Muscat Daily Columnist
The writer is an architect who came to Oman 30 years ago
These days we see ads which promote devices that can translate up to 43 languages or help learn a foreign language within two weeks, and people believe them. A language is a culture and cannot be transferred automatically. Each language has its own method, grammar, logic, composition and intonation. In German for example, the verbs are at the end of a sentence, whilst others use the verb at the beginning.
As human beings we have the advantage over animals, trees and plants to be able to dream. Our dreams help us imagine a world which exists only in our minds. We believe that we know the ending of a movie, or the result of a football game, before it even starts. But when reality hits us finally we face a dilemma. We ask ourselves questions such as, “How naïve were we? Should we stop dreaming and imagining?”
Humans have traditionally five known senses, sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. Some would add balance, acceleration and proprioception, but let us look at the main ones.
Alexandria in Egypt was renowned for its one of the first libraries in history. Built around 200 BC, this institution used to house a wide number of scrolls containing numerous writings pertaining to history, medicine, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy etc. There were no books, (printing appeared 1400 years later only), but just original writings signed by authors. The information was based on discoveries in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, China and Syria.
These days, the name ‘Iran’ often appears in the news, described as a country based on antagonism, ‘aggressivity’ and other qualities. But the country has many other qualities that one should not ignore.