Wisdom from HayZeus

July 15, 2006 at 4:52 am (Blogs, International community, Iran, Iraq, Islamism, Israel, Middle East, Military, News, Palestinian Territories)

I have a number of posts in the works.

In the meanwhile, I highly recommend the analyses by HayZeus (of HayZeus, Inc.) of the current Arab-Israeli War. He provides many links to back up his statements and comments. I very much appreciate HayZeus’s posts. Quite erudite. I also like his writing style.
“Has the Iranian endgame begun?” (July 12, 2006)
“Is it war, then?” (July 13, 2006)
“An eye on the upheaval” (July 14, 2006)
“The $64K question” (July 14, 2006)


  1. Mrs. Peel said,

    I have a number of posts in the works

    *waiting patiently*

  2. jayne said,

    The other night on one of the news shows one of the commentors said something about how many of the attacks were on the 11th day of the month. Does that number have any significance or is it just coincidence? I should have asked Hay Zeus but I missed Friday.
    Thanks, Jayne

  3. Mrs. Peel said,

    btw, what spelling of Hezbollah do you favor and why? Meant to ask you that earlier. Also, why should Qassam be spelled with a Q, and frankly, what difference does it make how I spell something that’s a phonetic translation from a language that uses an entirely different alphabet?

  4. Muslihoon said,

    Good question, jayne. I’ve also read about this tendency, but I have yet not been unable to determine what significance, if any, it may have. Sorry!

    Mrs. Peel:
    btw, what spelling of Hezbollah do you favor and why? Meant to ask you that earlier.

    I prefer “Hezbollah.”

    This name is made up from two Arabic words: “Hizbu”, meaning “the army,” and “Allaah” – “the Army of Allaah/God”. (Properly, it would be “al-Hizbu” but when a word is in an iDaafaa’ or possessive construction, the noun loses the article (“al”) but retains the nominative definite case ending (“u”).) Because the second word begins with a short “a” vowel and the previous word ends in a vowel, the short “a” is dropped (technically “elided”) and the two are joined as if they were one word.

    This produces two reasons why people write “Hizbu allaah” (–> “Hizbullaah”) as one word:
    1. They are pronounced as one word, and
    2. The vowel that would indicate the beginning of the second word is dropped.

    Now, the Arabic pronunciation would be along the lines as mention (i.e., “Hizbullaah”). Persian, although using the very same consonants and vowels in writing, pronounces various consonants and sounds differently.

    In Arabic, the range of vowels are: short “a”, long “a” (“aa”), short “i”, long “i” (“ee”), short “u”, and long “u” (“oo”). In Persian, there are short “a”, long “a” (“aa”), short “i” (“e”), long “i” (“ee”), short “u” (“o”), and long “u” (“oo”). As such, what Arabs might pronounce as “Hizbullaah”, Persians would pronounce as “hezbollaah”. As you may have noticed, the “h” became different too. Arab contains two “h”-like sounds: one normal and one more throaty (which is distinct from the “kh” sound, though). Persian has only one “h” sound, even though it uses Arabic’s two “h”-sound characters. Both characters are pronounced the same. (This tendency is extended to other vowels too.) Persian has borrowed many, many, many words from Arabic, but their pronunciation was Persianized.

    To me, pronouncing/writing “Hizbullaah” as “hezbollaah” has meaning: it demonstrates that the organization isn’t Arab (despite being in Lebanon) but in reality is Persian, being a tool of the Irani regime.

    Also, why should Qassam be spelled with a Q, and frankly, what difference does it make how I spell something that’s a phonetic translation from a language that uses an entirely different alphabet?

    My gripe with Israeli media is that both Arabic and Hebrew have a letter for “q”, a throaty “k”. In Arabic, the name of the missile is “Qassaam” and I think the least expected should be that the consonants reflect those of the original word. (No one makes indication for long vowels, so I’ll pass on that issue.) “Qassaam” didn’t come from just anywhere: it’s named after Izz ad-Deen al-Qassaam, a killed Palestinian terrorist. Just as one would be scrupulous about rendering a person’s name’s consonants as accurately as possible, similarly I think that the Qassaam rocket should reflect this fact, that it’s named after a dead Palestinian terrorist. To use “k” would be to imply that the name exists perhaps only for that object, in which case being scrupulous would be ridiculous.

    In all fairness, Israelis don’t even transcribe their “q” as “q” into Roman characters. The “qof” is transcribed with a “k”. Thus although the Hebrew for “grave” is “qever” (qof-bet-resh), it would be transcribed as “kever”.

    Even though Arabic and Hebrew use scripts different from English’s, it’s always a good idea to transcribe foreign words in such a manner that the original is phonetically duplicated as much as possible. This helps retain the pronuncation and phonetics of the original word if not indicating what they might have been. Thus, while most people reading English would pronounce “qever” and “kever” similarly, one reading it can tell by “qever” what the original consonants in Hebrew may have been.

  5. Muslihoon said,

    In other words, because I’m an arrogant pedantic stuck-up jerk. 🙂

  6. Mrs. Peel said,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    You know, one interesting and occasionally annoying aspect of reading SF & fantasy novels is trying to figure out how various made-up words are pronounced based on clues in context. (for instance, “Salamandastron” was supposed to recall the word “salamander,” so of course it’s pronounced “SAL-uh-man-duh-strahn” rather than “sal-uh-man-DAS-tron” as I had originally thought.)

    It can get annoying when I can’t figure out how a word should be pronounced, and find my brain halting on it as I read. I had trouble with “K’Z’K” at first for obvious reasons.

  7. Muslihoon said,

    Ooooh! I loved the name “K’Z’K”! Thanks for the comments!

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