20 de noviembre de 2009

They bake beans everywhere

When a Master of Arts candidate was asked why he does not speak the Arabic he had studied for so many years he replied: Because I learned it at the university where the teachers themselves including the professor (the only one who is supposed to know and guide in all issues of Arabic and Islam!) speak English among themselves.

It is really surprising that such a knowledge is not perquisite in filling the positions of professorships. Just try to imagine that a professor of Finnish language and literature from, say Syria, visits Helsinki and uses English during his stay at the university and gives a lecture in Arabic or English on the Arabic translation of Sinuhe the Egyptian by Mika Waltari.
---Haseeb Shehadeh, "Arabic in Finland", The Middle East: Interpreting the past. 5th Nordic conference, Lund, 2001, p. 5.

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