إذا كان رب البيت بالدف ضارباً، فشيمة أهل البيت كلهم الرقص
Speaking of the Nobel Prize in some of my recent posts: here is a new gem:
“A prominent Saudi Islamic scholar who was previously accused of plagiarism and famous for his best-selling book “Don’t Be Sad” (La Tahzan) has announced that he would reject the Nobel Peace Prize if it is offered to him. Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni made his statement on Twitter after Saudi writer Ibrahim al-Majari wrote in a column on the daily Al-Sharq newspaper that the preacher deserves the prestigious award because he is “sympathetic to women’s rights” and because he stands against terrorism. “If those in charge of the Nobel Prize are unbiased Sheikh Aaidh would be the first winner,” Majari wrote in his article. The Sheikh, however, responded in a tweet saying: “I refuse the Nobel Peace Prize and hope the committee overseeing it will not put my name on the list, with many thanks to the writer from Al-Sharq, Ibrahim al-Majari.” Sheikh Aaidh is famous for his book “don’t be sad” (la Tahzan) which sold more than 10 million copies. But the prominent Sheikh, who has more than 2.5 million followers on Twitter, recently faced a credibility crisis after a fellow Saudi female writer and author accused him of plagiarizing her work in another book…………….”
About plagiarism and stealing. There is that excellent Arab saying, I roughly and quickly translated above as: “If the master of the house plays the drum, than no wonder the rest of the household would take up dancing”
After a PhD (from anywhere possible) and millions of Twitter followers, the new unattainable Gulf chic is: the Nobel Prize (nomination not actually winning). There was a time on the Gulf when all kinds of potentates and their retainers and plutocrats and clerics showed up almost every day with some kind of doctorate. Not sure how they got them since they rarely left town long enough to read a book. They are still at it, getting them online or from places as far as some offices overlooking Times Square or der Kärtnerstrasse or Place Pigalle, especially Pigalle, although Place de Clichy would do as well.
Now the Nobel Prize is in vogue. I am beginning to suspect that every crackpot cleric, prince and shaikh and tribal chief in the Middle East has a website or Facebook account nominating him for some Nobel Prize (usually for Peace). I think there is a permanent site lobbying for Saudi King Abdullah; fine and dandy, but they ought to make it generic, just “Saudi King”: one never knows who will be king six months from now. I know one Gulf shaikh (and a major thief to boot, but what else is new) who has a website dedicated to “what great guy he is”: possibly set up by some minion of his. A prelude to a Nobel nomination for fleecing?
I was told by a Beirut (or was it Paris) source once that Foaud Saniora was thinking of nominating Saad Hariri (can one do that?), before he realized there is someone else who has priority, someone who has oil and pays the bills. I even know one Gulf academic from one tribe who nominated an academic from another tribe: I suspect with the goal of making himself look good and magnanimous and perhaps be considered for the Nobel Prize. I wish I knew how to nominate for the Nobel, I might nominate myself since I am mostly peaceful most of the time.
BTW: the princes give themselves a lot of prizes, usually within the family (i.e. incestuous). Prince X foundation awards Prince Y the kleptocracy award of the year. They, and possibly the rulers of Qatar, have probably offered to donate a lot of money to the Nobel Committee. Hint, hint.