Thursday, September 6, 2012

The pope is coming (Act busy)....

Pope Benedictus XVI is coming to Lebanon, the visit has its own website and twitter account @lbpapalvisit which in itself a sign of the times. It doesn't mean the church is getting dogmatically flexible, but it does mean that at least they are getting digital. The ads (let's call them the "official" ads) of the visit have centered around the French word of "foi" or faith. To be kind to his holiness, let's start with the hits.  
"Il etait une foi... et pour toujours" - which means both "once upon a time" and "there was once a faith"... And it goes on "and then forever."
Then the Arabic version, "Al eyman el sate3" or "the shining faith" - could this be a reference to the Rehbani song "Imani sate3"? The said song starts with the lyrics "no matter how late he will come, he who is coming will not get lost, he comes with no notice, fromt he heart of the sun, from the heart of light, no one knows, he who is coming, how he will be coming, my faith is shining, oh sea of the night,..."
 Actually, if any of the ads gets my stamp of approval it will be this one: "Le Pape et les jeunes à la foi" - the Holy Father and the youth together, but also it means "The Holy Father and the youth together in faith" (Even the lolapalooza visual seems fitting in this case).
The first miss is this one - it is supposed to say "with your coming, the heaven descended upon the earth" but it also means "with your coming, the sky fell upon the earth" (anyone remembers Asterix "que je ciel ne nous tombe pas sur la tete"?) The words "the sky is falling on the earth" is used in slang Arabic as "all hell breaking loose."

Now for the second miss.... And for a miss it is a huge one! "Par foi il vous acceuille"... It should mean "with faith he welcomes you" but the boo boo is that "par foi" (with faith) also means "parfois" which means sometimes... So the line reads "Sometimes, he welcomes you" (implicity "at other times, he doesn't" - probably because he is too busy with other things!).... No, I am not hinting at the abuse scandal.
Ahem... How about this stencil then found on walls of a Chrisitan school in Beirut?
As a side note, when the late pope John Paul II visited Lebanon in 1997 the crowds were cheering "John Paul II we love you" (and then, on the final day, someone came up with an Arabic version after several days of shouting an English slogan "Youhanna Boulos el tene, habib el cha3b el lebene") I am just wondering what could rhyme with "Benedictus XVI" either in English or Arabic.
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