Well, this is very frustrating. This dumb photo, of a giant GUSH HASHISH banner on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, is only on this one guy's photo album site from which I can't filch it. So to see the original, go HERE.
The Dubai guy also stores his photos on one of these photo album sites, and I find them a total pain in the butt because they make free-and-easy lackadaisical cavalier filching so very difficult. I mean -- it's just Zeroes and Ones! It's not like I'm breaking into your apartment and stealing your underwear!
Ben Yehuda Street, btw, is named for Eliezer Ben Yehuda (1858-1922), who got this brilliant idea to resurrect the certifiably Dead Language of Hebrew to be a Living, Spoken lingo. I wouldn't have given him 2 shekels for his chances. But there ya go, whole buncha people now buy their asparagus and read the paper -- and scream military orders -- in Hebrew.
IDF (Israel Defense Force) Joke:
SERGEANT: I need volunteer who has driver's license and speaks fluent English.
PRIVATE: ME! ME! ME!
SERGEANT: Okay, clean out the toilets.
Ben Yehuda's son was already a very old man when he had the privilege to come to America and, desperate for some kind of job, end up teaching Hebrew to moi = Huckleberry Finnstein, in my Hebrew School, when I was about 14.
What me and my hoodlum buddies did to this poor doddering old man -- well, if there's a Hell, there's a seat reserved for me. I guess the innocent victims who go to Heaven get to watch juvenile delinquents like me suffer our well-deserved eternal torment, on a Hi-Def giant plasma TV closed circuit channel, in an air-conditioned lounge, while sipping limeade.
(47 years late)
Here is what we did to poor old Dr. Ben Yehuda.
We didn't want to be there for several hours every afternoon -- particularly in the spring -- learning Hebrew. It was a Pearls Before Swine thing. (We were the Swine.)
The classroom was far from the Hebrew School office, and he no longer was a very speedy kind of guy.
There was no clock in the classroom. He had a wristwatch, but didn't seem to trust it or believe it. (Like him, it was very old.) He kept going out into the hallway and checking the clock out there.
As soon as he turned his back on us to write on the blackboard, I would dash out the rear door (I am a very sneaky person) and set the hallway clock ahead by about a half hour or 40 minutes, and then sneak back in to my seat.
So he would check the time off the hallway clock and eventually dismiss the class 40 minutes early, and us hoodlums were OUT OF THERE like greased lightning, and he would pick up his books and slowly dodder toward the office.
Where the secretary would look at him and look at her clock and ask him what the hell he was doing there.
It took him about three weeks to figure out what was going on.
Here's some more Gush Hashish graffiti from Israel:
"The People Are in Solidarity
with a Bloc(k) of Hashish."
It's a pun off slogans of Gush Shalom, the Peacenik Party.
Some of the peaceniks' signs are quite lovely, demanding peace and non-violent conflict resolution in both Hebrew and Arabic.
Notice also the Hammer and Sickle, a flavor of political graffiti you almost never see in the USA. Yet.
But, just as it did during the interminable Vietnam War, I suspect we'll start seeing more Hammers and Sickles on American walls. I'm sending $50 to Cindy Sheehan's congressional campaign to defeat Nancy Pelosi. The Democratic Party sure ain't ending this war. I don't even think they want to end the Iraq War. They just want to stomp Republicans. That's nice and everything, but there's a difference. Screw Nancy Pelosi and all the other Democrats who can't/won't stop the Iraq War. They don't get it. Maybe they'll get it when they're unemployed. I will help them get unemployed.
The other image -- filched from the Ale Yarok/Green Leaf Party site -- is the international symbol, recognized throughout the world, for cops beating the shit out of sick people who get relief from smoking medical marijuana.
Last week we finally went to Cafe Lebanon in downtown QualityOfLifeVille, and just had the dandiest, most delicious time. Business was a bit slow and we got to chat with the woman who runs the place. (She apologized that the belly dancer prominently advertised on the menu wasn't there anymore.)
