قيم من التراث – زكي نجيب محمود

وجهة نظر حول دراسة التاريخ
حين نتصور محاكاة الأواخر للأوائل، على نحو يجعلها محاكاة في الاتجاه لا في خطوات السير، محاكاة في الموقف لا مادة المشكلات و أساليب حلها، محاكاة في النظرة لا في تفصيلات ما يقع عليه البصر، محاكاة في أن يكون العربي الجديد مبدعا لما هو أصيل، كما كان أصلافه يبدعون، دون أن تكون  الثمرة المستحدثة على يدي العربي الجديد هي نفسها الثمرة التي استحدثها العربي القديم، محاكاة في القبم  التي يقاس عليها ما يصح و ما لا يصح، كما يأخذ زيد من خالد مسطرته ليقيس عليها قطعة من قماش، بعد أن كان خالد لا يقيس عليها إلا خطوطاً على ورق؛ المسطرة واحدة، أما مواد المقيسة فمختلفات؛ و هكذا تكون حالنا إذا ما استعرنا من الأقدمين قيمة عاشوا بها، و نريد اليوم أن نعيش بها مثلهم، و لكن الذي نختلف فيه و إياهم، هو المجال الذي ندير عليه تلك القيمة المستعارة
مراتب القدرات الإدراكية:ـ
(نقلا عن ابن رشد)
إذ الناس على ثلاثة مراتب في قدراتهم الإدراكية، فمرتية منها هي أولئك العلماء (أصحاب النظر البرهاني)، و مرتبة  ثانية هي صنف من الناس مدى قدرته هو أن يستخدموا القياس الجدلي دون القياس البرهاني و الفرق الجوهري بينهما هو أنه بينما البرهاني يبنى على مقدمات يقينية، يكتفي القياس الجدلي  بأن تكون المقدمات مشهورة بين الناس، سواء أكانت يقينية في ذاتها أم لم تكن؛ و كذلك في الناس صنف ثالث، لا يتجاوز في قدراته حدود القياس الخطابي، أعني أن يساق لهم القول على نحو يستريحون إليه و لا عليهم بعد ذلك أن يكون مستدلاً من مقدماته استدلالاً برهانياً أو جدلياً – فمن هذه الجماعات الثلاث، لا يجوز التأويل إلا لجماعة القياس البرهاني.
نقطة مهمة جداً اتذكرها عندما اقراً مقالات الرأي أو أشاهد البرامج الحوارية، أجد نفسي فاقدة للاهتمام بمجرد احساسي أن الكاتب يريد أن يزرع توجه أو احساس بمجرد اختياره لأسانيد لفظية مزوقة. حتى لو لم يكن لي خلفية حول الموضوع المطروح أحس أن هناك خديعة ما، و أن  الكاتب / المحاور هو مجرد
دارس لألاعيب نفسية و لفظية يستخدمها في التأثير على المتلقين دون أن يكون على حق، و قد يزداد الطين بلة حينما يكون هو شخصياً غير مقتنع بما ينقله , أن تكون كلماته جوفاء مزخرفة يريد بها التأثير على العامة لكسب الرزق

On Education

No one denies the importance of education, and its significance in building the  proper elements leading to the development of societies. And at the same time, it is often associated with obligations and eventually with a pile of conscious or subconscious resentment from the recipient side, especially if the purpose of all of the exerted efforts were not made clear, and its results were not effective. This is something very noticeable in our schools, and I dare say it is also repeated to some degrees in many societies, even those deemed more progressive.

My years of studying in an average Egyptian environment during the years 1989 – 2004 (4 years university, 3 years secondary, 3 years preparatory and 5 years of elementary), were not especially pleasant. I passed by them as an average student, excelling only in selected subjects, and skimming through the rest in order to pass the exam. Part of my annoyance of my schooling was related to the administration itself (on micro and macro levels), the curriculum, the studying atmosphere (including the society and the family impacts), the teachers and the students. So in a nutshell, it was everything.

Despite all this, there was always some sparkles that got my attention, and they kept me going, and the credit mainly goes to some brilliant teachers who were able to surpass all the educational annoyances, and were still able to deliver a substance with passion and dedication that I understood its meaning when I grew up.

For instance, Mr. Momtaz, teacher of philosophy in thanaweya amma, he was a legend in the maadi. He taught my brothers who were 12 years my senior, and in some cases he taught a girl and years later her daughter as well! I only met him in the private tutoring in one of the thanaweya amma centers, so it was basically a profitable for him, yet he was very passionate about teaching us, it was very easy for me to love this subject, and ace it. And even after passing the course, I remember passing by him more than once just to say hi, and I was not the only one to do that. He combined a great sense of humor, patience and accumulated experience to ensure that his students got the final grade in this course.

I also remember fondly Prof. Hamdy Abdel Rahman who specialized in African Affairs in the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences in Cairo University. He was another example of passion and dedication, his lectures were genuinely interesting and his writings are always engaging. He gave me only one course introducing political sciences in my first year, yet his impact was more than this course and I made sure that if I read his name I had to read what he had to say. Inevitably I compare him to another professor, who also specialized in African Affairs, but attending one of her lectures was more of an ordeal. I asked her once in a friendly conversation why she chose this specialty in particular, she just said that it was a matter of availability when she had to choose an academic specialty! Can you imagine! She spent most of her life studying a subject she didn’t particularly love, and transferred this lack of enthusiasm to hundreds and maybe a couple of thousands of students! Why would a person do that to himself and to others?

In a nutshell, passion and dedication play a vital role in the transfer of knowledge process. This means that if an individual was in a position of teaching, first he should choose a subject he genuinely love, otherwise it will not only be a waste of time and resources, it will be a waste of potential energy and creativity that might have otherwise helped in shaping a better future.

