Humanity

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candor.
—  Tom Hanks

‘Was there dialects in the ancient phases of the Egyptian language?’

The difficulty of being able to tell if there was or wasn’t is the fact that it seems that Egyptian was diglossic. The reason the above picture was chosen, is because it relates to a period where royal inscriptions were done in a vernacular dialect and not the standard literary form of the ancient Egyptian language. This period was known as the 22nd dynasty of Egypt; which ironically wasn’t ruled by Egyptians. The Pharaohs of the 22nd dynasty were of Meshwesh descent and this has a lot to do with why they preferred vernacular Egyptian over literary Egyptian. Because they weren’t trained in literary Egyptian (as it seems from inscriptions); they would’ve preferred something that they could actually fully understand. Now there is an earlier mention of the Egyptian language having dialects in a papyrus letter from around 1200 BC complaining over the language of a correspondent, basically saying that his dialect of Middle Egyptian was almost as unintelligible as the speech of a Lower Egyptian compared to that of an Upper Egyptian. Now mind you, the Meshwesh spoke the Late variant of the Egyptian language that predated both the Demotic and Coptic phases. But that’s not what this is analyzing, this is analyzing over all if pre-Coptic Egyptian had dialects. From what these two examples show us; there was a heavy dialectal difference between Lower and Upper Egyptian speakers and that there was a diglossic situation in the Late phase of the Egyptian language. But is it incorrect to speculate that there was dialectal differences in the pre-Coptic phases of the Egyptian language that were broader and more varied than what we are aware of? Well it’s not too far fetched. Since Coptic was the first time in any phase that the Egyptian language was recorded in multiple vernacular dialects, let’s look at the differences between these dialects. To begin with, there was dialects that are considered to be found only in certain cities from what papyrus documents can show us. While some dialects like Sahidic and Bohairic were much more widespread, some were confined to the region around specific cities. This would include dialects like Fayyumic and Akhmimic which were only spoken around the regions of Akhmin and Faiyum and were not widespread but were included in literature. It’s seems that the centralization of the ancient Egyptian society regarding literature as opposed to that of the Coptic period can tell us a lot about why we aren’t aware of ancient dialects or variants.

A Sikh student from New Zealand who broke strict religious protocol by taking off his turban to help save the life of a child hit by a car has been heralded as a hero.

Harman Singh, 22, removed his turban to cradle the bleeding head of a five-year-old boy who had been struck on his way to school in Takanini, South Auckland.

Mr Singh heard the accident take place outside his home, before running outside to investigate, according to the NZ Herald.

‘I saw a child down on the ground and a lady was holding him. His head was bleeding, so I unveiled my turban and put it under his head,’ he said.

'I wasn’t thinking about the turban. I was thinking about the accident and I just thought, “He needs something on his head because he’s bleeding”. That’s my job - to help. 'And I think anyone else would have done the same as me.’

Mr Singh and other members of the public stayed with the boy until emergency services arrived. Not long after the accident, the boy’s mother arrived. Another man, Gagan Dhillon, was on his way to work when he saw the accident and stopped to help.

He said: 'There was enough help as there was, but being a Sikh myself, I know what type of respect the turban has. People just don’t take it off - people die over it. He didn’t care that his head was uncovered in public. He just wanted to help this little boy.’

Sikhism is the only religion in the world which requires its followers to tie a turban. Sikh men and women do not cut their hair and cover their heads at all times as an expression of respect to their Gurus. The Sikh turban symbolizes discipline, integrity, humility and spirituality. Turbans become a part of a Sikh’s body and are usually removed only in the privacy of their own house. Normally it is only in the most intimate of circumstances, when bathing the head, or washing the hair. 

The five-year-old was reportedly walking to school with his older sister when he was hit. He was thought to have suffered life-threatening head injuries, but last night was in a stable condition in hospital.

Since the incident occurred, Mr Singh has received thousands of messages and comments on his Facebook page.

Mr Singh, from India, is in Auckland studying a business course. He said he was overwhelmed with all the praise.

'Thousands of people have said 'well done’. I was only doing what I had to and trying to be a decent member of the community,’ he said.

'Thanks to all who messages, calls… thanks all the worldwide Facebook members who messaged me. I think i just did my job nothing else.’

‘What is Teghaza?’

During what can be described as the golden age for the Tuareg; there was one main factor in what made them so instrumental. This factor was Teghaza. This now abandoned site was once the center of what made people like Mansa Musa I so wealthy. But this place was simply a small mine in the Dara Valley of Mali; what could possibly make it so important? Teghaza had the one commodity that was worth its literal weight in gold in the old world; salt. That’s right, salt. Salt was so scarce in the area of the Sudan (a belt of land stretching between the Sahara and tropical West Africa) that the Tuareg literally became instrumental traders in building the empires the sold into. The salt at Teghaza was originally mines by slaves owned by a Tuareg tribe named 'Masufa’; at least according to the records of the Arab geographer Abu Yahya Zakariya’ ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini around 1275. He wasn’t the only geographer to mention Teghaza; it was possibly also mentioned by Abu ʿUbayd ʿAbd Allah ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz ibn Muhammad ibn Ayyub ibn ʿAmr al-Bakri who was a 9th century geographer who mentioned mines in the Sahara but they weren’t the most detailed. Teghaza was seen as a center point for the Trans-Saharan trade, and even drew the eye of the historian and traveller Ibn Battuta who took a 25 day long trip to Teghaza to see it himself. According to the 'Corpus of Early Arabic Sources for West Africa’ by Nehemia Levtzion and John Hopkins; Ibn Battuta describes the people of Teghaza as living in quarters made from salt slabs and covered in camel skins for the roof. What led to the ruin of this mining area was the fact that the Songhai empire and the Saadi dynasty of Morocco were both bent on controlling this mine, and this led to the Tuareg no longer wanting to be involved. They eventually moved to the Taghaza al-ghizlan; which is another mine they set up not too far away. What Teghaza represents is a forgotten history; places like Teghaza are literally forgotten in the sands of time yet technically hold so much importance to the history of so many places.