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It goes without saying that parents, teachers and the sovereign power in society when they demand a person as a child then as a teenager and an adult with strict obedience, total dependency or deterring punishment they merely create a negative readiness with them toward the virtue of [having] the audacity to [display] any new manner or to express any distinguished thought or to search to discover the truth. Such a person defends themselves with hypocrisy or mental stupidity requesting salvation and survival. It is worthy of being spread in society that the greatest virtue is independent free expression and that this is originality. Originality is not empty, sentimental classicism; originality is merely courage to be truthful with oneself and abiding by the rules and methodology of research.

Undoubtedly, the creative human-society is rich with its thoughts and work, strong in its belief in its subjectivity that it achieves and renews with its creativity. Such a human-society is distinguished with civilisational offering and does not shy away from[1] interaction with others; rather, it takes and gives out of a mature rational consciousness and is working all of a sudden as enrichment of itself and of humanity.

If we understood creativity in this way and that it is the problem of the era, the foundation of revival and the gamble for success[2], we would know that it is inevitable that we be stronger than ourselves and the limitations of convention and heritage[3] and that we prepare the necessary social foundations and relations to start the revival and build a new Arab human being and that the aspired radical change extends to all aspects of life.

The impediments to creativity are fundamentally social impediments. It is incumbent that we ask: why have our Arab societies been bereft of talented [individuals] at the level of today’s civilisation? What are the inherited and emerging social obstacles if we want to pave the way for a social renaissance that takes us into the civilisation of the industrial and digital age?[4] This, therefore, is our original way to restore and emphasise the nationalist identity that we searched for for centuries in theoretical records and dreams and centuries have been wasted in vain with the absence of social and civilisational action and thought.

 

 

[1] Literally: fear. [Translator]

[2] In my translation the words “the gamble for success” are more literally translated as “the bet for the lead [over others]”. [Translator]

[3] Literally: heritage and convention. [Translator]

[4] There is a full stop here instead of a question mark in the Arabic original. [Translator]

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From childhood we commence

The recommendations aim at many things, among which are:

  • Developing children’s informational and intellectual surplus, passion for new information and for ventures into discovering the unknown as a basis for developing the endeavour to [conduct] research and developing stimulation and astonishment towards phenomena in a rational, methodological attempt to unravel the causes and the joy of reaching a solution, answer, or discovering, the unknown, not being content with premature answers that are extraneous to the phenomenon which cut off the way without all the above mentioned things[1]. Certainly, information and sciences are not contained in a previous text. Rather, it is a renewed venture, an endless research effort and a boundless discovery.

 

  • Developing potential thought, and distancing [oneself] from rigid dogmatism, zealotry and definitive, [irrevocable] laws that block the path in front of any new attempts to research and change. That is [the case] as the phenomena of reality are always renewing and changing.

 

  • Developing the child’s ability to take the initiative and [to have] a critical view of reality and thought without social restrictions; to listen with humility and intellectual voraciousness to the efforts of others with regards to intellectual research. [Moreover,] the truth is not a monopoly of anyone nor is it absolutely accomplished; rather, living reality is renewable and mutable and so too is human-societal thought.

 

  • Distancing [oneself] from typicality and stereotypes[2] since this is the core incentive to creativity and renewal whereas typicality is the core of intellectual authority and dogmatic coercion; both are adversaries of creative abilities. It is not strange that in stereotypical and dogmatic prevalent societies a belief that obedience is a virtue is common, with the meaning of subordination and unquestioningly not surpassing the familiar mode. Departing from typicality requires planting the virtue of courage with the truth, audacity with independence, honesty to the core of a person from childhood and that [a person’s] custodians at home, at school and society are role models for them.

 

[1] Literally: without all that. [Translator]

[2] Literally: rigid moulds. [Translator]

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This collective race takes place on a basis issuing from knowledge…as an inventive production and creative deployment. There is no doubting that the spreading of knowledge transparently and providing information in a climate of effectiveness and freedom enliven society and increase its ability to move and [the two] double[1] its immunity against breach and against despotism and dissolution.

It is commonplace nowadays in information societies that knowledge is a power and an increasing value; workers in the field on information are described as being workers of knowledge. Likewise, the excess value of knowledge as a main social production is widely talked about[2]… and that the most wealthy, unassailable and powerful societies are those that are the most prolific and the most rapid in creating information and in employing knowledge in building life.

It is worth mentioning here that the development of creative abilities that a person has from childhood does not detach from the comprehensive operation of sociocultural upbringing and educational upbringing at all levels nor from the climate of political and social relations and situations even though the initial years of life make up a base and foundation. Hence why experts allude to a number of recommendations to develop creative abilities during childhood and before school age, and likewise during subsequent educational stages. The need of compatibility and coordination is, of course, evident between it and the circumstances and climate of the social life outside home and school [by which] I mean political life and economic…cultural and social circumstances and relations that delineate a person’s stance and their status [as well as] their freedom and their methodology in communal action and in relations between the [two] sexes or between different ages.

 

[1] The author uses the singular form ‘yazīd’ (to increase) but then uses the dual form ‘yuḍā’ifāni’ (the two double). I cannot see the reason for this change in the grammatical number of the two verbs. [Translator]

[2] More literally: Likewise, the talk about the excess value of knowledge as a main social production has circulated. [Translator]

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Creativity is a mental and practical social activity not restricted to one specific category [of people][1], [whether] male or female, [or] white, black or yellow…and so on; it is, rather, subject to the nature of society’s culture and society’s foundational framework that is a part of conventional culture which delineates the manner of upbringing, educational values and the outlet and scope of human energy. Innovation is, at one and the same time, the harvest of all this, an effective power in it and a tool to change it.

 

Creativity has conditions

Today there is a competitive struggle circulating among developed societies in relation to the development of creative abilities and increasing the number of creative people. That is because creative ability flourishes and grows by virtue of social circumstances, constituents and conditions and is not, as is commonly held, a natural gift one hundred percent. The need of societies for creative people increases with the nature of the current civilisational development and [with] the entering of the age of information explosion and the information society. Innovations have become accreditation documents of society’s membership among the civilisation of the information age club. Here, social thought is distinguished with the flourishing of innovative abilities among individuals, the supremacy of scientific thinking, the availability of a space for dialogue and competition on a methodological and orderly basis and [also with]  thinking here being collective, that is, the thinking of a team that transcends personal drive and one-sided isolationism. We deem communal thought here [to be] prospectively anticipating the future in a uniform, radical development or change.

 

[1] Literally: one [gender or racial] category without another… [Translator] 

 

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This activity has undoubtedly become a necessity for the sake of the resurgence and active participation in building a society on the level of modern civilisation, on the condition that the innovative change comprise all fields and elements of our lives and our social, cognitive, intellectual and cultural relations…Certainly we see in our present time a large-scale explosion of profound extent in innovative activity. The survival and existence of societies, that is our lives, has become subject to success or failure in global competition in the sphere of innovation, strictly speaking scientific and technological innovation, that is embodied as thought, culture, behaviour and social relations and becomes clearly manifest in the form of believing in the sublimity of the common human in spite of the difference in race, colour and age.[1]

 

[1] Literally: ages. [Translator]