday forbid him from turning into food,

Into a feeding ground for little fish

So he flees with majestic pride

Toward an unknown shore

And dies there, alone

 

 

With the misery of a pigeon whose babies’ souls a cat kidnaps in the darkness

and whom cowardice forces into surrender instead of trying to save those small eyes,

those broken ribs

So she sits idly on a nearby branch

And watches this last supper with a broken heart

 

With all the woefulness in a thoroughbred’s heart

Whom the winds threw

After years of strength

And eras of heroism

in the hands of a miserable manager

who puts him on display in a colorful festival

as entertainment for children

 

In sorrow, the freedom fighter sits on the debris of his youth

hugging a cold rifle

biting a frozen lip

Trying to remember what he was before the tyrants and invaders, and before the sky of the homeland collapsed

He thinks of it and his powerless mother

Are they still alive?

Is there still room in the years left of his life for hope?

He gazes toward the sky

And realizes he might never go back

And if he does, he might not see her

nor his mother

He hugs the cold rifle

and bites the frozen lip

 

With incomprehensible sadness, I come to you

With a heart incapable of happiness, I come to you

With a soul heaving, like a bird in its final moments, I come to you

So don’t leave me.

 

This poem was originally posted on Deek al-Jin’s Facebook page on 30 March, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuttgart: Exotic Animals and Plants

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

Wilhelma is more than just a zoo. The heritage-protected park is home to exotic animals as well as plants; therefore it is the only zoo-botanical garden in Germany. There are terraces with roses, old sequoia trees, a small forest of magnolias, and historic green houses, where the climate is optimal for tropical flowers. More than 10,000 animals also live on the 30 hectares. Especially popular in Wilhelma are the aquarium and the primates. The kindergarten of gorilla babies is great.

Read the original German article on deutsch perfekt.

 

The Benefits of Silence

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

Learn About the Many Benefits of Silence

Al-Araby al-Jadid

6 May 2017

We live in a world full of sounds; some are melodious and others are noisy, but rarely do we experience silence. Is this important? Actually, it is. According to the website Psychology Today, silence has several benefits, below are some.

  1. Silence contributes the development of the brain. A 2013 study about the brain’s structure and functions showed that at least two hours of silence can lead to the development of new brain cells related to learning and memory.
  2. Noise affects our stress levels through increasing cortisol and adrenaline. A study in 2006 found that silence can decrease stress within just two minutes.
  3. Silence helps the body and mind relax more than listening to music, as indicated through lower blood pressure and an increase of blood flow to the brain.
  4. Periods of silence improve sleep.
  5. 20th century studies linked between noise pollution and higher percentages of heart disease and ringing in the ear (Tinnitus). The World Health Organization likened this pollution to a “modern plague”.
  6. Conor O’Shea, who interviewed 100 people on a retreat, found that they had increased levels of awareness and gave more time to reflection. Everyone should listen to their inner voice before making decisions.
  7. Silence helps increase our ability to think. This might seem obvious but often we find ourselves forced to finish a report amidst noise and some people study while listening to music; several studies have shown that this is not [productive for focusing].
  8. Caroline Myss says, “The soul always knows exactly what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to quiet the mind.” How to achieve that is up to you. For example, you can meditate for 10 minutes in complete silence and this might help you calm down and think of what to do. Give priority to what matters, then, the secondary details will be what you always wanted them to be, secondary.
  9. Abraham Lincoln says, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” We must realize that silence is many times the best strategy, not jut for ourselves, but for others as well. Not everyone wants to hear your opinion. Before you speak, ask yourself, “Is this beneficial? Do I have to say this?

This is a translation of an Arabic report that appeared on Al-Araby al-Jadid.

salzburg at night

Salzburg: More Than Just Mozart

Translations, Uncategorized

Original German text from dw video:

SALZBURG: MEHR ALS NUR MOZART

“Salzburg gehört zu den beliebtesten Reisezielen in den österreichischen Bergen, nicht zuletzt weil Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dort geboren wurde und gelebt hat. Touristenführerin Inez Reichl zeigt besondere Orte in Salzburg wie das Café Classic, das Museum der Moderne und die Steingasse, die nicht in jedem Reiseführer zu finden sind.”

***

Salzburg: More Than Just Mozart

“Salzburg is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Austrian mountains, not only because Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and raised there. Tour guide Inez Reichl shows us unique places in Salzburg, such as Cafe Classic, Museum der Moderne  (Modern Art Museum), and Steingasse (Stone alley), that cannot be found in every tour.”

A Japanese Surprise…Beware of the Victory Sign

Articles, Translations, Uncategorized

In a strange piece of news, the National Institute of Information in Japan announced that making the v-sign in photos is not recommended, in fact completely unsafe,  as it may lead to identity theft.

According to DP Review, a website concerned with the latest technologies in the world of photography, a report issued by the Institute said that the technology of determining fingerprints has become so unbelievably advanced that it can now determine the hand- or fingerprints of any individual through a simple photo published on SnapChat or any other social media network. They warned that the technology is widely available and easy to use.

According to the Institute, this advancement is thanks to smart phones with high resolution cameras that can capture much detail. Researchers were able to copy fingerprints from a photo that was taken using a mobile phone three meters away from the subject. However, naturally, the copying requires that the fingerprints be clear in the photo and that the photo be taken somewhere bright and that it meets a certain size and quality.

 

Read the original Arabic article published on Al Arabiya on 19 January, 2017.