Saturday, October 2, 2010

The House of Wisdom By Jonathan Lyons


Before reading this book - "The House of Wisdom" by Jonathan Lyons I have picked up similar books before but never had the chance to read them these include "The Great Arab Conquests - How the Spread of Islam changed the world we live in" by Hugh Kennedy and "The Spread of Islam in the World - A History of Peaceful Preaching" by Prof. Thomas Arnold. In truth I felt a thirst to know the exact details of what was happening in the "dark ages of the medevial west" and "Islamic enlightened era between the time of the Prophet Mohammed til the fall of Granada" but I have to admit my questions of the details of that time haven't been answered up til now when Failafoosa suggested this read and I opened the pages which made the whole image crystal clear. The ability of the author to draw both sides of the story alongside each other, comparing the historical events in an organized method that helps us - the readers - stay interested yet comprehend the origins of the world's viewpoints on philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, science etc is amazing!

My favorite chapter is "Al Fajr" I couldn't have enough of all the facts that were mentioned about the knowledge attained from the Greeks, Sumerians, Persians, Indians, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastians, and Sabeans that have all come together in the "melting pot" of ancient Baghdad - The House of Wisdom, Bayt Al Hekma - and how all of this knowledge was translated into Arabic and integrated to comply with Islamic teachings.

I fell in love with this sentence, that the writer expressed:

"Today, many tend to see religion as the enemy of scientific progress. YET, early Islam openly encouraged and nutured intellectual inquiry of all kinds."

Another part I loved was when Al Mamun wanted to know the circumference of the earth; "Extending an expriment by the ancient Greek mathematician Eratosthenes, the Caliph dispatched two teams of astronomers, surveyors, and instrument makers to the desert plain of Sinjar, near Mosul, where they took intial readings of the sun's altitude before setting off in opposite directions, one group heading due north and the other due south. As they moved, they took care to note the distance they had traveled, inserting special markers into the ground along their path. When a second set of solar readings indicated they had traveled one degree along the meridian, they stopped and retraced their steps, double checking the distance they had come. The two independant results were then analyzed and compared, yeilding a remarkably accurate final figure. Al Mamun's researchers' calculation of the circumference of the earth was very close to what we know today."

In addition, there was a part he wrote about 11th century Arab geographers who have calculated the length of the Mediterranean Degrees of longitude (42 degrees) which is very near to it's modern value today.

I was really impressed at the way he wrapped up the book in the last chapter, he clearly indebts the intial West's openmindedness towards the study of the sciences first treaded upon by the early Arab scientists and philosophers;

"...Under the direct influence of the Arab Aristotelians, Thomas had carved out a truce between traditional church teachings and the discoveries of the emerging generations of modern Western scientists. That comprise defines the rules of engagement to this day between the realms of faith and reason. And it stakes the Arab's claims as inventors of the West, a debt that Adelard of Bath identified many centuries ago on his return from Antioch: "Of course God rules the universe," he assures his readers. "But we may and should enquire into the natural world. The Arabs teach us that."
First picture is taken by SAKS ;) in our meeting this Monday 27th September:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Passionate discussion about everything French!

Here are the pics from the last meeting ;) I really had so much fun and hope everyone has a great holiday InshAllah! *crushing hug to you all*!!


Sample of some books we got to choose for the other rounds...
Yummy macaroons, and chocolates with our logo on them, and the latest book chosen by Failafoosa...
Shirley temple drink that the writer E B mentioned she liked, minus the alchohol of course! :P
One of the recipes in the book; Grandma Elsie's Bread with chocolate chips! Yummy!
Eating "Pasta A la Gwendal" whilst chatting away ;)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

ELizabeth Bard





Saturday, April 3, 2010

For those who enjoyed reading "eat,love and pray" finally the trailer out :D
inshala it's gonna be good as the book ;P

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tea, Khalil Gibran and Ink on lips :P

Last Monday meeting, I woke up at 6:00 prayed and dragged Monalisa to the kitchen with me, after we had our steaming hot cups of cappuccino we started working on the Red Velvet Cupcakes -for our "suprise" club bday- that we tried before and fell in love with (the funny thing is last time we did it we didn't have the red food coloring :P so it wasn't even red!)

I was so happy most of you liked the book :D and it was really good to see all of you! *biggest hug to you all* !!

For the Red Velvet Recipe, and pictures of the proccess :









For anyone who wants to read more about Khalil Gibran (it also has all of his writings).

