Some interesting Egyptian verbal forms

The form فـِــعـِــلْ is an Egyptian form that denotes a subject who is an expert at doing the action.

For example, حـِــرِ كْ and رِ وِ شْ are purely Egyptian words that indicate expertise at their respective actions, namely maneuvering and dazzling.

The Egyptian dialect also changes existing forms.

The plot to destroy Egyptian identity

Try a little experiment: stand in the middle of any Cairene street and loudly call for Mohamed, in a tone that indicates familiarity and slight irritation. Chances are, a large portion of the male population will look to respond to you.

Now a harder experiment: obtain the student roster of Cairo University and in a randomly chosen class, count the number of names made up of combinations of Ahmed and Mohamed: a large percentage again. Look at the rest: mostly made up of combinations of first names.

Ripe material for a conspiracy theorist

Before me, on public TV, is unfolding live the fire of the Egyptian Parliament's building.

The Nile News channel is filming the building on fire. Here's what I learn:

10:30pm (Egypt time, GMT+3)

  • the fire started at 5:45pm.
  • it is now 10:30pm and the fire is still going strong inside the building.
  • the explanation for the rapid spread is that the strong wind and the wooden structure did it.

Louis Armstrong and the Sphinx

I was watching episode 9 of the excellent documentary "Jazz", by Ken Burns yesterday when I bumped into this shot. I immediately grabbed it from the screen. Louis Armstrong was indeed a worldwide ambassador of jazz.

PS. You can buy me the print from the New York Times store ;-)

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