Prince Philip leaves hospital in time for birthday
LONDON (AP) – Britain's Prince Philip has left hospital in time to celebrate his 91st birthday. The husband of Queen Elizabeth II thanked staff at London's King Edward VII Hospital Saturday after spending five days there for treatment for a bladder …
Prince Philip leaves hospitalAFP
Prince Philip leaves hospital after health scareABC Online
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In celebration of the birthday of the Yemeni photographer Raiman al-Hamdani on Tuesday, here are two of his photographs from his FLICKR site.
When most of us think of Hans Christian Andersen, we think of fairy tales. But here’s something rather different: an account of a visit by Andersen to Constantinople (Istanbul) and a descirption of celebrations of the Prophet’s birthday.
Google has a nice doodle today celebrating the 138th birthday of Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb of King Tut and other goodies.
I’m jumping in between a 12th birthday party for 6 12-year-old girls and a sleepover for 3 of them to add a brief comment on today’s news: a panel of judges has disqualified 10 of the candidates, including the Big Three of Khairat al-Shater, Hazem Abu Isma‘il, and ‘Omar Suleiman. They have 48 hours to appeal and all are doing so.
I’m guessing it ain’t over till it’s over, but it’s sure an entertaining campaign. I wouldn’t vote for any of the three, but I can’t vote; still I think this will provoke too broad a swath of the electorate.
Today is March 19. Exactly 191 years ago, at 9:30 in the evening in the British town of Torquay in Devon the future Sir Richard Francis Burton was born. Like his 2oth century acting namesake, Burton was a character for the ages. He reveled in adventure and eroticism, for which he was much reviled in public and no doubt admired in private. If any one word can be used to described the persona that Burton pursued it would be “swashbuckling” in life as in spirit. My point today is neither to praise this flamboyant quasi-Victorian Caesar nor bury him (his grave is indeed a monumental site to behold). May his dry bones rest in the kind of peace he never seems to have found in life.
Burton’s biographers are numerous, as befits someone who is remembered as larger than life. His prolific corpus is now almost entirely online in various formats, but the place to start is burtoniana.org. There is much to question and quibble about in Burton’s exploits. Was his surreptitious entry into Mecca, disguised as a pilgrim, a travesty of Islamic values? Did his fascination with erotica in an age of gentlemananged taboos overstep ethical bounds? Was he the bad kind of “Orientalist,” a discourse cum intercourse voyeur that warrants calling him “Dirty Dick”, as Edward Said does in Orientalism (p. 190)? Was he, perhaps, a bit mad in that ubiquitous England manner?
Whatever you might think of the man, it is probably because of what you have read about him rather than what he actually wrote. Regardless of what he is saying, it must be noted that he had an extraordinary capacity for learning languages. Below is a list of the languages and dialects he is said to have mastered to some extent:
English, French, Italian, Latin, Greek, Jataki dialect (he wrote a grammar), Hindustani, Marathi, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Pushtu, Sanskrit, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Icelandic, Swahili, Amharic, Fan, Egba, Ashanti, Hebrew, Aramaic, Many other West African & Indian dialects
I suspect he would get into Harvard, no matter what his SAT score.
Tomorrow, February 11, marks the birthday of May Ziadeh (Mai Ziade, etc.)(1886-1941), pioneering writer, feminist, and literary figure of the Arab literary awakening of the early 20th century. Born in Nazareth of a Lebanese Maronite father and a Palestinian mother, she was educated in Palestine and Lebanon and later presided over a famous literary salon in cairo, though Lebanon tends to claim her as its own. She wrote poetry, romantic novels, criticism, nonfiction and other works but is also known for her salon. She never married but kept up a famous 19-year literary correspondence with Khalil Gibran in New York, though they never met in person.
|Edward William Lane|
Tomorrow, September 17, marks Edward William Lane’s birthday yet again. This time it will be his 210th. As I’ve noted each year, I’m lucky enough as a fan of Egypt and Cairo to share a birthday with the author of The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, Lane’s Arabic=English Lexicon, a translation if the Arabian Nights, and more. (I am not, however, 210, though I will admit I’ll be playing one track by Lennon and McCartney from the Sergeant Pepper album more than usual.
One of the more famous sections of Manners and Customs is Lane’s description of the ghazawi (he spells it Ghazawee) or class of dancing girls whose immoral performances he describes in sufficient detail to suggest that, despite his distaste for their behavior, he studied them closely out of his devotion to anthropological knowledge, so I’ll celebrate with his image of their dance. Happy 210th, Ed:
Blogger Zeinobia at Egyptian Chronicles is always great for nostalgic Egyptian photos. Given everything else that has been happening she was a bit late with her 83rd Mubarak birthday post, but redeems any tardiness with this photo I’d never seen before:
Yes, it’s a very young Husni Mubarak. Here’s the trivia question: What else do you notice about the picture?
Look at the insignia on the hat. See the crown? Mubarak graduated from the Military Academy in 1949 and finished Air Force pilot training in 1950. He was in the service of King Farouq.
Husni Mubarak’s 83rd birthday is today, May 4. I’m guessing he won’t be partying hearty, though some of his supporters are urging that the detention order be lifted.
In an alternate universe — the one we lived in last year, I’d be writing the usual think piece about whether he’d run for a sixth term or run Gamal instead.
Instead, just a few days ago, the Egyptian Metro announced that the big Mubarak station, a Metro hub near the Ramses train station, was being renamed Martyrs’ Station. Happy Birthday, Mr. ex-President.