My review on "Broken Wings":

"Although this is the first book I read of Khalil Gibran, I feel it gave me alot of insight into his charachter, I liked his poetic way of relating nature to his feelings, how he said when a person is sad everything around him seems sad, when he is happy everything around is bright and happy. I also loved the way he said that one single thought from a single man or women can change the whole of humanity, and it lives on forever.
What really suprised me also was his open mindedness of religion, he is not rigid with his belief but appericiates the good in all religions - though he himself is a Christian - and he writes in manner that looks into the soul, even love is more about seeing into your loved ones soul, rather than physical beauty."

Every beauty and greatness in this world is created by a single thought or emotion inside a man. Every thing we see today, made by past generations, was, before its appearance, a thought in the mind of a man or an impulse in the heart of a woman.


Please don't forget to share your reviews on "Broken Wings".

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It was a great meeting that we had today i hope everyone felt the same way & enjoyed discussion about "The Broken Wings"by Khalil Gibran. I Still got Khalil Gibran mood so, definitely gonna read more of his work, life and look for his play :P

Thanks all for coming :D. "M.&M." i hope you enjoyed your first round. "S." wa'7eeran Mabroook and w/b 7ashaaaaaa:P.. lol am kind've emotional and of course u know who to blame (A) .. so anyway here is a pic. i wanted to share from today's meeting!

Saks & Failafoosa here you go with the Rating, go a head decide and plz let us know;

Confession Of A Jane Austen Addict 6

Rude Awakenings of Jane Austen Addict 6

The Forgotten Garden 4

The Prophet 4

A thousand splendid Suns 3
The Lovely Bones 3
Secret Life a water 5
If you could see me now 4
The Girl who chose the Moon 8
The Last Lecture 6
_______________________________________________
oh yea last thing, here u go with Elizabeth Bard Blog;
Take care ;)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The long awaited answers I got from Shelina...;)

I'm sorry I didn't post this sooner for all of you, below I pasted the answers to the questions you guys have asked Shelina JanMohammed the writer of "Love in A Headscarf":

YaMi: How were you so sure you would find “The One”?
Shelina: There is something inherently optimistic about human beings. In part I was influenced by the notion of Prince Charming, and falling in love and living happily ever after, and partly I was influenced by the Islamic idea that we are all created in pairs. So I wondered who the pair for me was. 'The One' has a deeper significance in English too, as it refers to the Divine, The Truth,The Eternal, and so in my heart I was searching for that One without even knowing the name.


Failafoosa: What was so hard about writing your first novel?


PonderingImprints: Do you feel that as a Muslim it is more preferable to write non-fiction –real factual information that has happened as in it’s not a lie – as to writing fiction – not real information - ?
Shelina: I started out on my writing career with my blog, and it was natural for me to focus on non-fiction, and so this is my foundation as a writer. However, my writing does have a certain creativity in the book which has often been mistaken for a novel. However, I believe it was important to write this book as non-fiction because otherwise I dont think people would really have believed the stories could be true! When you are writing, with some notion that you want to convey an idea of message, you have to see which medium will convey your story best. Sometimes this will be non-fiction - such as the case of my book. Sometimes this may in fact be fiction, because it is a more appropriate way to touch people with a different perspective. I don't see fiction as 'lying', rather just a different mechanism for storytelling and meaning.


Saks: As a Muslim women living in the West do you ever feel that you sometimes face situations where you feel that want to take the easy way out?
Shelina: Is there ever such a thing as an easy way out? Everything in life is about perspective. In London I can practice my faith with as much vigour as i wish - i can wear hijab, (or niqab if i wanted!), I can work, I can be educated, I could have an islamic mortgage etc etc. I lived in Bahrain for a year for work, and found that some challenges are harder to 'Muslim' countries, and some are harder in 'the West'. What I concluded is that people have the same preoccupations wherever they are, they are just expressed in different ways. What it comes down to is who you are, and what you do with your resources - your time, effort, energy and enthusiasm.


She added in the end :
"Good luck with the book club meeting - and let me know what was discussed!with warmest wishes shelina"

Friday, March 19, 2010

When I went to the book fair, in the midst of the stalls with bestsellers, children's books, standing crowds I saw at the very back in a corner of the Al Mutanabi stall a pile of purple books that perked my interest and when I read Khalil Gibran's name on the cover I was like "That's the one I was looking for!"

I am loving the poetic mood of the book and I hope all of you feel the same, can't wait to see you all on Monday, 22nd March at 6:00...


And here's a pic to share from last meeting, since it was a weekend it wasn't a suprise not many could make it ! But we had loads of fun nonetheless nibbling on chocolate covered strawberries and talking about the love story in "Thanks for the Memories" with the members who did make it (and for next time don't you guys dare tell me you want the meeting in the weekend ! :P)


Mystical Glow I really like the books you recommended! I was also going to ask when are we going to bring books from the other genres, autobiography, and arabic? I was thinking of choosing the arabic version of one of Gibran's books and we compare it with the translation we read, but that depends on how much his writings was enjoyed.

