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The painfully long intervals between momentums will need to be filled with thinking, reading, writing, and gatherings, geared towards slowly building up the community. Because when the momentum arrives unannounced, there will be no time to finish reading a book or stay seated to the end of a theatre play.
The manipulation of identity will be another obstacle thrown by the Arab skeptics, particularly in official capacities, as well as their supporters, who might insinuate that something coming out of a western city is not as authentic as an Arab or Muslim one — despite the political currency emerging from an Arab body. The identity neurosis underpins the same mentality that accepts being vomited upon by Gulf capital that turns the thriving Arab cultural realm into vast wastelands simply because, as one of the superficial subtexts hold, the finance is coming from a Muslim country, and therefore something must be going right.
As if the insertion of an air-conditioned sleek mosque in a mega mall rights the wrongs of the eviction of local communities, destruction of age-old mosques, and state appropriation of their lands under the flimsiest of pretexts to build that mall. Progress does not come off the back of cement trucks.
The shredding of a political value system in the Arab world is why Arab Berlin exists in the first place. In any case, the bridgehead cities partially address this identity concern by repelling the superficial charges that will potentially unfold in the future. We live in an era that is mostly nameless, faceless, and spiritless — compounded by the very neoliberal forces that strip people stark naked before the monster of mutant capitalism.
This monster knows no vision, no direction, no narrative, no meaning, no choreography, and no conclusion. This beast of anti-politics has, not surprisingly, been eagerly adopted by liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes alike. Undoubtedly, much worse for the latter as the deliberate weakening of political pluralism, civil society, institutions, and freedom of speech, incapacitates the ability to hold back the deluge of socio-economic dehumanization.
This is a crisis without the shrill dramatics of a crisis because it is quiet, smooth, seamless, and well internalized. But as with any crisis, only by naming it and giving it shape can we attempt to limit the formless threats that have yet to come. A city that feeds on its nerves? Specifically, he disdained Arabs selecting European customs for no other reason but simply because they are European 33 a phenomenon that still protrudes its long arm into the post-colonial era.
This endeavor to breathe new life into Ruh al-Asr could have been better facilitated had Germany, or Berlin specifically, still had a strong altruistic Zeitgeist — a term which has regrettably been reduced, in a best-case scenario, to fashion trends and fads, and, worst-case, the purview of the far-right. I say this because a compelling Zeitgeist could ideally provide a backdrop and soundboard to its Arabic counterpart. With Berlin at the epicenter of the Cold War, Germans could identify themselves, or sympathize, with ideological markers — Marxist, anti-Soviet, pro-US — that may have clarified where they stood regarding political matters.
A Zeitgeist came in various incarnations. For example, in the s, the left-wing Red Army Faction Baader Meinhof terrorist group could, despite the violence they inflicted, draw sympathy from large sections of West German society, particularly the intellectual and student scene. But Zeitgeist could also propel the same strata of Germans into supporting peaceful measures like the anti-nuclear protests and environmentalism of the s. A city that feeds on its nerves, a town that has learned to live in isolation, to flourish under tension.
In spite of Detente, still a frontier post, living in some sense from day to day. Truly a phenomenon of our times and a lesson for our generation.
A one-off massive demonstration against neo-Nazis is not a sustained political spirit as much as it is a political culture reactive against Nazi encroachment. The latter, however, should not be trivialized, as such a massive protest and discourse still puts Berlin ahead of the western pack who still struggle to build up a meaningful response to the wave of xenophobia and an angry far-right. Big ideas have generally receded since the reunification of Germany, a matter that can be glimpsed in the current clinical management style of Merkel. This shows how far the country has come since, for example, the dynamic leadership of Willy Brandt West German chancellor, In fairness, leaders generally respond to the international environment of their times and frame their actions accordingly.
