Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Soulful Performer: Shawn Mendes - II 

"Bad Reputation" is also undeniably a beautifully touching song; its lyrics digs deep, using relatable words and phrases. Mendes, choosing such an issue and coming up with such a beautiful song, proves that he is an absolutely talented song writer, at such a young age - co-writers are Geoffrey Warburton, Scott Harris. Several versions of the song, by other singers, have been uploaded to various social websites, and each version carries its own taste; yet the song "Bad Reputation" ultimately belongs to Shawn Mendes, for he adds a special aromatic sensation to it, especially through his live performances. It can be approached from various angles, and here resides its beauty. Social conformity - she got a bad reputation, nobody gets too close;  psychological struggles - she takes the long way home; mutual understanding - nobody knows the way that I, I know her, said; bad reputations - and all of my friends seen her naked; false adulthood - or so the story goes; and genuine approach - let me see what's underneath, all I need is you - are all themes which can be generated just by scratching the surface of the song. "She got a bad reputation" initiates the song smoothly, implying the fact that there is more to come and there is yet another face to the story. The indication to humans' similar mistakes in "Mistakes we all make them" brings to light the false masks people wear to cover up their trips and falls whilst wrongly and non-righteously condemning others. And each and every line carries various and different meanings, themes, ideas which invoke multiple, individualistic responses in the audience. Plus, the addition of the cello - & violins - to "Bad Reputation", in MTV unplugged version, is certainly a treat to our tastes.
All of the Canadian singer-songwriter's songs, in fact, induce multiple sorts of ideas and inordinately diverse themes. Shawn Mendes follows the method of the obvious, the subtle yet the meaningfully aesthetic and the provocative in creating his music, hence there is a great deal of similarity between the first album "Handwritten" and the second album "Illuminate", although "Illuminate" is characterized with his maturity and progressive, evolutionary artistry.
To some extent, modernism and diversity are Shawn Mendes' goals of creating his music. The only downside, prior to MTV unplugged, somehow, was the lack of the variety of instruments; for his songs - I believe - are primitively raw, bare, and most importantly, individually grasped and experienced; yet, if innumerable themes are drawn from his songs with just little utilization of some musical instruments, what genres of themes shall be drawn if more instruments are incorporated! Unlimited genres.

• written on 6th Nov. 2017

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Whole Language as a Method of Acquisition

Google Images 

To define the approach of the "Whole Language", as a start, demands that we admit the fact that an individual can not possibly learn a sole language skill in isolation from the other skills. All language skills - the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing - are to be acquired together, in unity. In fact, treating language as a whole grants the learner the chance to experience the language altogether. Breaking down the unity of language, into chunks, creates obstacles and holds back learners' natural drive to acquire the language. On the contrary, combining skills and creating real-life experiences motives the learners to take a step forward, and to initiate the journey of fluently using language. So, the more real experiences the facilitator creates, the more the learners are encouraged to participate; the more society-based situations introduced, the more all of the four language skills are utilised. And the facilitator here resembles the teacher in the traditional methods of language acquisition; but he is no more an authority, but embodies, more closer, the role of a partner of the learner. He does not seek to dictate orders and awaits obedience; but he tends to facilitate the process of language acquisition and to bind the obstacles that might hinder the process of communication.
One of the main pillars of the "Whole Language" method is the realism of situations. Reality, according to each learner, needs to be an aim. Using learners' outside-of-the-learning-institution incidents, exchanges, problems, situations, and the like, provides the acquisition of language with a sense of eagerness, and prompts the learners to express their ideas, feelings, thoughts, ... in a more elaborated manner; it essentially makes language learning their very own experiential choice. They tend to be driven by the desire to utilise language skills, correctly, and to extend their ability to manifest their personal progression in acquiring the language. And, as a result, the entire of the process converts its focus to the learners. Social context, in addition, contributes to the before mentioned desire. For instance: "a man is harassing a woman sexually and is exhibiting degrading manners and a whole lot of domestic violence acts"; such a situation is unlimitedly encountered in several societies; How would learners react? How would any human being react? Of course, the previous situation is quite an intense one to react to, especially for beginning  and young learners. So the scale of maturity - plus other factors - rules the type of social context deployed. Based on the learners' capabilities, ages, proficiencies, eagerness, the facilitator tries his best to create the best environment he possibly can to enable the learners to communicate as if in real life scenes. Yet confining learners within a precise environment, even if it is an imitation of reality, may limit their abilities and prevents them from unleashing their linguistic powers. Hence learners have to communicate with the outside world as well; with native people, through real unexpected scenes. Such an experience will raise their confidence and allow self-assessment of how much have been accomplished and how much awaits accomplishment.

