Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kuwaiti writer calls for killing of all Palestinians

Reading what Kuwaiti writer Abdalla Hadlak wrote in the Kuwaiti daily Alwatan on 5/27/007 http://www.alwatan.com.kw/Default.aspx?MgDid=505814&pageId=80 ( for Arabic text)on the Lebanese crises of Fatah-Islam, I thought I was reading a neo-Nazi manifesto that wants to murder and exterminate the entire Palestinian people!(see below for my English translation)

Borrowing a passage from the Quran Mr. Hadlak titled his rampage against the Palestinians “Fight/kill them and Allah shall torture them through your hands” .

Not only did the writer twisted and corrupted the Quranic verse to serve his twisted purposes but he did not leave a rock unturned without hurling insults and accusations against the entire Palestinian people calling for their mass murder and torture and their total destruction.

Much of Hadlak rampage does not make any sense however. His arguments were very incoherent and flat out false and lack any sense of historical accuracy or sound logic, and neither were supported by any facts. His facts are, in fact, were non-existence and more, his entire piece had nothing to do with Lebanon or the crises brewing there, but rather it was an anti-Palestinian murderous manifesto.

He for example claims that “The majority of the 30,000 Palestinian refugees in the Nahr el-bared camp are terrorists”

Every time Hadlak uttered the word “Palestinian” he made sure to precede it with several adjectives such as “terrorists, lowly, backstabbers, hateful, untrustworthy in order to drive home his point that the entire Palestinian people are the lowliest creatures on this earth and they deserve nothing but to be “killed” tortured” and “their heads chopped off”

He claims that the Palestinian refugees are traitors to the Lebanese government, and traits such treason, backstabbing are inherent in them and that the Lebanese government, according to him, provides food, shelter, safety, comfort, security and leisurely life style for those refugees.

Therefore and because of Palestinian “terrorism” he calls on the Lebanese army to “chase them down (the Palestinians) cut them down, kill them down, and chop their heads off”

“O’ heroic Lebanese army, attack the Palestinian terrorists who follow the orders of Baath and Persian terrorism ,chase them down, cut them down, be severe on them and teach them a lesson they shall not forget (Fight/kill them and Allah shall torture them through your hands, embarrassing them, rendering you victorious over them thus quenching the chests of the believers – the Quran)”

The truth is that the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in poverty stricken camps, squalid conditions of open sewers and no running water system and a Palestinian refugee cannot bring in a bag of cement to the camp to fix his home if it needs t be fixed. On top of that the Lebanese law forbids Palestinians to hold over 70 jobs and profession.

However, not only did the entire Lebanese political class as well as all of the mainline Palestinian organizations inside or outside the camp say that the Palestinians and the refugees had nothing to do with Fatah-Islam. This piece of crucial information was conspicuously absent and did not register in the blood thirsty and twisted mind of Mr. Hadlak.

I am surprised (or maybe I shouldn’t) that such writings are considered “mainstream” in the Kuwaiti press. And if may venture to say that I have not heard even the staunchest Israeli extremist racist had ever said such murderous words comparable to what Hadlak had to say. Moreover, what Hadlak said of the Palestinian people in his recent and older columns are worst than what Hitler and the Nazis had said of the Jews.

The level of rhetoric of Hadlak and other Kuwaiti extremists such as another Alwatan columnist Fuad Hashem, would make Hitler sounds more like mother Teresa.

We can discern the source of Hadlak’s extremist views if we substitute the word Lebanon with Kuwait in 1990 during the time of illegal Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Kuwaitis accuse the Palestinians of supporting Saddam’s army during the occupation of Kuwait in 1990/1991, however this is far from the truth.

I spoke with “Abu Ala’ of Chicago, a Palestinian-American who moved to Chicago after living in Kuwait for 29 and owned a sheet metal fabrication factory there prior to the Iraqi invasion. Abu Ala’ told me that the Iraqi occupation authorities asked the Palestinian in Kuwait to come out and demonstrate in support of Saddam Hussein. The Palestinians there refused to do so.