But they do set the tone for public thinking. Ask a German with non-immigrant roots in Berlin as to what inspires or moves Germans today, and you will be surprised not at the answer, but how long it takes to get an answer. As if the question is something that has not crossed their minds before. Understandably, the hesitancy seems to be governed by historical wariness of Germans being inspired in murky directions. But it is also because many will sincerely confess that individual self-interest has assumed the helm.
When a worthy response does come out, it is usually akin to battling climate change or helping refugees.
Consequently, the inability to mould a coherent and compellingly humane narrative has partly thrown Zeitgeist to the mercy of a resurgent far-right. At times you do see flickers of a beautiful human spirit. Yet, this revived altruistic Zeitgeist barely lasted six months, it was ripped apart in the early hours of the new year in Cologne by drunk refugees who reportedly attacked German women. This, however, raises the hindsight point: there is something very problematic about a Zeitgeist and ideals that welcomes the refugee only to easily dismantle the whole endeavor upon being tested by one, albeit serious, incident.
Even if Arabs were to somehow reanimate Ruh al-Asr, they will still feel intellectually orphaned in a Europe that has lost its political imagination. Nevertheless, rather than being spectators, the Arab exile body needs to envision itself collectively engaged with the forces that are holding back the far-right tide. Together, they aid in reviving, however modestly, the better nature of the German imagination, contribute to battling the global depletion of political thought, and push out parallel democratic narratives against the germination of Arab authoritarian ones.
But before all this, it needs to be ultimately asked: What is our Ruh al-Asr? There is no easy response. In the revolutionary honeymoon days of and , this could have effortlessly been answered heterogeneously, but today, it is wanting. It certainly is not to accept the continued drive towards entrenched repression in the Arab world. To engage with the question, it would need to go deeper, way beyond discussions of solutions to the Palestinian problem or Egyptian authoritarianism.
It needs thinking at the existential level of our moral quagmire. Not only are our publics duped into cheering massacres or muted over the killing of a journalist in a consulate. The normalization of their lives toward biological and work processes also robs them of any higher attainment of the common good. We thus need to go back to basics and redefine every single word that permeate the lives among us: citizen, city, state, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Sunni, Shiite, exile, justice, happiness, education, Inshallah, and so on. To also ask, why do they matter?
To understand what constitutes the better parts of our Ruh al-Asr is to delineate a new way of framing the world. Rather than a prescription for an Arab utopian future, it is better to consider present realities to build a new manual of thought, drawn from the lived veracities of the Arab world along with the experience of displacement, migration, movement, exile, alienation and settlement in Berlin into the narrative. But it adds one key question — where to next? The grey blur that nauseatingly blankets the future can actually be broken up.
Facing similar transcendental questions of his time, al-Bustani struggled to make sense of the Arab future in the shadow of colonialism. Therefore, the minds of many people, too, are not clear. Even strangers Europeans are in the dark, like the natives. This state of affairs shows that the country is suffering under the burden of a cultural situation whose values are in an uncertain state of transition. Al-Bustani faced a different moment of truth in which he wondered and wandered, as to what will eventually come out of this confusion for his fellow Arabs. For God knows what tomorrow brings, but the journey will draw from and humanize the symbolic capital that was born in , as well as to reinvigorate it in novel ways that opens up new pathways.
The galvanizing moments of was when desire and the imagination were given free reign until they were torpedoed by blood, remorse, despair, and exhaustion. More than ever, what is needed is to judiciously rekindle desire and imagination but, this time, to reign it in with knowledge and discipline. We need to produce new personalities and thinkers who will further aid in tapping into the curiosity, relentlessness, inventiveness, and ingenuity of a heartbroken community; to adopt emerging texts as guides, imbibe philosophical thinking into the heart of upcoming ventures, and to produce books worthy of inheritance to the generations yet to arrive; and we need to encourage not only the learning of the German language and refining our approach to the Arabic language, but to be constantly conscious that political thinking is inescapably structured by the words we use and evade, and therefore a revitalized vocabulary is needed to question and discuss the taxonomies of power.