David Pratt's CURRICULUM Design and Development 

There are, essentially, no strict rules guiding the "Whole Langauge" approach; but the guideline to adopt, in favour of learners, is that the "Whole Language" approach is definitely a learner-based approach. The learner determines every aspect of the language acquisition process, not because learners need to be given the upper hand, but because once they have selected what they wanna learn and how they wanna learn it, accompanied by the aid of the facilitator, they enthusiastically embark upon the journey of language acquisition and utilisation driven by their deep desires to achieve the goals they've intentionally set for themselves.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Bad Education

What kind of education we deserve? The traditional education that doesn't fit our personas, our visions, our needs, our desires, our aspirations! The education that turns us into a mechanical, rather than organic, beings! Indeed we don't need it nor deserve it. Every individual essentially has a bright side, a side that withholds his unseen, precious and developing skill/s; and how can this side be revealed? Are we to await it to emerge independently, without giving it a push, driving it into light and helping it to erupt? The procedure to completely recognise one's potentially great skills may initiate its launch from home, with the aid of parents and family members, but definitely, unquestionably it flourishes through education. And if educational systems are not sufficient enough to bring to light these skills, what is going to happen? Nothing is going to .. Why? For as long as education shall be built on merely past experiences, unquestioned syllabi, profit-less examinations, ... the true human beings who are meant to be fully developed geniuses will never be born.
So, what shall be done to improvise and top our failures of previous as well as current generations of artificially literate beings? The entire system of acquiring and perceiving knowledge and skills must be altered; future must be foreseen. What kind of life shall occur in the near/far future? Are we still going to be at the same place? Of course not! Future holds changes of its own, and for that humans should be ready. It might be towards the better or the worse; nevertheless, the predictions of how future shall be, should - actually must - be the basis of any educational system. Future dominates the acquiring of knowledge; if education is built upon the past, unfortunately the past is no longer available to adjust; and if it is built on the present, technically present is unknowingly, fastly moving towards the future. So, it is the future that must be the main principle of education.
Still, does that mean the past and the present are not vital? No, they are, extremely. From the past humanity learns the right methods to avoid our ancestors' failures; the past is the oblivious educator; a wise human being never forgets about the past, but transforms it into a bulk of information the entire human race - and other species - can benefit from. Then, what about the present? The present, already arrived, cannot be redeemed but a few portions of it. Certain parts of the present are meant to survive, yet others are not. Henceforth, by combining both the past and the present, the right formula of the formation of a decent education system could possibly erupt.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Audio Book

By: Ameer Tajalser.
Al-Doha Magazine October 2017.

