Archive for November 17th, 2013

Why is it a huge disadvantage to Blog in any language other than English?

To avoid any misunderstandings, and of being possibly stamped by my fellow Arabs as a traitor, then I want to clearly and publicly state why I blog in English. What were some of the comments that I got about my obsession with the English language? Why would I be a traitor? The full details are in this post.

Before writing my reasons, I want to clarify that I believe that the issue is not whether to to blog in Arabic or not. It is not!!! It is a matter of whether or not to blog in the “lingua franca” of any age. Lingua franca?

Definition of lingua franca by Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 8th ed, 2010.

Definition of lingua franca by Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th ed, 2010.

My reasons: Through writing my reasons, I am not trying to promote the English language and to make people do similar to what I do. I am just trying to let people know that I have my reasons… logical reasons 🙂 This does not mean that I am sure that they will convince you, but at least, I hope that you will think that they are logical ones. Aren’t they? If not, why?

Firstly: “The strength of a language is from the strength of its owners قوة اللغة من قوة أهلها”. Arabs are weak in this part of history. As a result, their language is as weak as they are. On the other hand, English-speaking countries have been ruling the world since tens of years now (The USA and Britain). As a result, English is the lingua franka of this time of history. So, by writing in English, I am not only addressing Arabs, but the greatest majority of people on this planet in this part of history. If I were living almost 800 years ago, I would be writing in Arabic. If I were living 1,500 years ago, I would be writing in Latin. If I were living 2000 years ago, I would be writing in Greek, etc. For every time in history, there is a great nation ruling most of the world. The language of this nation is naturally the language of science, politics, literature, etc. As a result, it is wise to use the language of the most powerful so as to address the largest group of people. 

Secondly: The number of new publications in Arabic (whether in literature or science) is almost negligible compared with those in other languages. This also runs on the number of books that are translated into Arabic each year. As a result, it is better to practice English more (in writing) and hence, be able to read and comprehend all of these new publications that come out almost every minute. By writing in English, I am not only expressing  an opinion, but also, I am improving my English.

Thirdly: An Israeli general is reported to have once said: “Arabs do not read. Even if they read, they do not understand”. I don’t know if hatred was the reason behind saying this, but statistics show that Arabs in this part of history do not read a lot and that the bestselling books in Arabic sell only in thousands of copies. So, if I write in Arabic, I am not limiting myself with to a small audience (Arabs and Arabic-speaking people), but also, I am limiting myself with an audience that is mostly not fond of reading.

Fourthly: From my experience of being an Arab, living with Arabs, and from listening and reading about what Arabs think, then I currently strongly believe that Arab people who knows a second language are more open-minded. I think that this runs on any person, of any origin, nationality, language, or faith, etc. Once you get to deal with people who are different from you, then you become more accepting of people who are “different” than you. As a result, in my Blog, I get the chance to have an interaction with a population that I expect to be mostly constituted of “open-minded” people.

Fifthly: I really do not understand the argument that because something is your own, then you need to think of it in the highest standards.It is your tribe, language, religion, country, etc. and you must think of it as being the best. No, there are tribes better than mine, there are languages better than mine, my religion is not perfect, it is very wise to stop here.

So, if you are to write a book in the future, or if you are simply to write a single article to share your opinion with the world, why risk writing it in a language other than English? Why not to have the “world as an audience” by writing in the strongest language nowadays?

Is it a good idea to have a lengthy “About” page for a Blog?

Bored! What a feeling!

Source: Flicker account of Mrs eNil.

I often get asked why do I blog in English not in Arabic. On the 20th of last June, I decided to write my reasons for Blogging in English in the “About” page of this blog. In my Blog, I named this page as “Who is Moa’bite“.  On the 25th of October, I wrote a post giving more details why I published my reasons and I gave examples of comments that I got from my friends about my use of English not Arabic (P.S. I got very interesting comments after that! You can read them below that post).

Since the publication of my reasons for blogging in English, I have been happy with the “Who is Moa’bite’” page of this blog. There was only one problem. I noticed that the “Who is Moa’bite” page Blog became EXTREMELY long. Personally, I do not like a lot lengthy descriptions in the “About” pages of Blogs. But what could I do? The topic of why I blog in English is very important. Moreover, did anybody think that I have a long “About” section?  How long is long?

Less than 3 hours ago, a wordpress Blogger made a very clear comment about how long my “About” section is. I know nothing about this Blogger except that she knows very good German. The reason is that the “About” section of her blog contains very little information about her.