One small Iraqi-made Palestinian organization called “Arab liberation Front” did support Saddam forces there because they were for all intents and purposes an Iraqi organization.
This “Arab Liberation front” was an Iraqi funded group made to serve Iraqi propaganda which like other Arab regimes uses the Palestinian cause to legitimize their rule in the eyes of the Arab peoples.

Much of the looting and killing, according to Abu Ala’ who remained there during the occupation and news reports during that time were done by the rag tag Iraqi popular army. And some of the looting of Kuwaitis homes were done by other Kuwaitis who knew that their neighbors had fled the country.

The late Yasser Arafat the object of intense Kuwaiti hatred and smear campaign did not support the occupation of Kuwait; however he did not support an American intervention and war and called for an intra-Arab solution to the crises.
Kuwaitis could never forget this of course and they are holding the entire Palestinian people responsible for the occupation and the destruction and death occurred in their country.

After the liberation of Kuwait by the American forces in 1991, the Kuwaitis turned around and started killing off Palestinians residents randomly, raping Palestinian women, kidnapping small children, raping them and according to stories of survivors of that period those young children ended up as body parts to older Kuwaitis in need of body organs. Abu Ala’ told me of “Abdel Karim” a Palestinian who worked for him at his factory when he came to him distraught and disoriented telling that his 13 years old daughter had disappeared.

Abdel Karim searched for his daughter frantically and never found her.
Over 400,000 thousand Palestinians who lived in Kuwait were expelled in a mass exodus out of that country to live yet another exile in another country.
The Kuwaiti police, army and civilians did all those horrific things with complete sense of righteous vengeance. No international body investigated the Kuwaiti crimes of rape, murder and stealing and looting Palestinian homes and properties.

For Abu Ala’ the invading Iraqi army hauled off his sheet metal factory that had over $ 1.5 million worth of machinery to Iraq. He was left helpless and penniless and had to leave Kuwait fearing for his life soon after.

While the United Nations made reparation and compensation to Kuwait and Kuwaitis after the war, Abu Ala’ saw very little of that money, because his factory was under a Kuwaiti name because Kuwaiti law forbids non-Kuwaitis from owning anything, and properties had to be registered by a surrogate Kuwaiti citizen.

Kuwait which was one of the most progressive Arab countries that had embraced the Palestinians and their organizations and causes physically and financially has been transformed into a bastion of intense anti-Palestinian hatred and animosity and the most Pro-Israeli sentiments in the Arab world.

For Abu Ala’ the irony was that the UN reparation commission had compensated the Kuwaiti surrogate citizen for Abu Ala’s own factory. That Kuwaiti citizen was glad to keep the money Abu’ Ala’ had to work 29 years of his life in Kuwait to make!
Now a succsful Palestinian-American business man, Abu Ala’ traveled to Kuwait for the first time since he left in 1991 using his American passport, he told me that Kuwait has changed a lot. “It is no longer the country I knew for 29 years”

“We used to love Kuwait and yearn for those years we lived in there in peace. But this time around I found that the love for Kuwait is no more”
Abu Ala’ still does not know what happened to Abdel Karim’s daughter and probably no one will ever know.

Kuwaiti writer calls to kill all Palestinians-English Translation

Translated from Arabic text Alwatan newspaper published 5/27/2006 ( my translation)
http://www.alwatan.com.kw/Default.aspx?MgDid=505814&pageId=80 (for Arabic text)

By : Abdallah Hadlak

Is it Lebanon’s fate to keep suffering? Is it his fate to be afflicted by his ungrateful sons and the vindictiveness of those of whom it was generous to, helped, welcomed, sheltered, providing them safety after their fright, and were fed after their hunger, and sheltered after their wandering-life and their homelessness!

This is exactly what happened to Lebanon. After Allah had put out the hatred fire of the hatred Party which controls south of Lebanon and where it transformed the streets of Beirut into Hotels.

From the camps of those wandering refugees, a new terrorist organization appeared, naming itself “ Fatah-Islam” which is in reality “ Fatah-Satan” and its aims are to rebel against Lebanon the country that was generous to them (the Palestinians), and gave them shelter after their homelessness.