Nowadays the idea of the audio book is severely tackled, which means the transformation of written works, especially the creative ones, into audio books, via the voices of capable readers, and these books could be heard whilst driving or going through - browsing - the mobile phone which will has specified applications for the task.
Believers and promoters of the experience, ensure it is not a complete replacement of the paper or electronic book, but it is a fine replacement that could compete other book applications, which might also attract many readers, who perhaps seek to spare their eyes the exhaustion of reading, and listen to books in the voices of others, especially that the readers who record the books, must be linguistically capable, smooth ones, with pleasant feelings touched through the voice. And there might be an educational feature - as well - of the correctly / mistakes-free read books when aspiring foreign Arabic language learners listen to them.
I believe the massive advantage here, might benefit blind people, or visually impaired people, due to age and ailment, but still are fond of reading, for they will be able to listen to their favourite novels, with toned voices and some interaction.
In fact I observed these modern projects, and also agreed to transform some of my narrative works into audio books, which will be published through iPhone applications, and I await to listen to one of these read books, to determine if I enjoyed, or if I lack this ability. In a discussion session with friends, of all generations, opinions were diverse as usual, and it must occur with a new issue, which does not relate to the old method of publishing audio books by means of ordinary recording. Youth readers supported the establishment, because the audio book spares a lot of time which we exactly need, unlike the paper or electronic book which entails special reading rituals, and time, barely, specified for reading. As for our generation, it was the exact / stark opposite, where old paper, distinctive scents and book covers came savorily first, and some declined the idea of the audio book completely, and declined even the electronic book which its controversy allegedly ceased a while ago, for it became an essential knowledge source, that must be utilized even by the disbelievers*, specifically if the reader needed an unavailable valuable study resource, yet it is available on the internet amongst millions of other books.
There is yet another issue relevant to the seriousness of the audio book which some have referred to, and that is the characteristic of stressing versed poems, within the applications, for poetry has been always more audible than read, by which I mean the pleasure drawn from poetry - usually - drawn audibly, whether by the poet or by a capable poetry reader, but I see the new audio book, does not tackle poetry - in general - or does not ask the poets to supply its companies with their production, yet it does ask the novelists, perhaps because the novel has become the divan* of the Arab, and the intended audience of the audio book as listeners, is the audience of the novel not the poetry.
Generally we are awaiting the initiation of the sky-high voices of our novels, to see what happened? And what could happen?!.

* Disbelievers of the electronic book.
* "a collection of poems in Persian or Arabic usually by one author." (Merriam-Webster)

Monday, 6 November 2017

Here هنا

By: Alessia Cara
أداء : أليسيا كارا

(I guess right now you've got the last laugh)
(أعتقد أنك حصلت على الضحكة الأخيرة الآن)

I'm sorry if I seem uninterested
آسف إذا كنت أبدو غير مهتمة
Or I'm not listenin' or I'm indifferent
أو إذا كنت لا استمع أو غير مبالية
Truly, I ain't got no business here
حقيقة، لا يوجد ما يمكن أن أفعله هنا
But since my friends are here
لكن حيث أن أصدقائي هنا
I just came to kick it but really
أتيت لأمضي بعض الوقت لكن حقا
I would rather be at home all by myself not in this room
أفضل أن أكون في المنزل بمفردي وليس في هذه الغرفة
With people who don't even care about my well-being
مع أناس لا يهتمون حتى لسعادتي
I don't dance, don't ask, I don't need a boyfriend
أنا لا أتمايل، لا اسأل، أنا لا احتاج إلى صديق حميم
So you can go back, please enjoy your party
لذلك بإمكانك العودة لما كنت تفعل، من فضلك استمتع بحفلتك
I'll be here, somewhere in the corner under clouds of marijuana
سأكون هنا، في مكان ما في الزاوية أعبق تحت دخان الماريجوانا
With this boy who's hollering I can hardly hear
مع ذلك الفتى الذي أكاد لا اسمع صراخه
Over this music I don't listen to and I don't wanna get with you
مع هذه الموسيقى التي لا استمع إليها و لا أريد أن أتواصل معك
So tell my friends that I'll be over here
لذلك اخبر أصدقائي أني سأكون هنا
Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here oh oh oh
أوه أوه أوه هنا أوه أوه أوه هنا أوه أوه أوه
I ask myself what am I doing here?
اسأل نفسي ماذا أفعل هنا؟
Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here
أوه أوه أوه هنا أوه أوه أوه هنا
And I can't wait till we can break up outta here
ولا أطيق الانتظار حتى نستطيع الخروج من هنا