Let us make the final decision all of us next meeting InshAllah...;D

I qoute the following from "The Broken Wings", I loved the way the narrator described his beloved Selma:

"The beauty of Selma's face was not classic; it was like a dream of revelation which cannot be measured or bound, or copied by the brush of a painter or the chisel of a sculptor. Selma's beauty was not in her golden hair, but in the virtue of purity which surronded it; not in her large eyes, but in the light which emanated from them; not in her red lips, but in the sweetness of her words; not in her ivory neck, but in it's slight bow to the front. Nor was it in her perfect figure, but in the nobility of her spirit, burning like a white torch between earth and sky.

Her beauty was like a gift of poetry."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hey members :)
Hope everyone enjoyed reading "The Broken wings"
True, It was a short read but could not put it down & finished it within two days..^.^
So, applause Ponderingimprints for the good choice ;P
Am wondering how is everyone doing?!


Anyway, ive had these books since forever on my bookshelf :"Confession of a Jane Austen Addict & Rude Awakening of a Jane Austen Addict";they are Laurie Viera Rigler Sequel, what do you think including them to the BC?!
Below is a link and a clip that is related to the book plz have a look and kindly, let me know ur thoughts! =)



Hope u'll like it^.^


The other day as i was looking at the blog archive i noticed that we already completed a year since our 1st entry was created in Feb.2009 ^.^

Time has passed quick with great books and company that we all have shared. There were laughs, pauses & thoughts bouncing on the Table on each day of our meeting. And as we left the place, moments of our shared thoughts moved along.

We traveled in time, places & into peoples thoughts, then we lived the "what if" life by connecting it to our reality, either by shows that we have watched, daily life exprience or even places that we have visited.
With you members along with the pleasure of books, Our BC left Prints. As the pages kept turning we gained Facts and knowledge .
I would like to thank you all membrs for the time that we have shared & Happy 1st BC Birthday o 3gabal el 50 years **inshala** ;P

Promise last thought lol .... if you could change or add one thing to the BC, what could that be? what is the 1st thought that comes to mind?!
will you plz Think about it till our next meeting!

Thanks all for your time & Take care =)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The House of Wisdom By Jonathan Lyons


Before reading this book - "The House of Wisdom" by Jonathan Lyons I have picked up similar books before but never had the chance to read them these include "The Great Arab Conquests - How the Spread of Islam changed the world we live in" by Hugh Kennedy and "The Spread of Islam in the World - A History of Peaceful Preaching" by Prof. Thomas Arnold. In truth I felt a thirst to know the exact details of what was happening in the "dark ages of the medevial west" and "Islamic enlightened era between the time of the Prophet Mohammed til the fall of Granada" but I have to admit my questions of the details of that time haven't been answered up til now when Failafoosa suggested this read and I opened the pages which made the whole image crystal clear. The ability of the author to draw both sides of the story alongside each other, comparing the historical events in an organized method that helps us - the readers - stay interested yet comprehend the origins of the world's viewpoints on philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, science etc is amazing!

My favorite chapter is "Al Fajr" I couldn't have enough of all the facts that were mentioned about the knowledge attained from the Greeks, Sumerians, Persians, Indians, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastians, and Sabeans that have all come together in the "melting pot" of ancient Baghdad - The House of Wisdom, Bayt Al Hekma - and how all of this knowledge was translated into Arabic and integrated to comply with Islamic teachings.

I fell in love with this sentence, that the writer expressed:

"Today, many tend to see religion as the enemy of scientific progress. YET, early Islam openly encouraged and nutured intellectual inquiry of all kinds."

Another part I loved was when Al Mamun wanted to know the circumference of the earth; "Extending an expriment by the ancient Greek mathematician Eratosthenes, the Caliph dispatched two teams of astronomers, surveyors, and instrument makers to the desert plain of Sinjar, near Mosul, where they took intial readings of the sun's altitude before setting off in opposite directions, one group heading due north and the other due south. As they moved, they took care to note the distance they had traveled, inserting special markers into the ground along their path. When a second set of solar readings indicated they had traveled one degree along the meridian, they stopped and retraced their steps, double checking the distance they had come. The two independant results were then analyzed and compared, yeilding a remarkably accurate final figure. Al Mamun's researchers' calculation of the circumference of the earth was very close to what we know today."

In addition, there was a part he wrote about 11th century Arab geographers who have calculated the length of the Mediterranean Degrees of longitude (42 degrees) which is very near to it's modern value today.