This is an organization that is supported by international terrorism twins, the Persian entity in Tehran, and the Baath party in Damascus and has strong connections with terrorists Al-Qaida and Hezbollah.

This “ Fatah-Satan” was born out of the womb of terrorism of Nahr el Bared near Tripoli in Northern Lebanon, has killed several members of the Lebanese Army.

This terrorist act reflects how vile, how treacherous, how lowly, and the betrayal and ungratefulness many Palestinians are known for.

The Lebanese Army however, responded to the terrorists and bombarded their positions inside the camp and arrested several of them who were involved in a bank robbery.

There are about 30,000 Palestinian refugee live in the Nahr el Bared refugee camp, most of them are terrorists who follow a terrorist group headed by Shaker Absi who was sentenced to death in Jordan for killing the American diplomat Laurence Foley in 2002.

Sabri Al-Banna “ Abu Nidal” headed another terrorist organization in the Jalil camp in Baalbek east of Lebanon. {This camp} was surrounded by the Lebanese army in September of 2002 after Abu Nidal terrorist group killed Lebanese soldiers in an operation similar to what’s happening now in the camp of Nahr el Bared for Palestinian terrorists refugees.

Iraqi intelligence agents killed the terrorist Abu Nidal in 2002, but not before he taught the Palestinian refugees the art of treachery, betrayal, treason, and lowliness and terrorism.
The clashes of Nahr el bared and Jalil camps were not he first. In August of 2002 the Lebanese army clashed with Palestinian terrorists in Ain Helweh which is the biggest camp for Palestinian refugee near Sidon in south Lebanon in a battle between two terrorist groups each one is follows a different war lord.

O’ Lebanese army, attack the Palestinian terrorists who follow the orders of Baath and Persian terrorism.

Chase them down, cut them down, be severe on them and teach them a lesson they shall not forget (Fight/kill them and Allah shall torture them through your hands, embarrassing them, rendering you victorious over them thus quenching the chests of the believers)
( The Quran)

Did these terrorists in the refugee camps forget what happened to people like them in Black September in Amman at the hands of King Hussein, may Allah’s mercy be on him. When the tanks of the just Jordanian army rolled over, smashed, and flattened the bodies of the Palestinian terrorist in the refugee camps. Those who tried to rebel, to commit treachery, and ungratefulness, the swords of the “ Hajaj” however, were their to meet them, and it exterminated them, it eradicated them, and chopped their terrorist heads off which was due to be chopped off anyway.

The organization of Fatah-Satan includes many Syrian terrorists and it belongs to the Syrian security organs, and was planning to conduct major operations on Lebanese soil.

Those clashes however are considered the heaviest since the Lebanese civil war 1975-1990.
Those are the Palestinians whom wherever they go, terrorism, corruption, unrest, sedition goes with them, and wherever they are, treason, hatred, and ungratefulness stays with them.

There is a relationship however between the violence in the Nahr el bared and the latest movements of the Security Council that aims to convene an international tribunal to try those involved in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Deciphering MEMRI'S spin

After the story of MEMRI translation unfolded and it was found out that MEMRI’s translation were erroneous, a bigger story in my opinion should have been addressed.

It is a story initself of how the US media jumped on MEMRI's version of “truth” like a predator leaping on its prey without double-checking the facts and verify the translation.
One thing should have raised a red flag was that MEMRI is an Israeli organization headed and founded by former IDF and Mossad officers. That alone should have put question mark in the mind of any objective journalist.
Another sub-story is why no major media outlet is willing to address such outright forgery and blunder on part of MEMRI.

Brian Whitaker columnist for the British newspaper the Guardian wrote a column on the story and how language could easily be twisted or misunderstood and thus changing the whole dynamics of events.

Mr. Whitaker column generated so many responses some of which were very insightful, and in here I will try to address some of the questions raised.

But why, I wonder, the US media rushed to cover a story about clumsy-made children show that supposedly a young girl said on it “we want to annihilate the Jews” but the same media never cover or even mention the avalanche of racism and hatred emitting from the Israeli press and government officials that treat Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians as little better than insects!