Excuse me if I seem a little unimpressed with this
اعذرني إذا بدوت غير متأثرة بكل ذلك
An anti-social pessimist but usually I don't mess with this
متشائمة غير اجتماعية ولكن عادة لا أتدخل في مثل ذلك
And I know you mean only the best and
أعي أنك تريد الأفضل فقط
Your intentions aren't to bother me
ونواياك ليست لمضايقتي
But honestly I'd rather be
لكن صراحة أفضل أن أكون
Somewhere with my people we can kick it and just listen
بمكان ما مع أصدقائي نمرح ونستمع
To some music with the message (like we usually do)
إلى بعض الموسيقى ذات المعنى (كما نفعل دائما)
And we'll discuss our big dreams
وسوف نناقش أحلامنا الهائلة
How we plan to take over the planet
وكيف بإمكاننا السيطرة على العالم
So pardon my manners, I hope you'll understand it
لذا اعذر سلوكي، أتمنى أن تفهم
That I'll be here
أنني سأكون هنا
Not there in the kitchen with the girl
وليس في المطبخ مع الفتاة
Who's always gossiping about her friends
التي دائما تنشر الإشاعات عن أصدقائها
So tell them I'll be here
لذا أخبرهم أنني سأكون هنا
Right next to the boy who's throwing up 'cause
بجانب ذلك الفتى الذي يتقيأ لأنه
He can't take what's in his cup no more
لا يستطيع أن يكمل كأسه بعد الآن
Oh God why am I here?
أوه يا إلهي لم أنا هنا؟
Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here oh oh oh
أوه أوه أوه هنا أوه أوه أوه هنا أوه أوه أوه
I ask myself what am I doing here?
اسأل نفسي ماذا أفعل هنا؟
Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here
أوه أوه أوه هنا أوه أوه أوه هنا
And I can't wait till we can break up outta here
ولا أطيق الانتظار حتى نستطيع الخروج من هنا

Hours later congregating next to the refrigerator
بعد عدة ساعات مجتمعين بجوار المبرد
Some girl's talking 'bout her haters
فتاة ما تتحدث عن أناس يكرهونها / حاقدين عليها
She ain't got none
ولكنهم من وحي خيالها - ليسوا حقيقين
How did it ever come to this
كيف وصلت إلى هذه الحالة
I shoulda never come to this
لم يجدر بي الوصول إلى هنا / هذه الحالة
So holla at me I'll be in the car when you're done
هاي اتصل بي سأكون في السيارة عندما تنتهون
I'm standoffish, don't want what you're offering
أنا لست ودودة / اجتماعية، لا أريد ما تعرض علي
And I'm done talking
انتهيت من الكلام
Awfully sad it had to be that way
حزينة بشكل مريع أن الأمر اتخذ هذا المنحى
So tell my people when they're ready that I'm ready
لذا أخبر أصدقائي أنني مستعدة حينما يصبحون مستعدين
And I'm standing by the TV with my beanie low
وأنني أقف بجوار التلفاز واضعة قلنسوتي
Yo I'll be over here
سأكون هنا
Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here oh oh oh
أوه أوه أوه هنا أوه أوه أوه هنا أوه أوه أوه
I ask myself what am I doing here?
اسأل نفسي ماذا أفعل هنا؟
Oh oh oh here oh oh oh here
أوه أوه أوه هنا أوه أوه أوه هنا
And I can't wait till we can break up outta here
ولا أطيق الانتظار حتى نستطيع الخروج من هنا

Oh oh oh oh oh oh
أوه أوه أوه أوه أوه أوه
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
أوه أوه أوه أوه أوه أوه

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Soulful Performer: Shawn Mendes - I

