Today's Interesting Facts (29/12/05)
1 - There is an 8th-13th century Cypriot dialect of Arabic called Christian Maronite Arabic.
The unwritten dialect (or language?) is confined to a village of 1,200 people called Kormakiti, and has transformed over the years to the extent that Arabic speakers would not understand it. It is only used at home and for religious purposes. It is said that the dialect came to Cyprus with Lebanese Maronites who accompanied the Crusaders there.
I wonder what radical ultra-nationalist Lebanese-Maronite advocates of replacing the Arabic language and script to Phoenician or Latin scripts, have to say about this.
2 - American students prefer to study Arabic in Israel rather than the Arab world
Two-thirds of Americans choose to study Arabic in Israel rather than the Arab world. Why? Arab states don't have very encouraging educational institutions, many of these Americans are Jews and would rather go to Israel, the Arab world 'isn't secure enough' and Arab Americans don't do a good-enough job in promoting their countries.
Agreed, the Arab world isn't so secure, but isn't it more secure than Israel?! Also, I'm not too surprised about Arab Americans. Many Arabs in the US have chosen to leave their countries because of the regimes that rule them. Why would they encourage others to go?
3 - UK's top Jewish group apologizes to Palestinian charity
In a foot-in-mouth incident, the UK's top Jewish group has presumably made a fat donation to the Palestinian cause. In an out-of-court settlement (whose terms have not been made public), the Board of Deputies of British Jews has agreed to issue an apology for calling the charity, Interpal, a "terrorist organization" and has promised not to do it again.