Monday, December 23, 2013

This kebab shop is for haters

This photo showed up on my Facebook news feed this afternoon. Pictured is an image of a kebab shop storefront with 2 signs posted--the top one in French with one in hybrid Arabic/French just below. It appears that the image beneath that is a standard "do not enter" sign.

The French sign reads, "Unmarried couples are not permitted in the restaurant." Needless to say, it contains spelling/grammar mistakes. The hybrid Arabic sign reads similarly, "Entry is prohibited to an unmarried couple." There is also a grammar/spelling mistake in the Arabic sign. It should read "[غير المتزوجين]" instead of "[الغير متزوجين]". But then again, bigots aren't renowned for their language skills, I guess.

This sign is alleged to originate in Algeria. The individual who posted the image that my friend shared, and which consequently landed on my feed, commented, "[كاين كباب حلال و كاين نيك الحلال راك فاهم !]". His comment is Algerian Arabic, and that may be the explanation for the supposition that the image is Algerian. The comment means, "There are halal (religiously/morally acceptable) kebab shops and there are halal sex shops, ya dig?" Incidentally, my friend Bilal, the sharer of this image, tells me that نيك is considered crass or offensive--two of my favorite adjectives. Fun!

The inclusion of a sign in French means we can reasonably assume this image comes from Algeria, Morocco, or Tunisia. I am going to see if I can find out more about this image. Thanks for the share, Bilal!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A fart joke in Moroccan Arabic

I was handsomely rewarded for checking my Facebook news feed this morning. A Moroccan friend, whose name means "loyalty" (I absolutely love Moroccan and Arab names), posted the above cartoon in Moroccan Arabic.

The young man is leaning toward the young woman, his left arm propping him up on the tree. The young woman is standing, leaning against the tree, under the man's gaze. His hand is gestured toward her, and he asks, "Young lady, why are you standing alone here?"

She replies, "In order to fart."

بالدارجة المغربية:

الشاب: واش الشابة. وعلاش راكي قاعدة وحدك هنا؟؟

الشابة: باش نحزق 


ash-shab: wash ash-shaba. w3lash raky qa3da wa7dk hinna?
ash-shaba: bash n7zaq

Have you seen any fun/funny Moroccan cartoons lately?

Update and renaissance

I enjoy writing this blog, and I will be writing again soon. I have accumulated a list of writing ideas, and I am excited about making regular contributions.

The past two years have been tumultuous professionally, and thus personally.

I was laid off in February 2012. When my unemployment ran out, I began working several part-time jobs from November 2012 to March 2013.

On the last day of February 2013, I thought my ship had come in. I was offered a great job in my field, and it involved an 800 mile (1200 km) relocation. I began work in March 2013. It was my dream job, and all the sweeter because of the anticipation I had built up over 13 months of un/underemployment.

Alas, I was laid off in November. It is an understatement to describe the layoff as devastating. It was more than devastating, it was traumatizing. I was unprepared financially, professionally, and personally, and the economic aftermath of the layoff will have consequences for me for years, mostly negative.

A layoff again so soon has wrecked my life. Not destroyed, but wrecked. In the sense that there are serious car wrecks where no one dies, but someone might need a neck brace for a few months. My life will get back on track, but I have no way of knowing when or how exactly.

In that vein, getting back to this blog will help me to feel connected to international development, North Africa and the Middle East, and social justice in general. Stay tuned!