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29 October 2007

An Ode to Love







An Ode to Love

By Hoda Nassef


The famous authors, journalists and brothers, the late twins Moustafa and Ali Amin, were always very advanced for their generation. They adopted many new trends before their time, and adapted nice European and American traditions, conforming it to an Egyptian style. They are the true founders in Egypt of Mother’s Day (on March 21) as well as adapting the European Valentine’s Day for our “Eid El-Hobb” on 4 November. Sometimes we like to celebrate both days … especially the hopelessly romantic – or the greedy wives looking for more ways to get gifts from their spouses!

In any case, we were always a romantic nation. Did you know that some of the most poignant love verses or passionate quotes were from the Ancient Egyptians, our ancestors the Pharaohs? Whatever the case may be, in celebration of Love, for Valentine’s Day, I dedicate this to all the people I love, but most of all, to those I don’t ……


A Twentieth-Century Saint:

“Spread love everywhere you go; first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next-door neighbour...Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness. Kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting." - Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa, 1979 Nobel Peace Winner (and, prior to being canonized; i.e., named by the Pope as ‘Saint’,became Blessed Mother Teresa on October 19, 2003)


Old Wisdom:

“It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act. There are two aspects to action. One is to overcome the distortions and afflictions of your own mind, that is, in terms of calming and eventually dispelling anger. This is action out of compassion. The other is more social, more public. When something needs to be done in the world to rectify the wrongs, if one is really concerned with benefiting others, one needs to be engaged, involved.” - His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom"


Valentine’s Legend:

More than 2,000 years ago in Rome, there was a Christian doctor named Valentine. According to legend, Valentine had special abilities that allowed him to cure many diseases. However, a Roman emperor named Claudius did not like Valentine's Christian beliefs. At that time, most Romans believed in different gods and goddesses. Claudius sent Valentine to prison where he was sentenced to death for his unpopular beliefs. While he was imprisoned, Valentine became friends with the jailer's blind daughter, and he used his special abilities to cure her blindness. Valentine was killed on February 14, but before he died, he sent a special note to the girl and signed it "From Your Valentine." This note of friendship was the world's first Valentine message.

An Old Wives’ Tale:

A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said: "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat.”

“Is the man of the house home?" they asked. “No", she replied. "He's out.” “Then we cannot come in," they replied.

In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. “Go tell them I am home and invite them in.” The woman went out and invited the men in. “We do not go into a House together," they replied.

“Why is that?" she asked. One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home.”

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!” he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!” His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?”

Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!”

"Let us heed our daughter-in-law's advice," said the husband to his wife. “Go out and invite Love to be our guest.”

The woman went out and asked the three old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest.” Love got up and started walking towards the house. The other two also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love. Why are you coming in?”

The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever Love goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!"

Some Famous Love Quotes:

To live without loving is to not really living. - Moliere

Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other. - Rainer Maria Rilke

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Take spring when it comes and rejoice. Take happiness when it comes and rejoice. Take love when it comes and rejoice. - Carl Ewald

And think not you can guide the course of love. For love, if it finds you worthy, shall guide your course. - Khalil Goubran

One man by himself is nothing. Two people who belong together make a world. – Hans Margolius

No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever. - Francois Mauriac

The entire sum of existence is the magic of being needed by just one person. – Vi Putnam

They gave each other a smile with a future in it. - Ring Lardner

Gather the rose of love whilst yet is time. - Edmund Spencer

Treasure each other in the recognition that we do not know how long we shall have each other. - Joshua Liebman

Love is the greatest refreshment in life. - Pablo Picasso

He who love touches, walks not in darkness. At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet. - Plato

Love is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity. - Helen Hayes

To love and be loved is the greatest happiness of existence. - Sydney Smith

Verses on Love from The Holy Bible:

A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another;
as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. - John 13:34


Love never faileth; but where there be prophecies, they shall
fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease, whether
there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.- I Corinthians 13


There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.- I John 4:18

Some Surahs on Love from The Holy Qur'an:
(82 verses with love, displaying from verse number 1)
Translation of the Meaning of these Verses:


(2:165) Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides God, as equal (with God): They love them as they should love God. But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for God. If only the unrighteous could see, behold, they would see the penalty: that to God belongs all power, and God will strongly enforce the penalty.

(2:177) It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or west; but it is righteousness to believe in God and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts, which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing

(2:190) Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors.

(2:195) And spend of your substance in the cause of God, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for God loveth those who do good.

(2:276) God will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked.

(3:14) Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet; women and sons, heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in nearness to God is the best of the goals (to return to).

(3:31) Say: "If ye do love God, Follow me: God will love you and forgive you your sins: For God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

Finally, I SAY...if one cannot say something good or kind to someone, or about someone, it is better to say nothing at all. But if one can easily say something bad, isn’t it much easier to say something nice? “Valentine's Day” on February 14, is a good day to begin! Or, any day....


H.N.

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