I was in Tunisia for two weeks and had a chance to compare how things are moving there to the situation in Egypt. I like Tunisia and I like the Tunisian dialect, which is getting more comprehensible to me on each trip! This time I realized that a ‘y’ is added to the plural form of many verbs, so that ‘we build’ becomes nibnyu. Little realizations like that suddenly open up a lot of what you’re hearing. They don’t have the ‘k’ as a marker of the present tense that you find in Moroccan and Algerian Arabic, which eases things a bit if you’re a Mashreq Arabic speaker. Who can’t love famma and mafammash (from Classical Arabic’s thammata with the connective fa- in front) from ‘there is/isn’t’, which are just as logical, if not more so, as the feeh/mafeeh, feeh/mafeesh and aku/maku of dialects to the east. Continue reading Thoughts on Tunisia: where it all began
As-Safir Newspaper – غسان بن جدو يستقيل من «الجزيرة». This was just waiting to happen. The article says Ben Jiddo feels the dream of Al-Jazeera is over as an independent serious Arabic channel because it has become a source for “incitement and mobilization”. It certainly has. Also its cases of omission. Bahrain has been erased from the story of the Arab uprisings while Qatar has turned Al-Jazeera into a blatant tool of its foreign policy goals and delusions on Libya. The article mentions al-Jazeera’s “incitement” on Yemen, Libya and Syria. But I wonder if Ben Jiddo’s concern is specifically Syria; perhaps it reflects the disappointment of Hizbollah and others who appreciate Syria’s role in jibhat al-mumana3a, the bloc resisting Western policies on Palestine.