The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

https://i1.wp.com/www.oxcis.ac.uk/images/banner5.jpg

 

Few months ago, I travelled to London in a business trip, and we were lucky to have a small tour in The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
 
The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies provides a meeting point between the Islamic and Western worlds of learning. Through good scholarship it promotes a more informed understanding of Islam – its culture and civilisation.
This is the center’s message on its homepage: http://www.oxcis.ac.uk/
 
It was  established in 1985 to encourage the scholarly study of Islam and the Islamic world. Worth noting that The Prince of Wales is the Patron of the Centre…
You can browse its programs and you’ll see a large number of publications, lectures, seminars,,, etc
 

What interested me the most during my visit is the new building. It was designed to merge the traditional Islamic architecture and the modern utilities in a fine mixture that shows beauty and simplicity. It also aimed at revoking the old styles of teaching in Islamic universities which emphasizes the relationship between the professor and the student, that is the most critical part of the learning process.
 
I remember that the architect was an Egyptian engineer, but unfortunately I don’t recall his name. I hope that Egyptian universities would learn from this example that studied the Islamic heritage and brought it forward with all that the new tech offered.

Knowledge

The transfer of knowledge is a tricky business.
When I thought about it, I acquire knowledge by either talking and listening to people, watching movies, reading fiction and non-fiction. When I tried to analyze these things, I found that ALL of them are not reliable at all.
People generally talk about their opinion without knowing the different aspects of the issue, the author of fiction by definition has the right to change whatever he wants even if in some parts of his work it was very real, and then most of the non-fiction are not objective (take historians as an example).
This thought was a bit scary for me as now I have to re-consider all the things that affected me and contributed in building my ‘knowledge’, starting from Tintin, Disney movies to sophisticated books, and from now on I have to know about the writer beforehand, then try to evaluate the content and be aware of the little things that may affect his credibility.
I know that this is something that some do unconsciously, but for me the red light is triggered in major unbeleivable information, while in subtle possibly-incorrect-info it just takes it for granted. THIS NEEDS TO BE CHANGED.

Hiking diaries

I found some papers I had with me during the hiking trip 🙂 :

“The best thing about hiking is to learn how to grow the sense of endurance. The mind has two options, either to reach for the impossible, or to find the safest haven. Both choices are crucial to life, but when one side wholly conquers the other, then the human being is in serious danger. 

There is nothing better than the moment I’m living in. surrounded by amazing people. Observing the moon. Had an interesting challenge. Feeling self confident (in contrast to the pre-hike phase of uncertainty and fear).

The only thing that makes me feel out of mood is knowing that my mother is anxious about me because this is y first time to do something like that, but I know that I will make feel more comfortable. The other thing is feeling some pain in my feet and my back, but this will go away.

This is our second (and last) night, and till this moment I can’t believe that I am here! Please God, give me the opportunity to discover my potential and discover the world.I hope that this calm sensation will help me reach a good decision in the changes I want to have in my life.”

Education

For the past few months education is haunting my mind. Most of the problems I witness are originated -in my opinion- from the ‘decaying’ educational system. the sexual harassment in the streets, the ignorance, the lack of creativity, the helplessness, the laziness,,,,, I can go on and on and on. And the worst thing is that even supposedly “good” schools are not good anymore. And if I were a parent I would need thousands of pounds just to offer my kids a decent learning experience. I can’t beleive the amount of money people pay for their kids in their primary education! It’s absurd!!

El mohem

Trying to look for the solution, and not just stare at the problem, let’s try to analyze the situation, at least for the sake of the argument.

1) there is a very high illiteracy rate in Egypt (especially among women). And even those who know how to read and write can not claim that they had a pleasant educational experience (even for the upper middle class who are considered to have the means to send their kids to considerably good schools).

2) the educational system is very complicated. It constitutes of: the student, the teacher, the curriculum, the management (the director of the school, the administration, the ministry). Each one of those has his own problems that may collide with the other.

3) the overpopulation makes any effort to revolutionize seems to be insignificant

…..

that’s just the beginning

…..

Qui a le droit?

That’s a lovely song…

Qui a le droit – Patrick Bruel

On m’avait dit : “Te poses pas trop de questions.
Tu sais petit, c’est la vie qui t’ répond.
A quoi ça sert de vouloir tout savoir ?
Regarde en l’air et voit c’ que tu peux voir.”
Qui a le droit, qui a le droit,
Qui a le droit d’ faire ça
A un enfant qui croit vraiment
C’ que disent les grands ?

And here is the translation:

I had been told : Don’t ask yourself too many questions
You know, young boy, life will answer you
What’s the use of wanting to know everything ?
Look up and see what you can see

Who has the right, who has the right ?
Who has the right to do that ?
To a child who really believes
What grown-ups tell him

I always wondered about this issue. When I was young I used to have zillions of questions, and it seems like my parents were sometimes bored with this flow of questions, I remember them saying something like what the song says (what’s the use to know everything!). One day I expressed that I really want to climb mountains, to dive, to fly, to travel all around the world, I remember something like “why would you do that? go and check the National Geographic collection and you’ll save yourself the time!”. Well, elhamdlelah I still have this urge for asking questions, but it’s frustrating how some people view this as a big disadvantage or something! Some people view that asking too many questions is just useless and as long as there are ready-made answers, why would they look furtherly. Most probably these people faced the same situation of asking questions and being told not to tire themselves with so much exclamation mark. What a life! Can you imagine living without this sense of wondering? without this feeling of excitment? of life? Well, for me I just can not!