Friends

friendship

As the divers seek pearls…

This way we have look for friends!

Like water


The heart is like water

Passions agitate its surface

Rippling water in water

Creature-like, an utterance

Commingles both the good and bad

Like time, human beings body forth

As much of darkness as of light

Just as day illuminates before the night

So an extinguished star begets

Another brilliance

Similar to our vanished forbears

So we, similarly, must disappear

Time alone ensures its own endurance

As plainly as you can plainly see

Strangers in their native land are

Ardent practitioners of good

Whose intimates sever ties and turn

Frequentation to a widening gulf

Remember, should you have sealed

Friendship in the throes of poverty

Should prosperity arrive, remember

Al Ma’arri

Al-Ma’arri (full name in Arabic: أبو العلاء أحمد بن عبد الله بن سليمان التنوخي المعري, Abu al-‘Alā Ahmad ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sulaimān al-Tanūkhī al-Ma’arri, December 26, 973–May 10 or May 21, 1057) was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer. He was a controversial rationalist of his time, he attacked the dogmas of religion, and rejected the claim that Islam possessed any monopoly on truth.

Abu ‘Ali al-Muhassin al-Tanukhi (Tanukhi) was born in Syria and lost his sight at the age of four due to smallpox. He hailed from the city of Ma’arra (المعرة) in Syria from which his name derives. He then went on to study in Aleppo, Antioch, and other Syrian towns pursuing a career as a freethinker, philosopher and poet before returning his native town of Ma’arrat al-Numan, where he lived the rest of his life, practicing asceticism and vegetarianism.

He briefly travelled to the center of Baghdad where he drew a great following of both male and female disciples to listen to his lectures on poetry, grammar and rationalism. One of the recurring themes of his philosophy was the rights of reason against the claims of custom, tradition and authority.

Although an advocate of social justice and action, Al-Ma’arri suggested that women should not bear children in order to save future generations from the pains of life.

Al Ma’arri was exerting a notable influence on Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”. His collection of poems “Unnecessary Necessity” charts the tragic dimension of human experience.

Struggle and Friendship

Struggle and Friendship

 

Enkidu thrust himself at Gilgamesh and they fought in the square.

He came up to Gilgamesh and they met.

Enkidu put out his foot to block the door to prevent him from entering.

They grappled each other, holding each other like bulls.

They broke the door posts and the wall.

They sported like bulls locked together.

They shattered the door posts and the walls shook.

Gilgamesh bent his knee with his foot planted on the ground, and with a turn, Enkidu was thrown.

Then immediately his fury died.

When Enkidu was thrown, he said to Gilgamesh:

“Yes, there is not another like you in the world, Ninsun who is as strong as a wild ox in the byre, was the mother who bore you.

And now you are raised above all men and Enlil has given you the kingship, for your strength surpasses the strength of men!”

They embraced each other and their friendship was sealed.

The eyes of Enkidu were full of tears.

He left sad at heart, weary, and he tortured himself.

His sorrow paralysed the muscles of his throat,

his arms hung down still and his strength had turned into weakness!

Epic of Gilgamesh

(2500 B.C.)

The Little Prince Quotations

The Little Prince

Quotations

 

 

1

The grown-ups’ response, this time, was to advise me to lay aside my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside,

and devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic, and grammar.

That is why, at the age of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter.

I had been disheartened by the failure of my Drawing Number One and my Drawing Number Two.

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves,

and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

So then I chose another profession, and learned to pilot airplanes.

I have flown a little over all parts of the world; and it is true that geography has been very useful to me.

At a glance, I can distinguish China from Arizona.

If one gets lost in the night, such knowledge is valuable.

In the course of this life I have had a great many encounters with a great many people who have been concerned with matters of consequence.

I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand.

And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.

2

Whenever I met one of them who seemed to me at all clear-sighted,

I tried the experiment of showing him my Drawing Number One, which I have always kept.

I would try to find out, so, if this was a person of true understanding.

But, whoever it was, he, or she, would always say: “That is a hat.”

Then I would never talk to that person about boa constrictors, or primeval forests, or stars.

I would bring myself down to his level.

I would talk to him about bridge, and golf, and politics, and neckties.

And the grown-up would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man.

3

I have serious reason to believe that the planet from which the little prince came is the asteroid known as B-612.

This asteroid has only once been seen through the telescope.

That was by a Turkish astronomer, in 1909.

On making his discovery, the astronomer had presented it to the International Astronomical Congress, in a great demonstration.

But he was in Turkish costume, and so nobody would believe what he said.

Grown-ups are like that…

Fortunately, however, for the reputation of Asteroid B-612,

a Turkish dictator made a law that his subjects, under pain of death, should change to European costume.

So in 1920 the astronomer gave his demonstration all over again, dressed with impressive style and elegance.

And this time everybody accepted his report.

4

If I have told you these details about the asteroid, and made a note of its number for you, it is on account of the grown-ups and their ways.

When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters.

They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?”

Instead, they demand: “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?”

Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.

If you were to say to the grown-ups:

“I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,”

they would not be able to get any idea of that house at all.

You would have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost $20,000.”

Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!”

Just so, you might say to them:

“The proof that the little prince existed is that he was charming, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep.

If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists.”

And what good would it do to tell them that?

They would shrug their shoulders, and treat you like a child.

But if you said to them:

“The planet he came from is Asteroid B-612,” then they would be convinced, and leave you in peace from their questions.

They are like that. One must not hold it against them.

Children should always show great forbearance toward grown-up people.

5

To forget a friend is sad.

Not everyone has had a friend.