And why MEMRI, one ought to ask, don’t translate any of virulent comments made in Hebrew that call to kill and annihilate all the Arabs and were made by some of Israeli’s extremist Rabbis.
You see, the US media covered the story with a sense of shock in essences saying “how dare those savage Palestinians teach their children a thing or two about the occupation and resistance to it, children should live in a happy world of their own”

I agree with the notion that children should be shielded from those things, but that requires for a society to be stable and normal. The Palestinian society is anything but stable and normal. Thanks to Israel’s long and brutal occupation that traumatized the adults and the children alike.

I wonder if the media was actually expecting a Palestinian children show, in a society extensively brutalized by the Israelis to teach the children to throw flowers at the Israelis, or teach them to be submissive and accepting to a country that has taken away their land and homes! This of course, from an occupied Palestinian point of view is unthinkable. That’s why we hear the children on the show say stuff like “resist” I’ll be a martyr” and comments as innocent as “I want to draw a picture” (of course MEMRI never translated that)

Responding to Whitaker’s column, one reader asked if the girl on the phone could possibly have said “ Ihna Bidna xxxxx elyahood” ( We want…………….. the Jews) of course girl never said that at all, her words came out very clearly “ Bitookhoona elyahood” ( The Jews are shooting us)

But looking at this assumption with forensic linguistics in mind, we might uncover MIMRI’S linguistic deception

But even if we suppose the girl said “ Ihna bidna…… Elyahood) which again is only a supposition and for the sake of argument, still, that does not amount to “ we want to annihilate the Jews” But this supposition should offer us a clue as to why MEMRI went as far as falsely claiming that the girl had actually said “ We want to annihilate the Jews”

For MIMIRI, it looks like that they imagined that the girl said “ Ihna Bidna….elyahood” and then on this faulty assumption they built their whole story which is very sneaky to say the least.

Key to this clue is the word “ Bidna” which means, “ We want” But it could also mean a past tense of the word “ Ibada” (annihilation or extermination) which is a stretch and highly unlikely because such word is not in the common usage, and still does not make any sense because according to MEMRI’s translation the girl would have to express those words in the future tense and not in the past tense. Something like: (Ihna bidna Nubid Elyahood) “ Nubid is future tense of the word “ “Ibada” but there is no word NUBID at all anywhere.

The other thing that shows how sneaky MEMRI’s translation is their translation of the word “ Bidna” twice in the same sentence, once as “ we want” and the second as “ annihilate” even though “ Bidna” is past tense, supposing it was used, still MIMIRI made it a future tense.

So not only MEMRI invented those words but also translated one word twice to mean two different things in one sentence. I mean the girl who I think is about 3-4 years old has to have a college degree in classical Arabic literature to be able to utter such words with such organization and sophistication.

The word “Bidna” is originally two parts, the letter B is used to indicate present tense in the popular and slang usage of Arabic such as the words “ B-akul” I eat, B-amshi” I walk.
The letter B came from the word “ Budda” which means “ will” as in the will to do something after dropping the rest of word which is a common practice of slang usage of Arabic.
We thus arrive to the word “B-Tokhona”, they are shooting us, by adding the letter B to indicate present tense to the verb of “Tokh” shoot undermining the entire MIMIRI’S argument and translation.

( Thanks to Abdel Hamid for his advice on this column)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More on MEMRI'S forgery

Here is an update on MEMRI’S flawed translation of Aqsa TV children show. In here I include more analysis on MEMRI’S manipulative choice of English words as well as full comparative translation text of the entire clip in Arabic and MEMRI’S English and the correct English Translation.

One major point included in the transcript (Thanks Hamza) is couple of words uttered by “Sanable” the girl on the phone which were left out by MEMRI, but included in here.
MEMRI left out the words (I want to draw a picture) said by the girl on the phone.

I did not conclude, after watching more clips of the show on Al-Aqsa TV, provided by MIMRI, that Farfoor was pretending to be Mickey Mouse, the Disney character, a point emphasized over and over by Israeli spokesman and MEMRI and was the point in some TV stories in the US media.
Farfoor ( a play-word that comes from the Arabic word “ Far” which means mouse) was simply wearing a Mouse costume in Tuxedo outfit.