I was really impressed at the way he wrapped up the book in the last chapter, he clearly indebts the intial West's openmindedness towards the study of the sciences first treaded upon by the early Arab scientists and philosophers;

"...Under the direct influence of the Arab Aristotelians, Thomas had carved out a truce between traditional church teachings and the discoveries of the emerging generations of modern Western scientists. That comprise defines the rules of engagement to this day between the realms of faith and reason. And it stakes the Arab's claims as inventors of the West, a debt that Adelard of Bath identified many centuries ago on his return from Antioch: "Of course God rules the universe," he assures his readers. "But we may and should enquire into the natural world. The Arabs teach us that."
First picture is taken by SAKS ;) in our meeting this Monday 27th September:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Passionate discussion about everything French!

Here are the pics from the last meeting ;) I really had so much fun and hope everyone has a great holiday InshAllah! *crushing hug to you all*!!


Sample of some books we got to choose for the other rounds...
Yummy macaroons, and chocolates with our logo on them, and the latest book chosen by Failafoosa...
Shirley temple drink that the writer E B mentioned she liked, minus the alchohol of course! :P
One of the recipes in the book; Grandma Elsie's Bread with chocolate chips! Yummy!
Eating "Pasta A la Gwendal" whilst chatting away ;)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

ELizabeth Bard





Saturday, April 3, 2010

For those who enjoyed reading "eat,love and pray" finally the trailer out :D
inshala it's gonna be good as the book ;P

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tea, Khalil Gibran and Ink on lips :P

Last Monday meeting, I woke up at 6:00 prayed and dragged Monalisa to the kitchen with me, after we had our steaming hot cups of cappuccino we started working on the Red Velvet Cupcakes -for our "suprise" club bday- that we tried before and fell in love with (the funny thing is last time we did it we didn't have the red food coloring :P so it wasn't even red!)

I was so happy most of you liked the book :D and it was really good to see all of you! *biggest hug to you all* !!

For the Red Velvet Recipe, and pictures of the proccess :









For anyone who wants to read more about Khalil Gibran (it also has all of his writings).

My review on "Broken Wings":

"Although this is the first book I read of Khalil Gibran, I feel it gave me alot of insight into his charachter, I liked his poetic way of relating nature to his feelings, how he said when a person is sad everything around him seems sad, when he is happy everything around is bright and happy. I also loved the way he said that one single thought from a single man or women can change the whole of humanity, and it lives on forever.
What really suprised me also was his open mindedness of religion, he is not rigid with his belief but appericiates the good in all religions - though he himself is a Christian - and he writes in manner that looks into the soul, even love is more about seeing into your loved ones soul, rather than physical beauty."

Every beauty and greatness in this world is created by a single thought or emotion inside a man. Every thing we see today, made by past generations, was, before its appearance, a thought in the mind of a man or an impulse in the heart of a woman.


Please don't forget to share your reviews on "Broken Wings".

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It was a great meeting that we had today i hope everyone felt the same way & enjoyed discussion about "The Broken Wings"by Khalil Gibran. I Still got Khalil Gibran mood so, definitely gonna read more of his work, life and look for his play :P

Thanks all for coming :D. "M.&M." i hope you enjoyed your first round. "S." wa'7eeran Mabroook and w/b 7ashaaaaaa:P.. lol am kind've emotional and of course u know who to blame (A) .. so anyway here is a pic. i wanted to share from today's meeting!

Saks & Failafoosa here you go with the Rating, go a head decide and plz let us know;

Confession Of A Jane Austen Addict 6

Rude Awakenings of Jane Austen Addict 6

The Forgotten Garden 4

The Prophet 4

A thousand splendid Suns 3
The Lovely Bones 3
Secret Life a water 5
If you could see me now 4
The Girl who chose the Moon 8
The Last Lecture 6
_______________________________________________
oh yea last thing, here u go with Elizabeth Bard Blog;
Take care ;)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The long awaited answers I got from Shelina...;)

I'm sorry I didn't post this sooner for all of you, below I pasted the answers to the questions you guys have asked Shelina JanMohammed the writer of "Love in A Headscarf":

YaMi: How were you so sure you would find “The One”?
Shelina: There is something inherently optimistic about human beings. In part I was influenced by the notion of Prince Charming, and falling in love and living happily ever after, and partly I was influenced by the Islamic idea that we are all created in pairs. So I wondered who the pair for me was. 'The One' has a deeper significance in English too, as it refers to the Divine, The Truth,The Eternal, and so in my heart I was searching for that One without even knowing the name.


Failafoosa: What was so hard about writing your first novel?