She decided it might be a good time to leave Lebanon and try to get to the USA when a bullet went whizzing through the windows of her daughter's school bus. I asked her what the buzz was from phone calls back home. She didn't have very optimistic things to say about the internal and regional situation.
I made a grand speech blaming all the region's troubles on the European colonial powers -- France, Britain -- and the Big Fucking Mess they left behind.
She nodded, but said:
"Listen, when your mother-in-law keeps causing trouble in your marriage and won't stop, whose fault is it if you let her keep doing it?"
This isn't the way I want more delicious food from around the world in my town. Year after year, the inability to stop war and violence and human-rights atrocities all over the planet makes Main Street blossom with more and more delicious restaurants.
I remembered the Egyptian restaurant owner in MiddleEastStraat in Amsterdam, who pointed across the street at an Israeli restaurant, and said:
"We don't all love each other. But we both came here because here, our kids don't have to kill each other every 20 years."
Abbas Halai said...
since you're insisting on a guesstimate, i'm assuming it's one of the qul's. qul huwallaho ahad, qul awoozo birabil falaq, or qul awoozo birabin naas. most likely, the first guess since it reads allah and the starting of ahad in the second word right after (arabic is read right to left). but then again, it's just a guess. you would probably be able to google them as sura ikhlas, sura falaq or sura nas.
after sura fatiha, these three are hammered into every muslim kids brain without them ever realizing what any of it means.
Tuesday, 18 September, 2007
Steve Klein said...
The Hebrew is "Gush Hashish," which I guess means "Hashish Block." (Not block in the sense of "a big chunk of something,' but as in 'a group of things.')
The banner you saw might have been from this organization.
Now, where's my kosher pizza?
Wednesday, 19 September, 2007
Vleeptron Dude said...
Hmmm, I very arrogantly assumed the Qur'an puzzle would be a very straightforward walk in the park, but abbas is giving me his guesses in transliterated Arabic, and the Answer on the Dubai guy's website was something like 12.13 ... the Sura and Aya numbers. So kindly be patient while I try to translate one system about which I am totally ignorant into another system about which I am totally ignorant.
I *really* need to get a better grip on Arabic. I guess I'm just embarrassed to go to the many kindergarten-level intro websites (some that speak each sound when you press the letter or word) with my Luke Skywalker lunchbox.
STEVE THE IT GUY FROM the USA state shaped like the palm of the right hand (sorry about the Appalachian game, guy) wins the Hebrew Pizza! My new tatt says GUSH HASHISH.
Gush Hashish is a sort of Merry Prankster offshoot/affiliate of that Green Leaf Party. The joke in their name is that Gush Shalom is a very well known (if numerically insignificant) political party in Israel, muy peacenik/shalomnik/lefty. So yeah, Gush means Bloc, but what its original/Biblical Hebrew meaning was ... well, remember, you are talking to Huckleberry Finnstein here.
I guess there's a second pun to Gush Hashish -- block of hash, bloc of hash lovers.
The government can laugh off the colorful antics of the Gush Hashish fringies, but they have to pay more attention to the Green Leaf party, which is not clownish, and blends its pro-cannabis message with a very serious and popular Environmental platform. You don't want these people on your back, you have to toss them a compromise or two.
I'll be cruising back to AA eventually, you pick the pizzeria, I'll buy.
As mentioned, Bekaa Valley Lebanese Hashish is the centerpiece of the NGO Vleeptron / moNGO Middle East Peace Plan.
Laugh all you want -- but how much worse could my plan be than the Roadmap? Condoleezza Rice is in Israel again to wave her magic wand and bring Shalom/Salaam to the region. Uh-huh.
Oh, the Arabic origin ... this was the stuff the famous ancient order of the Assassins -- the Hashasheen -- used to party with when they weren't off on an assassination job. I'm pretty sure the Hashasheen were from what's now Lebanon, and the Bekaa agricultural fields were already in full flower.