But above all, we need to come to terms with our mortality that humbles us into the awareness that our milestones are heirlooms of past struggles, and the fruits of our efforts might only sprout beyond our lifetime. One is not expected to do everything, but nor should one relinquish their responsibility to do something worthwhile for others. The surge of different rhythms harmoniously complementing the other will reveal larger than life meanings, sounding off a special melody that will be worth listening to.
The discussion will explore sociological-philosophical approaches to engendering civic education in the Arab public sphere. With a substantial focus on the contemporary period. As usual, I always welcome non-enrolled students to attend the sessions. In many respects, this was an encouraging development in places like Egypt, where libraries and access to b ooks were rare or difficult to for the public. However, it came at a price.
In , British psychologist David Lewis coined the term Information Fatigue Syndrome IFS after noticing that workers who dealt with vast quantities of information were suffering from a weakening of their analytic capacity, attention deficits, inability to bear responsibility and traits of depression. It was unimaginable that this rare condition at the time would eventually engulf, in various degrees, the entire world. With the inundation of information, boiling matters down to their essence has become an arduous task. It sheds no light into the dark. The more information is set free, the more confusing and ghostly the world becomes.
After a certain point, information ceases to be informative. It becomes deformative. Simply having more information and communication does not shed light on the world. Nor does transparency mean clairvoyance. The German theorist Carl Schmitt celebrated the earth for its solidity which enabled clear demarcations and distinctions in which character is formed. The smooth open spaces of the digital medium are without end, but a better appreciation of the world of shadows with its nooks, corners, crannies, and alleys that not only filter and impede the information pollution and trolls, but allows slowness, reflection, and mediation processes back into the thinking fold and the realm of authenticity.
Skip to content It was an intense but rewarding conference of experts from around the Mediterranean at the annual EuroMeSCo conference in Barcelona, 18 and 19 June You want it all. You want nothing, You want to brandish authority without legitimacy, Elections without accountability, Sing the merits of citizenship without citizens, Praise civil society without the civil or society, Boast of human rights without humans with rights, Demand efficiency without transparency, Hope for a professional press without its freedom, Desire a robust judiciary without integrity, Can one attain happiness without justice?
You summon gender equality without women, You want to enforce religion without the divine reckoning, You want to build mosques without a soul, Churches without a voice, You are all ambition without humility, You are malls without public seats, malls without alternatives. The speculative future without the touchable present, You want the reap without the sow, You want the glory of history without its lessons, You want the glory of history without its preservation, You want the glory of history without its inevitable equaliser — mortality.
You want the west without the east, the east without the rest. Your world is a world of glistening buildings, solid bridges, and long highways, but no people.
You see no people, you hear no people, you know no people. The pre ghost still haunts the Arab community that settles in Berlin The newcomers to Berlin were thrown under the weight of newfound political obligations to their countries of origin.
Now if you, reader, would ask me What I think of all these triumphs I would answer, giving honour to the truth, That I would like to be the one who had the number forty for himself. Giovanbattista Spighi, sung and performed [reciati, accompanied? On the nature of the Tuscan vulgar.
Benedetto Varchi was born in Montevarchi in Tuscany. Subsequently he belonged to the Florentine Academy dealing with linguistics, literary criticism, aesthetics and philosophy, but also with alchemy and botany. He wrote the essay L'Hercolano published posthumous in , the comedy La Suocera The Mother-in-law and a lot of sonnets. Success was immediate, thanks above all to the fact that it was the first book dealing with linguistics not written in Latin.