The clip provided by MEMRI looked disjointed and without contextual continuity and integrity which lead me to think that there was some cherry-picking by MEMRI in piecing together selective clips that will provide a proof or evidence to a certain argument or stereotype. In so doing we are left to rely on MEMRI’s version of the story without having access to the original video in its entirety and contextual continuity and integrity.

This is problematic especially when translating/interpreting words from one language to another without the benefit of considering other factors that will make or doom any work of interpretation.
Since translation is not simply transferring words from language A to language B, it also involves advanced knowledge of the culture, religious references, historical past and political history.

Take for example the Lebanese opposition leader Walid Jumblaat when he was giving a speech in Beirut, on Feb 14th, of last year. The anniversary was of Lebanese PM Harriri Assassination and was carried live by CNN.
Jumblaat was giving a fiery speech against the Syrian president Bashar Asad, calling him among other names that he was from the “Hashasheen”.

The word Hashasheen is Arabic plural for people who use Hashish, a drug. But was Jumblaat calling Asad a drug addict or a drug user!

Of course the word “Hashasheen” was translated at CNN as “Assassins” for any other translation would have rendered the whole sentence wrong in meaning and in context, and even perhaps drawing protest from Jumblaat himself for misinterpreting him.

The reason for this choice was because the English word “Assassin” is of Arabic origin and came from the word “Hashasheen” “Hashasheen was a Shia organization headed by “Hasan Sabah” in the 12th century in northern Iran and spread terror and “assassination” against Muslim state officials throughout the Muslim world. The assassin normally used Hashish before his mission perhaps knowing that this would also mean his death as well.

Moreover, the Lebanese leader Jumblaat is an avid reader, an intellectual and has a degree in history so I am assuming that he was knowledgeable of this kind of historical data. Hence, I suppose, his reference to Asad as “Hashasheen” and on top of all that the anniversary was the “Assassination” of former Lebanese PM Hariri. So the word fits in nicely in meaning and in context.

Therefore there was no way that Jumblaat was calling Aasad a drug user or a crack head! Even thought that’s what it literally means! 

Based on what I have seen from MEMRI so far, they simply cannot claim to be professional or accurate in their translation of Arabic for they are not only non-native speakers who are educated in the ins and outs of the Arabic culture and history, but also treat the work of translation as a fishing expedition.

Though I am not making the argument here that only native speakers of Arabic can do translation work of Arabic, but it helps that the translator is native, an educated and expert in different aspects of the culture of that language.

Manipulation of words and interpreting them for self serving purposes is another aspect I uncovered when comparing Arabic words as they were uttered by speakers and their English translation and interpretation by MEMRI.

For example Yegal Carmon head of MEMRI said on Glen Beck’s show when commenting on the young caller on the phone “Sanable” saying “I’ll be a myrtar” by saying that “we know that this means “suicide bombing” This of course couldn’t be further from the truth. And note (see my previous piece for the transcripts) how MEMRI injected the word “Commit” with the word “Martyrdom” as in drawing a psychological association with the phrase “Suicide bombing” where Hamas and other Islamists call it “Martyrdom operation”

In MEMRI’S interpretations and state of mind, any reference to ‘Martyrdom” is “committing suicide bombing” a deliberate ignorance or deliberate manipulation.

The fact is that when the young caller said “I’ll be a martyr” she is not saying “I am committing” but rather “I am defending” the key word here is here is “defense” and the reason for that is simple “I’ll be a martyr” as in to die for my country, because from a cultural and Islamic religious point of view and law, to be a martyr, one has to die in Defense of his family, property, religion and country. Adding or omitting the word “commit” would put the phrase in an entirely different light.

The work of the interpreter is to get as close and as accurate to the original word in its native utterance as meant by the speaker; not to spin it to suit the interpreter or translator motives.

Also the whole story revolved around a key phrase which was “ we want to annihilate. The Jews”

As I pointed out previously that such phrase was never uttered in the segment posted on MEMRI’S website. But the words “annihilate the Jews” carries with them a huge psychological and horrific meaning especially in the western or European collective psyche for the horrors committed by the Nazis against the Jews and others in Europe.

