During Iftar, my 9 year old son, asked me if I could help him find some Arabic information on the web, about animals and the five senses.
So after we finished eating (and after my delayed ‘morning’ coffee) we sat down in front of his good old Mac for what I supposed would be an easy browsing session.
I did not know that I had a date with the Arabian Internet Desert.
It is horrible!
I did a Google search, in Arabic for “the five sense and animals”. Not one relevant search result. So, less ambitiously, I searched for “the five senses” and “senses”.
What came out was utterly pathetic. The best educational result was actually on an Israeli Arab/Hebrew web site. The second best was on SchoolArabia.com (actually a Jordanian site, congratulations) which was, unfortunately, subscription based.
I then found a colorful, friendly looking page, which listed a good number of educational topics in Arabic. I clicked on one of the links and I ended up on a US educational site, which, of course, was beautiful, but in English.
“Damn! There must be SOMETHING on the Arabic Wikipedia, I thought to myself,” my son watching my increasing frustration.
Guess what you’ll find under the entry about the five senses in the Arabic Wikipedia..
That is, literally, the entire entry!! DUH!
I returned to Google, trying harder to find some simple information about the senses.
“The five senses and the path to Allah”
“Sense (7awas): A Saudi Discussion Forum”
“The five senses and foreplay in marital life”
Maybe I should have just printed out the content from that last link and sent it with my son to his teacher. That would have been something.
It’s a god-forsaken desert out there for Arabic children content.
Oh, great defenders of the Arabic culture in the High Arabic Language Academies..
Oh, you great warners of the dangers of globalization, normalization and “ziftation”..
Oh, you great middle-aged fat academics from the land between “Roaring Ocean to the Rebellious Gulf”..
Why don’t you move your butts and start copying and pasting some books into Wikipedia?