المجوس – إبراهيم الكوني

لن يذوق طعم الحياة من لم يتنفس هواء الجبال. هنا فوق القمم العارية، يقترب من الآلهة يتحرر من البدن ويصبح بمقدوره أن يمدّ يده ويقطف البدر أو يجني النجوم. من هذا الموقع يروق لـه أن يراقب الناس في حضيضهم، يتسابقون بنشاط النمل فيظن أنهم قد حققوا المعجزة. ينزل إلى أرضهم فيجد أنهم دراويش أشقياء، يجدّون في البحث ولكنهم لا يجنون سوى الباطل. كم يبدو سعيهم مضحكاً وقبيحاً من المنازل العليا
 
I recently finished part 1 of المجوس , an amazing novel by the Libyan writer Ibrahim El Kouny.
Ibrahim El Kouny was born in Ghadamis oasis in Libya, and it was mentioned in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibrahim_Al-Koni), that he was brought up on the tradition of the Tuareg.
His language is very mystical. I confess that in some paragraphs I didn’t quite get what he wanted to say, but in others I was completely mesmerised.
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Rim Banna

One of my favorite songs nowadays:

لطلع عراس الجبل                       واخد معي مفتاح

وافتح جنينة أبي                           واقعد فيها وارتاح

يا ربّي زخّة مطر                         تروي شجر التفاح

والحلوة اللي ما بتنتسى ببحر عيونها سوّاح

لطلع عراس الجبل                       واشرف على الوادي

واقول يا مرحبا                            نسّم هوا بلادي

يا ربّي ليلة مطر                          ويسيّل عالوادي

واعمل زنودي جسر                     وقلّط البنيّه

“وانزلت عشط البحر لنّي أودعهم

لقيتهم سافروا والريح مطاوعهم

ناديت ريّس المركب لحتّى يرجّعهم

هدولا حبابي راحوا ومفتاح القلب معهم”

ليّه وليّه وليّتين                            ليّه على ليّه

لطلع عراس الجبل                       أشكي الأمر لله

لقيت الحلو غافي                          بحماية الله

كشّفت عن وجنتو                         وقلت يا ما شالله

الوجه دورة قمر                           يا لله احفظو ليّه

مرّيت عدارهم                             قبل العِشا بنتفه

لقيتهم نايمين                                وسراجهم مطفي

مدّيت إيدي عالحبق                       لقطف أنا قصفه

صاحت بنيّه لِهم                           يمّا حراميّه

 

“ونزلت عشط البحر………………….

ليّه بليّه       على ليّه

Rim Banna (born December 8, 1966) is a Palestinian singer, composer and arranger, well-known for her modern interpretations of traditional folk songs. Banna was born in Nazareth, where she graduated from Nazareth Baptist School in 1984. She currently lives in Nazareth with her husband, the artist Leonid Alexeienko, and their three children.

I found her lyrics here. It’s VERY interesting if you are into palestinain folk music merged with a bit of rock.

Edelweiss, Edelweiss

Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever

From the Sound of Music

I remembered this song when I was in Geneva, we were on the hunt for a restaurant that serves chocolat fondue, and after wandering around for a while, we found this very swiss restaurant, in Edelweiss Hotel. It is the equivalent of Felfela in Egypt, combining all the stereotypes that tourists imagine of Switzerland. (Food is good, prices are reasonable, recommended)

The entertainer played this song, and I instantly remembered that scene in The Sound of Music. I kept humming it all night, and ultimately remembered the last verse! 🙂

It’s such a lovely song. It’s such a lovely flower.

Geneva

Now let’s talk about Geneva.

First of all it is so damn expensive! In London you can have a decent meal (appetizer, meal, drinks) in a small retaurant for 14 Sterling (say 140 LE), while in Geneva two shawerma sandwiches will cost you 20 Francs (= 100 LE)!

Second, there are so many arabs and egyptian! If I shouted in Arabic, I know for sure that I will find at least 10 people understanding what I say. I don’t know if they are immigrants, or what, they are just numerous.

After getting used to the fast-paced Londoners, it was a bit hard for me to readjust to the slow motioned Genevoises. It is a totally different atmosphere. 3ala albohom marawe7 is the perfect description. Expect to stay 10 minutes at least to pay for something in the supermarket. But it’s cute in some way.

Lake Geneva is really nice. I quote someone describing it as being in Alexandria in the 80’s. Humidity is high. People are taking a walk. Kids playing around. I heard that there are 2 beaches but I didn’t have the chance to check them out.

Geneva is such a cycling friendly city, you rent the bicycle for free! Too bad I didn’t have the chance to do that.

I had the opportunity though to go for a guided walk throughout the old city. It was really nice, especially that Geneva is really small (only 15 km2!), I don’t have exact figures, but I think Maadi (with its extras) is a lot bigger. Pretty small, hein?