In fact I have yet to hear any Arabic speaker say the Arabic sort-of equivalent of the word “Annihilate” because it is not part of the political discourse or even in the terrorist or extremist terminology. And after asking some Arab journalists colleagues with over 30 years of experience in the Arabic press, they too said that they never heard any speech or written statement that refers to "finish" of or “annihilate the Jews” Because it does not exist.The only Arabic word I can think of that is close to the word annihilate is ( Ibada) which is normally used with insects as in “ insecticide” ( Mubid Hashari)

MEMRI Clip No. 1442

A Mickey Mouse Character on Hamas TV Teaches Children about Islamic Rule of the World



Black text: Arabic Transcript.
Blue text: Arabic transcript written in English alphabet.
Green text: My English translation.
Red text: MEMRI’s English translation.
Highlighted red text: Wrong MEMRI English translation.

سراء: سنابل، إنتي شو حتعملي .. يعني .. من أجل الأقصى؟ شو حتفدي .. يعني روحك من أجل الأقصى؟ شو حتعملي؟
Sarraa’: Sanabel, enti shoo hate’mali ... ya’ni ... min ajl el-Aqsa? Shoo hatefdi ... ya’ni roohek min ajl el-Aqsa? Shoo hate’mali?
Sarraa’: Sanabel, what are you going to do ... like ... for the sake of Al Aqsa? What are you going to sacrifice ... like your soul for the sake of Al-Aqsa? What are you going to do?
MEMRI: Sanabel, what will you do for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque? How will you sacrifice your soul for the sake of Al-Aqsa? What will you do?

فرفور: حطـُـخ.
Farfour: Hatokh.
Farfour: I will shoot.

سنابل: بدي أرسم صورة.
Sanabel: B’di arsem soora.
Sanabel: I’m going to draw a picture.
MEMRI: I will shoot

فرفور: إيش حنعمل يعني كيف إحنا بدنا يا سنابل إنحرر ..
Farfour: Aish hane’mal ya’ni kaif ehna bedna ya sanabel enharrer ...
Farfour: What are we going to do ... Sanabel, like how are we going to liberate ...
MEMRI: Sanabel, what should we do if we want to liberate...

سنابل: بدنا انقاوم.
Sanabel: Bedna enqawem.
Sanabel: We are going to resist.
MEMRI: We want to fight.

فرفور: و بعدين؟ هادي حفظناها و بعدين؟
Farfour: Wo ba’dain? Hadi hfeznaha, wo ba’dain?
Farfour: Then what? We already know this one, then what?
MEMRI: We got that. What else?

سراء: إحنا بدنا..
Sarraa’: Ehna bedna …
Sarraa’: We are going to …
MEMRI: We want to...

سنابل: بطخّونا اليهود.
Sanabel: Betokhoona el yahood.
Sanabel: The Jews will shoot us.
MEMRI: We will annihilate the Jews.

سراء: إحنا بدنا اندافع عن الأقصى بأرواحنا و بدمائنا، ولاّ لأ يا سنابل؟

Sarraa’: Ehna bedna endafe’ an el-Aqsa b arwa7na wo b dema2na, wella la’ ya Sanabel?
Sarraa’: We are going to defend Al-Aqsa with our souls and blood, or are we not Sanabel?
MEMRI: We are defending Al-Aqsa with our souls and our blood, aren't we, Sanabel?

سنابل (صوت غير واضح): بدي استشهد
( أو - سنابل: باستشهد )
( أو - سنابل: بنستشهد )
Sanabel (audio not clear): Bdi astash-hed.
( Or – Sanabel: Bastash-hed )
( Or – Sanabel: Bnastash-hed )
Sanabel (audio not clear): I’m going to become a martyr. [Literally: I want to become a martyr]
( Or – Sanabel: I’ll become a martyr )
( Or – Sanabel: We’ll become martyrs )
MEMRI: I will commit martyrdom.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

How MEMRI fooled the U.S Media with its Mickey Mouse Translation

How easy was it for MEMRI to fool so many of the US media outlets with its translation of a children program on Hamas TV, where a child was supposedly have said the words “ we will annihilate the Jews”
It was very easy!
The controversy was fueled further when CNN decided to yank the video off the air because of major translation errors on part of MEMRI.

