Thursday, June 12, 2008

#2 fo' Cameroon

this is the first page of my new journal... "#2 fo' cameroon," as it says in the middle there. think of it as cover art... though it's on the first page just inside the cover. while i didn't do this for my first journal, all the rest (4, in total) have this kind of an image/inscription adorning the first page.

it starts with the basmalah... "in the name of God, the Merciful (in essence) and the Merciful (in action)." then that's my name (Mohamad A. Chakaki) in English, below the basmalah. flanking it, and just below, is my full name in Arabic (محمد عبد اللطيف الشققي).

"my own, personal journal..." is my nod to cameroonian special english. for some reason the double adjective "my own" is often used when expressing the possessive. that would make "my own, personal" a triple possessive, i guess. anyway... Wum is Wum, and N.W.P. = the Northwest Province.

the arabic in the middle is a famous verse of the Qur'an (20:25-28), known as the Prayer of Moses. it's a traditional way to start a speech or open a discourse... in this case, with myself. it reads: "Lord, expand my chest (i.e. increase my awareness), ease my task, and untie the knots from my tongue so that they my understand what I say."

finally, at the bottom, i quote from the Peace Corps World Wise Schools Handbook... in which Beth Giebus (Teacher & PCV in Morocco, 1990-1993) writes in her essay Sharing our Stories: "Speak to clear your throat of the stories welling up inside. Speak for the sake of peace. Keep the conversation alive."


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