What made this blogger comment that my “About” page is lengthy,  is that I had told her that her Blog’s “About” page contained very little information about her. She responded: “You want to learn more about me? Perhaps I will write a bit more in mine “About” page. What do you think? Your “About” page is in opposite very long”. This “constructive” criticism took place in German:

On the opposite side, is my “About” page very long? The following is a comparison of the number of words in my “About” page and her “About” page. I used Microsoft Word to make the word count. Her about page has “132” words. On the opposite side, my “About” page has 8.45 times words as hers; it has 1,116 words. I think that we are both extremes! Mine being bigger!

The "word count" of words in the Blog of the "mysterious" blogger.

The “word count” of words in the Blog of the “mysterious” blogger.

The "word count" in my Blog.

The “word count” in my Blog.

As a result, I decided to publish a separate post in my Blog that contains my reasons for Blogging in English not in Arabic. Or in general, why I think that it is nowadays a disadvantage to blog in any language other than English.

After making this change, my “About” page is now 57.0% smaller. It now contains 640 words. I think this is better! Right now, I cannot think of a way to make this page shorter. The following text in blue is effectively lengthening it. However, I need to keep it. Who knows, a German professor, or maybe any person with strong German “medical” connections , can help me in what I am dreaming of.

I dream of getting my medical specialty in Germany. Germany is a great country. If I am to become a great and famous doctor, then Germany is one of the few countries in the world to go to. I am not only dreaming but also working to achieve that dream. I need some help, can you help? (Recommendation for training of at least one month duration in a very famous German University Hospital. Why very famous? With little work, I can secure myself a position in any regular hospital in Germany. But, as a non-German, to be accepted in a famous University hospital, then this needs a recommendation. Maybe you can help me. I really want to be a good doctor. I also shall work for the development of any hospital or doctor that will recruit me)

Finally, I thank the mysterious blogger who provided me with the above valuable feedback. I changed mine, will she change hers?

Thank you Miss Rainbowsprout!

The DAAD Jordan has nothing to offer for medical doctors specializing in Germany!

I have always wondered if the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – The German Academic Exchange Service) gave any kind of scholarships to doctors specializing in German. Each year, this Nobel German organization gives tens of free Master and PhD scholarships for Jordanians . I read many announcement for scholarships in their website and in their facebook page (DAAD Information Center Amman | Facebook).

What about medical doctors? Does the DAAD offer Jordanian medical doctors any scholarships to complete their specialty in Germany? Or at least, any language courses? About two weeks ago, on November 6th 2013, the DAAD information Center Amman announced about language scholarships for Jordanian students in Germany.

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Source: A post in the facebook page of DAAD information center Amman.

Although they specified that the scholarships are only for students, I wrote the following comment in the above post:

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Firstly, I hoped that they might consider medical doctors aiming at a medical specialty in Germany to be students of some kind (For example, to be equivalent to master students). Secondly, if these announced language courses were not for medical doctors, I hoped that they would tell me what services they provide for medical doctors. Concerning this point, I should have contacted the DAAD that since at least 4 months ago when I first knew about it. But did I miss something by my carelessness? To the above comment, I got the following reply:

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Without any delay, I sent an email to the above address. I got very nice emails from a Dr. Abdelnasser Hindawi.

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So, as a medical doctor, I cannot apply for the above language courses scholarships. Nonetheless, I had some hope left; maybe more important than just a language course. Therefore, I asked about any other possible scholarships or courses for Jordanian medical doctors:

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Almost one hour ago, I got the following reply from Dr. Hindawi. It turned out that I did not miss anything! Nonetheless, Dr. Hindawi sent me very useful links for medical doctors about specialty in Germany. I like them and hence, I was encouraged to write this post:

Dear Dr. Hijazeen,

On the website of the German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer) http://www.bundesaerztekammer.de/page.asp?his=4.3569 you will find all necessary information about specialty training in Germany.

You should also take a look at the Charité International Academy (ChIA) http://chia.charite.de/en/ – it offers a continuing education program for healthcare professionals with an international focus.

You will find German language courses in any major city in Germany, start with: http://www.daad.de/deutschland/deutsch-lernen/warum-deutsch-lernen/13870.en.html . It is recommended that you learn as much German as you can locally, while you are preparing your stay in Germany.

However, unfortunately the DAAD does not offer financial support for medical specialist training, only for PhD work, please look under  http://www.daad.de/deutschland/foerderung/stipendiendatenbank/00579.en.html for further information.

Best regards