First let me just say that I reviewed the Arabic version of the MEMERI clip which looked discontinuous and disjointed because the context of the conversation in the show did not seem to be coherent. However, at the bottom of this page you will find my corrections of MEMERI translation errors.

The inflammatory words MEMRI blasted the US media with were when the young caller “Sanable” was supposed to have said “we will annihilate the Jews” were not even mentioned by the caller or by anyone else in that clip.

“Sanable actually said “The Jews are shooting us” which is entirely different word and different meaning and which makes me wonder as to where in the world the words “we will annihilate the Jews come from”

Was MEMRI actually playing verbal gymnastics? Yes indeed.
The issue here is not simply some error in the translation of this word or that, but actually making new words up and putting them in the mouth of that child to show defamatory evidence against the Palestinians.

MEMERI which stands for Middle East Media Research Institute was established by former Israeli intelligence agents, the Mossad, to police Arabic media for any evidence of anti-Israeli rhetoric.

Yegal… head of MEMRI was interviewed on CNN’S Glen Beck on his radio show and assured Beck that he stands by his translation and blasted CNN’s Arabic desk and Octavia Nasr head of the desk for uncovering the forgery by claiming that CNN’s Arabic desk do not know Arabic and they are “ hiding” while he is on the other hand out there ready and willing to debate and challenge anyone for his version of the translation.

In my professional opinion, MEMRI’s “translation” is not credible and flat out forgery.

Translation is not simply transferring words from language A to language B, it involves however much more than that. It involves advanced knowledge of the culture, religious references, historical past and political history and knowledge of the subtleties of the language and its usage in different situations by different people.

Here is MEMRI’s transcripts and my corrections are in black letters.

Host Saraa, a young girl: Sanabel, what will you do for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque? How will you sacrifice your soul for the sake of Al-Aqsa? What will you do?

Sanabel, young girl on phone: I will shoot.

( It is rather Mickey’s character speaking the words and hand gestures “ I will shoot” Not Sanable the young girl on the phone)

Farfour, a Mickey Mouse character in a tuxedo: Sanabel, what should we do if we want to liberate...

Sanable: We want to fight. (The word used was we want to resist, not to fight the reference here is to resist the Israeli occupation.

Farfour: We got that. What else?

Saraa: We want to...

Sanabel: We will annihilate the Jews. Actually she is saying: (the Jews are shooting us)

Saraa:We are defending Al-Aqsa with our souls and our blood, aren't we, Sanabel?

Sanabel: I will commit martyrdom.

Sanabel actually said “ I’ll be a martyr” ( as in to die for my country, and the reason for that because from a cultural and Islamic religious point of view and law, to be a martyr, one has to have died defending his family, property, religion and country,although the child does not all of this, however the usage of the Arabic version of the word Martyr, carries in it those references. and not to “ commit” the word used in MEMRI translation to indicate action and/or planning. This point was elaborated further by YegaL head of MEMRI on Beck’s show by saying that the child meant “ committing suicide bombing”

Farfour: We've said more than once that becoming masters of the world requires the following: First, to be happy with our Arabic language, which once upon a time ruled this world. (Excellency in the world, not Mastery of the world two totally different meanings)

Saraa: Of course.

Farfour: Second... or maybe that's it?

Adult host: Farfour, I heard you talking in English.

Farfour: Yes. How are you, Saraa? I hope to be good time.

Saraa: What's with you, Farfour? Why are talking this way? Didn't we agree to talk in literary Arabic? (Standard Arabic not literary Arabic)

Farfour: But Saraa, this is the language of the advanced world, the language of the world that understands and invents things, isn't it?

Saraa: No, Farfour, you are wrong, because you don't know that the Muslims are the basis of civilization. If not for the Muslims, the world wouldn't have got to where it is today.

Farfour: My dear youngsters, we're back. We always miss seeing you on your weekly program "The Pioneers of Tomorrow," in which we are placing together the cornerstone for the ruling of the world by an Islamic leadership.

