The Mermaid’s Lament

1. As I again prepare to leave town for another trip, this one an escape from هموم الدنيا as we say in Arabic, I regret not being able to blog as I was before – there is so much I’d love to rant about.  I hope you all enjoy the war with Iran, it might even start before I get back to blogging regularly.

2. Before I finish packing, I leave something for all you Arabists out there. It is the entire content of of a recent post on the Mermaid’s Sea blog – we are mutual fans though we have never met and most likely never will.  I take it as a lamentation for Khalid Said, now known as شهيد الطوارئ .  If any of you Arabists out there would like to post a poetic English translation in the comments section so those مستضعفين في الارض who do not know Arabic can appreciate it, please do. It would be nice to see more than one rendering so folks can compare.

Here is the Mermaid’s Lament:

يا من أظهر الجميل وستر القبيح، يا من لا يؤاخذ بالجريرة ولا يهتك الستر، يا حسن التجاوز، يا واسع المغفرة، ويا باسط اليدين بالرحمة، يا صاحب كل نجوى، ويا منتهى كل شكوى، يا كريم الصفح، يا عظيم المن، يا مبتدأ النعم قبل استحقاقها، يا ربنا وسيدنا ومولانا، ويا غاية رغبتنا

!  اعفو والستر وارحم يا رب

3. No doubt some of you will find that these lines have a ring of familiarity.  You can find some of these in a prayer said upon the completion of the recitation of the Quran. Here is the Arabic script of the prayer.  Here is a link to Shaykh al-Afasy’s webite were you can download it and also his actual Quran recitations. And to make it easy for you, here is the link to the  file by the Shaykh himself.

4. Somehow, the opening couplet from Rumi’s Masnavi seems appropriate here for كل خالد سعيد  and every Rachel Corrie and every Iman al-Hams.

بشنو از نی چون حکايت می کند
از جدايی ها شکايت می کند

4 responses to “The Mermaid’s Lament

  1. When O’Bomba signed the Iran sanctions bill last night, he was joined on the stage by Stuart Levey, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

    Levey, a Bush administration holdover, helped coordinate the economic siege of Gaza after Hamas took over in June 2007. So effective was Levey’s international strong-arming that even Arab banks stopped sending wire transfers into Gaza.

    Now Levey will extend his siege of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents to Iran’s 72 million people. Insurance companies such as Lloyd’s have been bullied into refusing coverage for fuel shipments to Iran. U.S. carrier groups are off the Iranian coast to physically enforce the siege, if need be. And should some cargoes get through, Iran no longer has access to pay in dollars through legitimate banking channels.

    In the Wall Street Journal, neocon Stuart Eizenstat urges Europe to do the same — cut off all Iranian access to settle trade accounts in euros.

    O’Bomba described Iran as the only non-proliferation treaty member which has failed to obtain a clean bill of health for its nuclear program. Of course, in front of an appreciative audience of Jewish organizations, O’Bomba refrained from mentioning that nuclear bully Israel is not even a signatory to the NPT.

    Make no mistake: the US economic siege of Iran is a de facto declaration of war. Israel and AIPAC are in the catbird seat of U.S. foreign policy, and the belligerent Netanyahu is coming to visit O’Bomba next week. Sweet — if you’re a neocon zionist warmonger world-wrecker. To normal people with a functioning conscience, it looks like the run-up to World War IV.

  2. skulz fontaine

    Holy crap, don’t try running the Mermaid’s Lament through the Google translator thingy. WTF??? What the hell is “You who showed beautiful and bulletproof ugly…”?
    Please Mantiq, have mercy on ‘we Arabic challenged’ honkies, okie-dokie? However, I did know this girl once that was guaranteed ‘bulletproof ugly’. Oh yeah.
    Ummm, Jim H.? WWIV? Wouldn’t we should have had a “WWIII?” Did I miss another memo?
    Hurry back Mantiq, we miss you.

  3. :)))

    I hope we meet some day 🙂

    It is very difficult to translate highly poetic texts like this one but I’ll do my best. And yes, Google Translate sucks!

    I highly recommend that you listen to the link Tayyur provided in the link – even if you do not understand Arabic.

    Here it comes:

    “O, You who unveil what is beautiful
    And hide what is ugly
    Who doesn’t blame us for our sins
    You never reveal what You have so kindly concealed of our flaws
    You graciously overlook our follies
    You are fairly forgiving
    You stretch Your hands with mercy
    You’re there in every secret prayer
    You’re the ultimate One we run to with distressed complaints
    You generously forgive us
    You greatly bestow blessings upon us
    And You do so even before we earn them
    O, God! O, Master! O, Lord!
    You are our uttermost longing…

    Forgive, veil our ugly sides, and have mercy on us, O God!”

  4. Skulz,

    I was mocking Norman Podhoretz’s book, ‘World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism’ (2007).

    Poddy says WW III ended with the fall of the Soviet Union. Your count may vary. 😉

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