Discussing whether the Greek language was richer than our vulgar [i. Rustic Plays. Contrary to cultured authors who wrote poems, histories and classical style comedies, the popular artists gave outlet to their inclinations, composing strambotto, elegies and rustic comedies, and themselves acted their works in the squares, for the fun of the least refined public. The rustic plays tell the histories of common people, of peasants, who face great and small daily problems. Among the most important compositions of the kind we remember La Catrina ca.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, called the Younger, to distinguish him from the very famous man of the same name, of whiom he was a descendant, lived in Florence between and From his language taste, that he had the opportunity to sharpen really in his experience as a member of the Crusca, was born La Tancia , a rustic comedy in octave rhymed verse presented in Florence in In the Fifth Scene of Act Five, the rude Ciapino tells a dream in which he and a friend of his were struck.
Storditi ci rizzammo, e barcolloni, Chiamando ajuto, e non sentiva gnuno: E attendea pure a trionfar bastoni. We rose again senseless and tottering, Calling for help, and nobody heard us: And a lso expected the staves to triumph to incur a grave beating We raced narrowly one by one, Because we there were between two embankments. These are the verses that open Scene Two of Act Two of Assetta , where the author resorts to an analogy with a game of cards to describe a situation that he had encountered. Che giova aver le carte buone e belle, Se la peggior che sia in tu le carte Ammazza il Re, Cavagli, e fantinelle?
Ora bisogna far un cuor da Marte, E giocarla di testa, e a ragione, E porci tutto il ceravello e l'arte. There is no doubt, I hold some good ones, But one card can make me lose the game, And I want to risk while walking the floor softly. The writing is already done, and it is not a little thing, But what is important is to give the rottenness achieve satisfaction , Ulivetta is the one who inflames the fire.
What good is it to have good and beautiful cards If the worst that you have Kills your King, Knights and Pages?
What is needed now is to have a heart of Mars, And to play with one's head and with reason And use one's whole brain and the art. Three literates of the XVII century. The Jesuit Giambattista Roberti Bassano del Grappa, was occupied with letters, theatre and science. A versatile character in all senses. In Parma, at the College of the Nobles, he taught Rhetoric and had the position of Academician, also finding himself placed in charge of the organization of theatrical presentations, which constituted an important component in the educational method of the Jesuit colleges.
Mark posing for us with lake Trasimeno in the background. Our destination Assisi in on the other side, already in Umbria region. Enjoying aperitivo on the terrace of Giotto Hotel in Assisi, what a marvellous way to celebrate a great ride! A stroll around the little medieval streets of Assisi surrounded by years old stone houses is the perfect way to prepare ourselves for dinner Yesterday night gathering up on the rooftop terrace of the hotel Astoria and have the last drink chatting about the race have been quite an experience And then. Briefing time: today we ride trough an Italian classic: Chianti region towards Siena.
Lunch at "Il Pestello", a favourite among locals for its tasty cuisine with traditional ingredients like wild boar ragout and truffle tagliatelle Not many km on our route today because we want to arrive early enough to have the chance to spend valuable time in Siena, one of the prettiest town in Italy and world famous for its singular square "Il Campo", shaped like a shell. Here every year there is an old and important horse race: the Palio!
According to the legend, Siena has been founded by Senious, son of Remus, founder of Rome.
Therefore the "Lupa" mother wolf is present here as well What a day!! Today the ride is very short, just 40km to reach the Mugello race track and as soon as get there the excitement explodes. Dozens of thousands people around the various entrances, "prato" field or the grandstands, ready yo cheer for these incredible riders! It's quite a bit red around here The sun is strong today Bologna, famous for its old university founded in AD, for the medieval towers, for the tortellini and… for its motor tradition!
Ducati was in fact born here! That seems quite a good reason to start another fantastic Edelweiss motorcycle tour across some of the finest regions of the peninsula. Starting in Emilia-Romagna, we will soon enter Tuscany and then Umbria and San Marino, not really a region but a country itself actually the oldest republic of the world. Tuscan hills are getting closer… and soon we reach Florence, the birthplace of Renaissance. Iscriviti adesso per rimanere in contatto con Edelweiss e lasciati ispirare per il tuo prossimo viaggio in moto.
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