In the distant past the Islamic empire was a world power so the allusion was to a world where Muslims were a powerful and advanced nation, hence the references to Arabic language, the advanced western world,excellency in standard Arabic language, Islamic civilization. So clearly the context here was more educational to the children to instill a sense of pride of one’s culture and glorious history. And despite references for “resisting” the occupation, and “ I’ll die for my country, which in my opinion do not find highly unusual for an occupied and traumatized society such as the Palestinian society.Although it sounds here that Farfour is vowing for Islamic leadership of the world, but he actually was referring to a glorious Islamic past when Arabic was a universal language of medicine,philosophy and sciences.
One cannot be objective and say that this show is a representative of the Palestinian society any more than any right wing televangelist American who calls for “dropping a nuclear bomb on the state department or calling for the assassination of a president of another country and say that such outrageous statements are representative of the American people or culture

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Palestinian American columnist wins SPJ Journalism Award

Ray Hanania, a columnist for several U.S. and Middle East-based newspapers, was awarded the prestigious Peter Lisagor Award for Column Writing in the Community Newspaper category last week by the Society of Professional Journalists/Chicago Headline Club.

Hanania, who began writing his column in May 2004, was honored for three columns published last year titled: "Thanksgiving Tabouli Wars Is Now Served," "Graduates Who Defy Stereotypes" and "Reavis Reunion Creeps Up Like Receding Hair."

Named as runner-up finalists were Thomas Mucha of Crains Chicago Business Magazine for his "Small Talk" columns and Joseph Aaron of the Chicago Jewish News for "Talking and Listening," "Real Jewish People" and "Jews and Darfur."

The column titled "Graduates Who Defy Stereotypes" was about the 2006 all-girls graduating class of the Aqsa School in Bridgeview in suburban Chicago and how the news media ignores positive events in the Arab community and always focuses on negative issues. The column ran not only in the Southwest News-Herald, where Hanania is a staff political columnist, but also in several Arab American and Arab World newspapers including the Arab American News in Dearborn, the Arab News in Saudi Arabia, al-Mustaqbal in Chicago and in other community newspapers.

The Lisagor Awards are a highly competitive and prestigious journalism achievement representing journalists from community and daily newspapers, radio and TV media throughout Illinois.

In awarding the prize, the judges wrote: "Writing a regular column is a lot harder than it looks. General interest columnists have to be ready to show themselves and share their inner thoughts and beliefs with their readers -- something most of us were trained not to do in the course of our other job as fair and ideally objective reporters of facts. Ray Hanania's columns illustrate how the best of us are able to accomplish that, taking the random and (globally) inconsequential activities of daily life and crafting them into a deceptively simple sounding monologue that touches people with the familiarity of the experiences while shedding light on the serious and significant concerns of the larger world. Mr. Hanania manages that slight-of-hand with both wit and grace, and most difficult of all, a dash of humor that lightens outrage and makes it palatable, causing the reader to think about the greater issues roiling beneath the surface without compelling th em in any obvious way to challenge their assumptions. Instead they think about the world in ways they might have resisted if they were simply being bashed over the head with passionate and reasoned argument."

This is Hanania’s 3rd Chicago Headline Club/SPJ Award. He previously won Lisagor awards in 1984/85 and 2002/03 for column writing. Last year, Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" in a national contest hosted by the New America Media Association.

Hanania began his journalism career in 1976 writing for community newspapers and later for the Chicago Sun-Times. He covered Chicago City Hall from 1977 until 1992, and was also a weekend talk show host on WLS AM Radio. He is the author of eight books. He is a board member of the National Arab American Journalists Association (www.NAAJA-US.com).

The presentations were made at the Chicago Headline Club's 30th annual awards banquet at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in Chicago.

The awards are named for Peter Lisagor, late Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Daily News. Reporters and editors from SPJ chapters in South Florida (Miami), Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Houston, Inland California and Western Washington (Seattle) reviewed more than 700 entries published or broadcast in 2006.
Plaques were presented for 65 reports, chosen for such attributes as enterprise, accuracy, scope, style and impact.