Tag Archives: Arabic-Hebrew Alphatbet

Post 440: A graphic alphabet combining Arabic and Hebrew is introduced. Read Ann Birstein’s biography- YARD SALE AACI YARD SALE- . Friday, June 9th 8:30 – 12:30

As many of my readers know, I am truly enthralled with Hebrew , so much so, that I have sign on to my second “Five Year Plan” towards the goal of reading a Hebrew Language newspaper fluently. Arabic study is another pre-occupation of mine over the last few years.

Truly amazing: http://jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com/an-israelis-alphabet-combines-hebrew-and-arabic-to-promote-understanding/03-1-F-Aravrit-words

The above seem to be cities: (English)-right side second from the bottom: ACCO

Image result for Aravite alphabet combines hebrew and arabic


In the above example, the letters in Arabic and Hebrew are two unrelated letters. They don’t sound alike. They are pretty, though.

A graduate of Shenkar College Turkenich, 32, was inspired to create Aravrit by the road signs in Haifa, the mixed Jewish and Arab city where she was born and has lived most of her life. Although many of the signs feature Arabic — along with Hebrew and English — she realized that she had always ignored the lettering, which like most Israeli Jews she cannot read.

For her final undergraduate project, Turkenich set out to combine Hebrew and Arabic lettering in a way that would allow them to “live together,” as she put it. She started by revisiting the work of French ophthalmologist Louis Émile Javal, who in the late 19th century found that people can read pretty well using only the top half of Latin letters. With some experimenting, Turkenich discovered that the same is true of Arabic — and by happy coincidence, the opposite holds for Hebrew.

“In Hebrew, most of the identifying characteristics of letters’ forms are near the bottom part,” she said. “When I went to check Arabic, I crossed my fingers that they would be on the top half — and they were!”

Based on this insight, Turkenich combined each of the 22 letters in Hebrew with each of the 29 in Arabic to create an Aravrit alphabet with 638 characters. Vowels are used as needed for legibility — below the Hebrew letters and above the Arabic ones, per the languages’ respective rules. Turkenich tested the Hebrew elements on herself and her friends. For advice on the Arabic, she turned to Arab-Israeli commuters on her daily train ride from Haifa to Tel Aviv.

“Whenever I heard someone speaking Arabic, I would ask them if they had time to answer a few questions. They always said yes,” she recalled, noting that she now has Arab friends who help.

Aravrit’s letters can be combined to form words or sentences. A Hebrew-speaker should be able to read the bottom half or the words, and an Arabic-speaker should be able to read the top half. For example, the Aravrit word for “peace” would say “salaam” on top and “shalom” on the bottom.

She has incorporated alternative forms of letters in both languages — some Hebrew letters take on a different form at the end of words — and connected the Arabic elements in traditional cursive style. The changes have given her the flexibility to craft each word in a unique way, and she is working on writing down the rules.

Turkenich said she gets lots of requests to write Aravrit, including recently from the head of a small mostly Jewish city in Israel that she declined to name. She also teaches and gives lectures about her work in Israel and around the world. Aravrit is currently on exhibit at The Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Beersheva   http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Aravrit-A-language-of-coexistence-in-the-Middle-East-494459

Anne Birstein , a writer, was married to Alfred Kazin. Any student of American literary criticism, referred to his social literary writings. But few are aware of the accomplishments of his student and wife Amme Birstein.

A well respected writer in the New Yorker and the New York Times, Birstein penned the  biography of her father, The Rabbi on Forty-Seventh Street, which  delves deep into her Hell’s Kitchen childhood, college life and experiences among cliquish New York City intellectuals.

Her father, Rabbi Bernard Birstein, headed the noted “Actors Temple,” a synagogue that counted Milton Berle, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny and Sophie Tucker among its members. After beginning with a wryly humorous segment on her visit to a German town bearing her last name, Birstein chronicles her struggles to be accepted by gentiles while retaining her Jewishness. Particularly entertaining are Birstein’s anecdotes of her family, school days and experiences during the 1940s, full of her trademark sardonic observations. Birstein was convinced she’d never be married and is acerbic in her assessments of her young beaux, including one lover who seduced her and then announced his homosexuality, and another who was “a Southern gent scared of Jewish girls but thrilled with them.” But singledom ended when Birstein met the highly respected writer and critic Alfred Kazin, an older divorcé who transformed her future by winning her heart and thrusting her into the heady world of New York letters, involving parties with Clark Gable, Saul Bellow, James Baldwin, Hannah Arendt, Ralph Ellison and others. Birstein’s heartfelt recounting of the writer’s life, her turbulent marriage, her divorce from Kazin and later emergence as an influential scribe in her own right will elicit readers’ admiration. https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-56649-267-6


June 8th, 8:30 Meeting on Nutrition at Lev Ha”ir, with a professional dietician.

AACI YARD SALE- . Friday, June 9th 8:30 – 12:30 Rechove Pierre Koenig, Talpiot