February 24, 2011

The Rooster and the Crow

Abu Rawq al-Hazzani informed us that [Muhammad ibn Bashir] al-Riyashi said: "We were with al-Asma'i when a Bedouin came up to him and asked: 'You are al-Asma'i?' 'Yes,' he said. 'You are the man of the settled folk who is wise to the speech of the desert Arabs?' 'So they claim,' said al-Asma'i. 'What is the meaning,' asked the Bedouin, 'of the early poem:

        "What's he but the wine-drinking, tavern-loving rooster,
             the one who was companion of the crow?
         When the dawn begins to break, his voice unleashes:
            'Why, O crow, have you not returned my clothes?' " '

"Al-Asma'i said: 'The Arabs used to say that in times past the rooster was possessed of a wing with which it could fly through the air, and the crow had a wing like the wing of a rooster, useless for flying. One night, the two of them were drinking together in a tavern, and when their drink ran out, the crow said to the rooster: 'For the loan of your wing, I will bring you more drink.' So the rooster loaned it to him, and the crow flew away and never came back. They say that when the rooster calls out at daybreak, he is begging the crow for his wing." The Bedouin laughed, and said: 'You are one of the very muses [mā anta illā shaytān].' " The poem is by Umayya ibn Abi 'l-Salt.

From The Classes of Grammarians by Abu 'l-Tayyib al-Lughawi

February 11, 2011


So Glad6 October Bridge, 29 Jan. 2011. Photo by Cameron Hu

February 5, 2011


Looking east from Zamalek on the July 26 Bridge, on Jan. 28, 2011.
Rubber pellets, didn't leave a lasting mark. Still nobody tell my mom :)

February 1, 2011

I am in Dubai