PonderingImprints: Do you feel that as a Muslim it is more preferable to write non-fiction –real factual information that has happened as in it’s not a lie – as to writing fiction – not real information - ?
Shelina: I started out on my writing career with my blog, and it was natural for me to focus on non-fiction, and so this is my foundation as a writer. However, my writing does have a certain creativity in the book which has often been mistaken for a novel. However, I believe it was important to write this book as non-fiction because otherwise I dont think people would really have believed the stories could be true! When you are writing, with some notion that you want to convey an idea of message, you have to see which medium will convey your story best. Sometimes this will be non-fiction - such as the case of my book. Sometimes this may in fact be fiction, because it is a more appropriate way to touch people with a different perspective. I don't see fiction as 'lying', rather just a different mechanism for storytelling and meaning.


Saks: As a Muslim women living in the West do you ever feel that you sometimes face situations where you feel that want to take the easy way out?
Shelina: Is there ever such a thing as an easy way out? Everything in life is about perspective. In London I can practice my faith with as much vigour as i wish - i can wear hijab, (or niqab if i wanted!), I can work, I can be educated, I could have an islamic mortgage etc etc. I lived in Bahrain for a year for work, and found that some challenges are harder to 'Muslim' countries, and some are harder in 'the West'. What I concluded is that people have the same preoccupations wherever they are, they are just expressed in different ways. What it comes down to is who you are, and what you do with your resources - your time, effort, energy and enthusiasm.


She added in the end :
"Good luck with the book club meeting - and let me know what was discussed!with warmest wishes shelina"

Friday, March 19, 2010

When I went to the book fair, in the midst of the stalls with bestsellers, children's books, standing crowds I saw at the very back in a corner of the Al Mutanabi stall a pile of purple books that perked my interest and when I read Khalil Gibran's name on the cover I was like "That's the one I was looking for!"

I am loving the poetic mood of the book and I hope all of you feel the same, can't wait to see you all on Monday, 22nd March at 6:00...


And here's a pic to share from last meeting, since it was a weekend it wasn't a suprise not many could make it ! But we had loads of fun nonetheless nibbling on chocolate covered strawberries and talking about the love story in "Thanks for the Memories" with the members who did make it (and for next time don't you guys dare tell me you want the meeting in the weekend ! :P)


Mystical Glow I really like the books you recommended! I was also going to ask when are we going to bring books from the other genres, autobiography, and arabic? I was thinking of choosing the arabic version of one of Gibran's books and we compare it with the translation we read, but that depends on how much his writings was enjoyed.

Let us make the final decision all of us next meeting InshAllah...;D

I qoute the following from "The Broken Wings", I loved the way the narrator described his beloved Selma:

"The beauty of Selma's face was not classic; it was like a dream of revelation which cannot be measured or bound, or copied by the brush of a painter or the chisel of a sculptor. Selma's beauty was not in her golden hair, but in the virtue of purity which surronded it; not in her large eyes, but in the light which emanated from them; not in her red lips, but in the sweetness of her words; not in her ivory neck, but in it's slight bow to the front. Nor was it in her perfect figure, but in the nobility of her spirit, burning like a white torch between earth and sky.

Her beauty was like a gift of poetry."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hey members :)
Hope everyone enjoyed reading "The Broken wings"
True, It was a short read but could not put it down & finished it within two days..^.^
So, applause Ponderingimprints for the good choice ;P
Am wondering how is everyone doing?!


Anyway, ive had these books since forever on my bookshelf :"Confession of a Jane Austen Addict & Rude Awakening of a Jane Austen Addict";they are Laurie Viera Rigler Sequel, what do you think including them to the BC?!
Below is a link and a clip that is related to the book plz have a look and kindly, let me know ur thoughts! =)



Hope u'll like it^.^


The other day as i was looking at the blog archive i noticed that we already completed a year since our 1st entry was created in Feb.2009 ^.^

Time has passed quick with great books and company that we all have shared. There were laughs, pauses & thoughts bouncing on the Table on each day of our meeting. And as we left the place, moments of our shared thoughts moved along.

We traveled in time, places & into peoples thoughts, then we lived the "what if" life by connecting it to our reality, either by shows that we have watched, daily life exprience or even places that we have visited.
With you members along with the pleasure of books, Our BC left Prints. As the pages kept turning we gained Facts and knowledge .
I would like to thank you all membrs for the time that we have shared & Happy 1st BC Birthday o 3gabal el 50 years **inshala** ;P

Promise last thought lol .... if you could change or add one thing to the BC, what could that be? what is the 1st thought that comes to mind?!
will you plz Think about it till our next meeting!

Thanks all for your time & Take care =)