Iraqi MP: "Only Nations Living in the Past Produce Martyrs"

Since Memri TV doesn't post Arabic transcripts of their video clips I figured I'd start doing some. I know the feeling all to well when you hear a word but aren't sure how it's spelled. This happens in Arabic all the time since so many of the letters sound the same. Maybe you heard a seen or a saud. Who knows? Having the English translation is great, but if you don't know the Arabic words that are being said then the translation is of minimal help. Hopefully someone will find this beneficial.

There were a few new words for me in this clips. I'd never heard the word ألفة (ulfa) before. It's another word for "friendship". Also, تارة (taara) which means "sometimes". And lastly, إستحضار (istihdaar) which Memri translates to mean "evoking a memory or an image".

As for what this guy is talking about, if only there were more people like him in the Arabic world. Then maybe we'd have less people going out and blowing themselves up for paradise. That's the problem with religion in general. If you believe there's an afterlife and that all of this is just a test, your can be convinced to do anything if it means that you're going to heaven. Anyway, here's the clip.

التيار الإسلامي تيار ماضوي, الذي يحكم يعني في العراق و خصوصاً القوة السياسية اللتي تحمل رايات الشهداء و الضحايا و تتكئ على تاريخ من المظلومية دون الاخذ من نظر الإعتبار المستقبل المشرق و المضيئ. و الشعب العراقي شعب حي. يختار الحياة لا يختار الموت. الخطاب الديني الموجود في العراق خطاب يقدس الموت و الموتة و القتل و الشهداء و يعتبرها قيمة حضارية. و لا يقدس الأحياء يعني. أنت إذا أردت أن تكون مقدساً يجب عليك أن تُقتل و أن تمون لكي تكون خالداً. و هذا الخلاف رغبة الشعر العراقي و تطلعاته و توجهاته. و لذلك... و هنالك نقطة أخرى أن القوة الدينية الحاكمة في العراق إنما إئتلفت نتيجة الخوف و ليس الحب, هم خائفون من آخر. الآخر تارة أن يكون علماني, تارة أن يكون سني, تارة أن يكون... الآخر.

مع العلم هي تحكم.

مع أنها تحكم فالذي قرب بينهم ليس الحب. ليس هنالك مودة و ألفة و تفاهم على خطوط مشتركة سياسية. و إنما الخوف من الآخر. و إن لم يكون هنالك آخر صنعوا في مخيلاتهم آخر لكي يخيف أتباعهم و يتقاربون بعضهم البعض.

التيار العلماني أو اللبرالي هو تيار مستقبلي. رؤيته مستقبلية و ليست ماضوية. و لا يتباكون على شيء. ما عندهم حائط المبكى. ليس في رموز العلمانية أو لبرالية أموات. الأحزاب الإسلامية أو الدينية, سميها ما شئت, أحياء يختبئون خلف صور شهداء و أموات و رموزهم كل شهداء. ليس هناك قائد سياسي حي في التيارات الإسلامية يقول ها أنا ده, أنا قائدكم. هو حي و لكن خلفه صورة شهيد, عملاق, طولها 5 أمتار.

إستحضار للرموز.

إستحضار للرموز التي ماتت و إنتهت.

هذه إجابية أو قد تكون إجابية.

ربما ينظر لها البعض إجابية و لكن الشعب شعب حي. الشعب ينظر إلى المستقبل و ليس إلى الماضي. يتكئ على الماضي أو كي ما يخالف, ما في مشكلة و لكن أن يقودك ميت و أنت على قيد الحياة إذا لك أن تموت أيضاً لكي تكون قائداً. الأمم الحية تنتج قادة أحياء. لا تنتج شهداء. الذين ينتجون الشهداء هم الأمم الماضوية الذين يفتخرون بالماضي أكثر مما يتطلعون إلى المستقبل.


Anonymous said...

istihdaar: summoning

HouariB said...

Memri founded by an "ex" mossad officer...

Anonymous said...

This is a very helpful translation, Thank you. It is exactly what i needed

Adm said...

Many thanks for your work. I just stumbled upon your blog recently but have had a lot of fun and learning with it!

I found two small errors in the transcription:
تمون should be تموت (first paragraph)
إجابية should be إيجابية (middle section, a few times)

Also in the first paragraph, موتة should prob. be مَوْتى, pl. of مَيِّت.

