Wednesday
Apr132011

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Presently living in Dubai, and feeling that the time is ripe to start up my own website, I begin this process by welcoming you to my blog, here2here, with the words, "Ahlan Wa Sahlan".

A very old Arab greeting, it is a phrase used when welcoming guests.

Ahlan literally means family or kinfolk, Sahlan literally means easy, and so translated loosely this greeting means, "May you arrive as part of the family, and tread an easy path (as you enter)." A door is opened for the other to become part of the family with the acknowledgement that the rights of the other will be respected to make the entering as trouble free as is possible.

One explanation I found put it this way:

Ahlan is to say "you're like my family";

Sahlan is to say "take it easy"

Conclusion: "you're like my family so take it easy"

I was immediately reminded of my late father when I discovered the meaning of Ahlan Wa Sahlan as one of his favourite sayings to me was "Take it easy, my girl".

Through globalization or alienation, many of us find ourselves living in countries other than the ones we were born in. The whole question of identity in a global family needs to be investigated.

Where is home? Is home a place? What does it mean to belong? What is the meaning of family? Who is my family?

These are all questions that invite new interpretation and reflection in the 21st century.

here2here will encourage online hospitality - sharing and listening in ways that promote trust, and encourage broadening of perspective and making place for the other in a growing global community.

In this special we-space, as we blog and comment on a plane beyond space and time, we are unable to hear the voice of the other or read body language as we communicate. The words of Saint Benedict become most applicable in this situation: Listen and attend with the ear of your heart .

It is from such a space that a new collective consciousness can arise, bringing with it potential for a new type of creativity.

Mindful of each post and comment along the way, may we all feel at home in here2here.

Ahlan Wa Sahlan.

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