Distance and Perspective


root: ب-ع-د / noun / plural: أَبْعاد / definition: distance, dimension

So I’m back from my one-week solo trip to Istanbul which was perfect on all fronts. To feel so immersed in history, culture, spirituality… and to be there with my thoughts alone… was simply unbeatable.

With every step I took through the palaces, museums, and mosques, and across the bridges over the Golden Horn, and with every breathtaking sweeping view from the city’s rooftops, I felt as though I was stepping back to look at my own life.

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Arabic Observations: The Eye and Other Water Sources


root: ع-ي-ن / noun / plural: عُيون أو أَعْيُن / definition: eye, spring

Here we are with another post in the Arabic Observations series, and this one starts with the word عَين (“eye”).

When you look up عَين in the dictionary and scoot your finger across a little from its first definition, you’ll land on another meaning: “spring (of water)”.

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Form I Active Participles of Geminate Roots


root: ض-ع-ف / passive participle of form II / definition: doubled, geminate

As we saw in the post Arabic Roots: the Different Types, geminate roots are those whose final two letters are the same. Like م-س-س or ح-ر-ر.

When it comes to the form I active participle of geminate roots then, we might expect its pattern to be the same as that of regular, sound roots (i.e. فاعِل)—hence we might expect حارِر as an active participle. But that’s not the case.

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Arabic Observations: الإتباع


root: ت-ب-ع / verbal noun of form IV / definition: to make something follow something else

It was a long time ago when I first realised that a linguistic phenomenon that occurs in various languages—like my heritage language, Turkish—can also be found in Arabic.

Now I wish I could remember the exact Arabic example I came across all that time ago, but… alas.

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Dictionary Finds: ناهيك


root: ن-ه-ي / form I active participle / definition: prohibitive

Under certain words in the dictionary, we find a list of their various usages—some collocations, some phrases.

ناهٍ—which is a form I active participle from a defective root, ن-ه-ي (hence the kasratayn ending)—is one example of this.

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Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #11


root: و-ص-ل / verbal noun of form III / definition: continuation

This week we’re continuing on from last week’s literature translation where we went through the first part of our extract:

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Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #10


root: س-ك-ك / noun / plural: سَكاكين / definition: knife

As September swept in, I made a resolution to read more in both English and Arabic. Novels, specifically, because I miss getting lost in them as I used to.

And I’ve now, for various reasons, found myself in a situation where I have multiple novels on the go—an unintentional fulfilment of my resolution, I suppose—including some in Arabic.

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Six Arabic Words for “Ocean” or “Sea”


root: م-و-ه / noun / plural: مِياه / definition: water

Autumn is officially here. And I’m sure of this because I’m wearing two pairs of socks, as I’m forced to every autumn or winter because my feet turn to ice—although my parents always tell me it’s not that cold and walk around as though summer is still lingering.

Despite living here for most of my life, I’m convinced I’m just not adapted to the UK’s cool climate. Or maybe it’s just my toes protesting summer’s departure.

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What’s the Difference Between ابن and بن?


root: ب-ن / noun / plural: أَبْناء or بَنون / definition: son

Having finished my master’s, I took myself to the Tate Modern last week and wandered around the galleries and the exhibitions I’d booked to see. I was clearly inspired by the trip because I picked up my paintbrush again a few evenings ago and created a little something I had pictured in my mind.

You can see a snippet of the canvas I painted in the photo above—I’ve been (mentally) stalked by olive trees since analysing some olive tree imagery in relation to exile for my dissertation. I’ve even been eating more olives, actually.

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Master’s, Completed


root: س-ل-م / verbal noun of form II / definition: submitting, submission

Yesterday I submitted my dissertation and, with it, completed my master’s degree in Advanced Arabic! The dissertation deadline was actually today, so I wasn’t scrambling to finish like I thought I might be.

I realised I was thankfully cruising through to submission because—despite the stress creeping up on me last week—my plan was so comprehensive that actually writing the dissertation felt more like an editing process.

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