I have questions about two words, both from the first paragraph. What can you tell me about the word رايات (which the Memri people translate as "banner"). I'm not familiar with it and I couldn't find it in Hans Wehr or elsewhere. Secondly, the phrase الشعر العراقي. I only know this word as "poetry", but the translators give "public" for this.

Thanks in advance for any help!

The Arabic Student said...

Adm, if you look up راى in the Hans Wehr you'll find راية (banner). I agree that your corrections are right. The first two were typos and as for موتى , often I don't know how things are spelled when the last letter is an 'a' sound. It could be an ة , ا , or ى , so I get it wrong sometimes.

I don't know why I wrote شعر because that's not what he's saying. The word شعب makes sense there, and maybe that's what he's saying, but I don't hear a 'b' sound. I hear شارع which I don't think makes sense either. What do you think?

Adam said...

Many thanks for the Hans Wehr reference. I've listened to the audio again and I'm still not sure about the word. I think you're right: it sounds like شارع, but I don't know such a word meaning "people, public," or the like.
At any rate, thanks again for all your work here. My training has been more in literary Arabic (and ancient Semitic languages) than in spoken modern Arabic, whether MSA or any of the colloquials. I've had little practice with oral or aural Arabic. These interviews and music videos are great! This is what I'm working on, as well as the never-ending task of vocabulary building!
Best wishes!

Linguist said...

The Iraqi Street??

I looked into this puzzle recently and had my results confirmed by 2 native speakers who listened to the video on separate days and independent of each other.

See if you agree with my "research".

1. There were 2 problems here. The first one was what is the speaker saying? شعر or شارع ? (or something else).

According to my native speakers, he is definitely saying شارع that is to say, STREET.

(I did not mention the "problem" to them so they had no idea what I was looking for. I didn't want to "prejudice" their translation in any way).

So, we get then THE IRAQI STREET as the true translation. That leads to the second problem which is:

2. What on earth does THE IRAQI STREET mean in this context?

The answer is that Al-Shari3 Al-Iraqi is what is known in the field of linguistics as a CALQUE.

A calque is a word for word translation from one language to another which KEEPS the same meaning as in the original language.

In our case here, the original language is English. So what does ,The Iraqi Street mean in English?

I'm sure you have heard on radio/TV commentators mention "The Arab Street" meaning something like "the opinions of the common people in the Arab world".

This is a term that has popped up within the last 10 years or so and which I've heard often (in English). Like in the sentence "According to what I've been hearing, President Bush is not liked very much by the Arab Street".

So in this video, the speaker is changing it slightly to "The Iraqi Street" meaning the general Iraqi public, as the MEMRI translation shows.

Bottom line?: Al-Shari3 Al-Iraqi (al-3rabi, etc) is a new phrase in Arabic with a new meaning.


1. Calques are becoming quite common is MSA, especially in "formal" Arabic (mostly written but also spoken contemporary Arabic - as in our video here) coming especially from English.

2. CALQUES are different from LOAN WORDS.

A loan word imports the ENTIRE word, both the meaning and sound from the original language - there is no "translation". (For example: "Computer" in Arabic is a loan word from English. There is no translation. Another common loan word from English to Arabic is, of course, the English word "OK").

For a short but excellent discussion of CALQUES, see:

3. What confused me about شعر
is that it can have several meanings. With a FATHA it means HAIR, with a KASRA, it means POETRY.

However, there is another meaning for شعر with a FATHA besides HAIR.

It also means FEELINGS and it's not uncommon to find this word with this meaning, especially in "literary" Arabic. (the language used in "literature" as opposed to the language used in "newspapers" and so on)

So I thought the speaker in the video was saying IRAQI FEELINGS until I realized he was saying
شارع and not شعر

(Strangely, Hans Wehr does not list FEELINGS as a meaning for شعر - he only lists HAIR - at least in my
1st edition of Wehr.)

4. As far as the confusion between شعر and شعب :

if you look closely at the video, the speaker does not bring his lips together as he would have to if he were pronouncing the sound "B" so that's another reason it's not شعب .

The confusion was increased, of course, because he DID use the word شعب PREVIOUSLY on a couple of occasions and so the "ear" could easily confuse the SHa3R with the SHa3B.

Hope this was all clear.

The Arabic Student said...

That's a good explanation, Linguist. It's strange how not just words are taken directly from other languages. I've noticed this with the phrase to put "اللمسات الاخيرة " on something. It's literally "the final touches" which would never have been used in Arabic if not taken from English. There are so many things like this on bbc Arabic news especially.