- Such an overwhelmingly soulful performer one cannot possibly ignore his talent; he invades the musical scene effortlessly and his craftsmanship is uniquely obvious. Shawn Mendes is a pure Canadian talent; so pure that it apparently needs more maturation, controllability, and guidance. His performances are way too consuming to watch because of the subsequent repetition and interaction; initially when he enters the stage or starts a performance, he's all subtle and composed, thrilled to take off, yet as the performance proceeds Shawn Mendes accelerates his interaction with the song as if it were relating and leading directly to his inner depth; he converts his songs into myths, bringing the lyrics to life by putting his soul in the performances; it shows through his appearance as well: through his beautiful out-of-breath tones, his messy hair, his sweat, and his exhaustively exhilarated voice. The audience, already excited, is even more energized through Mendes' heartily performances. People sing with him, after him, memorize his lyrics perfectly, and they can't help but assist him throughout the show out of love and admiration.
- Shawn Mendes started through mini videos of song covers he uploaded to the internet. These tiny clips spread awareness of his voice and made people - teenagers and adults - recognize his talent. His evolutionary phase as an artist is fantastic, due to his complete involvement in his musical work, through composing the lyrics of the songs for instance, plus the fact that he independently taught himself how to play a guitar; he's been successfully able to convey his own style of music. His humble start has managed to gather him fans all over the world, and as he continues with making music his fans grow vastly and fastly all over the continents.
- One definitely realises the beautiful difference between Mendes' first 2015 album "Handwritten" and the fascinating second 2016 album "Illuminate". "Illuminate" surely embodies its songs, for each song bursts with extreme light and sensation. Going from hit songs such as: imagination, aftertaste, kid in love, the weight, never be alone and a little too much, which still are relatable in 2017, to the super hits: mercy, lights on, there's nothing holdin' me back, treat you better, bad reputation, don't be a fool and three empty words, Shawn Mendes has fantastically, wonderfully matured. 

- At 17, he has chosen to tackle a very serious issue through his artistry, which is 'domestic violence', preferring not to star completely in the video clip and intelligently connecting his hit song "Treat You Better" to the issue; through the song he matches the lyrics to the state of being abused due to a wrong decision: "I know I can treat you better than he can, and any girl like you deserves a gentleman". The protagonist of the music video, considering his prejudiced position being in love with the abused female yet unable to force her to leave the abuser, states that he is willing to give her the love that she's missing: "I'll stop time for you, the second you say you'd like me to". Shawn Mendes cooperated with Teddy Geiger and Scott Harris to eventually come up with the simple yet stunning lyrics of "Treat You Better".

Watch Treat You Better by Shawn Mendes

Saturday, 21 October 2017

The Technical Creature .. Product of The Virtual Space

By: Dalia Aasem: Egypt.
Source: The Arabic Magazine October 2017.

Google Images

• Whenever I read ancient cultural magazines or the books of Alakaad, Tawfeq Alhakeem, and Taha Hussein, I see the huge difference between the innovation of the past and of the presence! The virtual space* culture imposed a universal lifestyle that is forced by means of the social media websites, which have made (superficiality) invade human relationships and suppressed the value of written-books innovation, hence we became compelled to read hollow words which are part of its dominance over human lifestyle and it turned us into (technical creatures) who live and thrive on electronic mediums and its applications, dependent on such methods to interpret the world, to define our social relations and to determine our goals.
• Thus it confirms the prophecy of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger in the 1950s. Considering the Medium, Heidegger viewed the technique as (a medium used by the human to achieve the goals), and confirmed that the technique (uses mediums, makes items, and transforms them). And he considered that the truth and the technique are methods for unravelling which means the method by which the human being (the realistic creature) is revealed to be a value, and the technique is revealed to change the surroundings into something incorporated within its bonds.
• Yet despite all of the drawbacks and demerits I find the virtual space is a (democratic space) that does not adhere to the principle of eclecticism to communicate knowledge and present the literary work, which is unlike the realistic life whereby the (elite) form a barrier between innovators and receivers, and we see / perceive that clearly in the issue of paper and electronic publication.
• In this issue, we stress / bring to light the sociology of acceptance considering the digital-born generations, the method by which we handle the virtual cultural syntheses, and present multiple visions of the drawbacks of technology and its few benefits, visualise the near future and how can we make use of and positively invest the technological applications.

* Virtual Environment: a computer-generated, three-dimensional representation of a setting in which the user of the technology perceives themselves to be and within which interaction takes place; also called virtual landscape, virtual space, virtual world. (Source:

The Soulful Performer: Shawn Mendes - II  "Bad Reputation" is also undeniably a beautifully touching song; its lyrics digs deep, using relatable ...