6

Flowers are weak creatures. They are naïve.

They reassure themselves as best they can.

They believe that their thorns are terrible weapons…

The flowers have been growing thorns for millions of years.

For millions of years the sheep have been eating them just the same.

And is it not a matter of consequence to try to understand why the flowers go to so much trouble to grow thorns which are never of any use to them?

Is the warfare between the sheep and the flowers not important?

Is this not of more consequence than a fat red-faced gentleman’s sums?

And if I know-I, myself- one flower which is unique in the world,

which grows nowhere but on my planet,

but which one little sheep can destroy in a single bite some morning,

without even noticing what he is doing,

Oh! You think that is not important!

7

If someone loves a flower,

of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars,

it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars.

He can say to himself: “Somewhere, my flower is there…”

8

I know a planet where there is a certain red-faced gentleman.

He has never smelled a flower.

He has never looked at a star.

He has never loved any one.

He has never done anything in his life but add up figures.

And all day he says over and over, just like you:

“I am busy with matters of consequence!”

And that makes him swell up with pride.

But he is not a man-he is a mushroom!”

9

I wonder, he said;

whether the stars are set alight in heaven

so that one day each one of us may find his own again.

10

Men?

I think there are six or seven of them in existence.

I saw them, several years ago.

But one never knows where to find them.

The wind blows them away.

They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult.

11

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.

What is essential is invisible to the eye.

12

No one is ever satisfied where he is.

13

Men, said the little prince, set out on their way in express trains,

but they do not know what they are looking for.

Then they rush about, and get excited, and turn round and round…

14

Water may also be good for the heart…

15

The men where you live, said the little prince, raise five thousand roses in the same garden…

and they do not find in it what they are looking for…

They do not find it, I replied…

And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose, or in a little water…

And the little prince added:

But the eyes are blind.

One must look with the heart…

16

But the eyes are blind.

One must look with the heart…

17

It is just as it is with the flower.

If you love a flower that lives on a star, it is sweet to look at the sky at night.

All the stars are a-bloom with flowers.

18

And at night you will look up at the stars.

Where I live everything is so small that I cannot show you where my star is to be found.

It is better, like that.

My star will just be one of the stars, for you.

And so you will love to watch all the stars in the heavens…

They will all be your friends.

And, besides, I am going to make you a present…

19

All men have the stars, he answered, but they are not the same things for different people.

For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides.

For others they are no more than little lights in the sky.

For others, who are scholars, they are problems.

For my businessman they were wealth.

But all these stars are silent.

You – you alone – will have the stars as no one else has them…

– What are you trying to say?

– In one of the stars I shall be living.

In one of them I shall be laughing.

And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night…

You – only you – will have stars that can laugh!

And he laughed again.

And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me.

You will always be my friend.

You will want to laugh with me.

And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure…

And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky!

Then you will say to them, ‘Yes, the stars always make me laugh’!

20

Words are the source of misunderstandings.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry

The Little Prince

Between friendship and solitude

Between solitude and friendship

 

 

It will never be my view that solitude is disturbed by the presence of a friend,

but that it is enriched.

If I had the choice of doing without one or the other,

I should prefer to be deprived of solitude rather than of my friend.

 

On the solitary life

Petrarch

 

Francesco Petrarca

(July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374)

 

Francesco Petrarca, known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest Renaissance humanists. Petrarch is often called the “Father of Humanism“. In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based on Petrarch’s works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio and, especially, Dante Alighieri. This would be later endorsed by the Accademia della Crusca. His sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry. Petrarch was also known for being one of the first people to refer to the Dark Ages.

Be my friend!

Be my friend!


How beautiful it would be if we remained friends!

Every woman needs a friend’s hand

Needs to hear good words

Be my friend!

I need sometimes to walk with you in a park

To read together poems

I – as a woman – I am happy to hear you

Be my friend!

My hobbies are little

My interests are small

And all my ambition lies:

to walk for hours with you under the rain

When the melody makes me cry

And I’m in sorrow

So why are you interested only in my appearance

And don’t look to my brain?

I am very much in need of a harbour of peace…

I am bored of love stories and news

Talk!

Why do you forget half of the words when you meet me?

Be my friend!

There is no diminution of masculinity

However, the men don’t accept but the main role!

Suad al-Sabah

Poet, economist, publisher, activist in social change affecting women and children.

Suad Muhammad al-Sabah (also spelled Souad alSabah or Suʿad al-Sabah) was born in 1942 in Kuwait as a member of the ruling family. She graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences at Cairo University in 1973. She obtained a doctorate in economics from Sari Guilford University in the United Kingdom in 1981. She later returned to Kuwait and established the Suad alSabah Publishing and Distribution House. She has published several books of poetry and established a literary prize that carries her name. She also has written hundreds of economic and political essays as well as popular articles in several Arabic local and international newspapers and magazines. Her poetry has been translated into many languages, including English.

Al-Sabah is the director of Kuwait Stock Exchange and a member of the Higher Council for Education, the executive committee of the World Muslim Women Organization for South East Asia, and the board of trustees and the executive committee of the Arab Intellect Forum. She is also a founding member of the Arab Cultural Establishment, the executive committee of the Arab Human Rights Organization, and the Arab Council for Childhood and Development. Her poetry has captured the attention of popular artists as well as university researchers in many countries. Her literary publications include Wamdatt Bakira (Early blinks) and Lahathat min Umri (Moments of my life, 1961). Her scientific works in English include Development Planning in an Oil Economy and the Role of the Woman (1983) and Kuwait: Anatomy of a Crisis Economy (1984).