Friday, July 20, 2007


My friend Joel Patrick is studying for two weeks in Oxford, England. He and his wife, Gabrielle, are good friends. I love the following picture that he took of a storefront in Oxford. Habibi is the Arabic word for "friend" or "dear friend."

For whoever is interested: The musician and peace activist Michael Franti composed a simple song called "Habibi" while on a trip to Iraq and the Palestinian territories for his film, I Know I'm Not Alone. The song delighted locals with its simple, friendly message.


Anonymous said...

I have been appreciating your views elsewhere. May God bless you and Ronnie (as well as Jezebel & co.) with robust health and abundant energy.

Promise me Bart Barber is not so mired in politics, status, and achieving admission into the Inner Circle as he appears to be.

Wade's sermons are great to listen to, as, I am sure, the ones you hear each Sunday.

The Darfur water issue breaks my heart; it also makes me wonder how stable the surface there is with a space for water which is now empty. Central KY has had karst collapses "just out of nowhere." The tectonic movement which is slowly tearing into east Africa could end up a blessing or one more curse on these poor farmers.

Steve Austin
Hopkinsville, Ky.

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Thanks very much, Steve.

I cannot speak for Bart Barber. I do not know him personally and do not read his blog reguarly. So... I'm not sure what to say about that. :)

I love my pastor very much. He's a humble man who walks with the Lord and challenges me regularly.

You bring up a good point about the underground, dried up lake in Darfur. I know if I found out the same was true of our area, I'd be concerned.

Its been amazing to me to find out the environmental causes of the genocide. I had no idea the scarcity of water could prove so devastating. Surely the provision of water for all people-groups shouls be a priority!

I hope you have a great weekend,


Derek Leman said...


I lead a Messianic congregation in Atlanta and follow SBC blogs as a former SBCer. I am intrigued with your blog and your issues and ideas. I think we have some common interests.

I note with alarm, however, that you are reading Carter's book on Palestine, which is widely thought to be a one-sided hatchet job on Israel and this Habibi post makes me wonder if you are taking some anti-Israel pro-Palestinian position.

I am not a moron who thinks Israel is always right, but I wonder if you think the Palestinians have a good case for injustice.

There were millions of Jewish refugees from Arab lands: Libya, Syria, Iran, etc. They are not complaining and making the evening news. They all resettled in other places and got on with their lives. The Arabs in Palestine in 1948 were offered half of the land by the U.N. but chose to make war instead and lost. They wanted no Jews in their land. While Israel does occasionally use excessive force, they do not murder people at pizza stands.

Anyway, I may have the wrong idea about your position, but I wanted to speak up on this issue.

Derek Leman

Emily Hunter McGowin said...


Thank you for your thoughts and for your concern.

I understand your alarm, as I am aware of the controversy surrounding Carter's book. I am reading the book for that very reason--so that I know what he has to say and I'm not dependent upon the reviews of others.

I have not made up my mind about the grievances of Palestinians in Israel. I hope to learn more as I continue to read widely. I do believe, however, that there is sufficient evidence for "excessive force" on both sides of the conflict. I'm just as grieved at the death of innocents in a Palestinian suicide bombing as I am in an Isreali helicopter attack. I'm sure you feel the same way.

The reference to habibi has nothing to do with a pro-Palestinian agenda, only a cool Arabic word that I have adopted for some of my friends.

Thanks for stopping by, Derek. I wish I had more to tell you of my position, but I'm still in the posture of a learner in this matter.

Grace and peace,


Noah said...

I thought Habibi was like my love or beloved. Must be more than one meaning.

Anonymous said...

I work next door to this shop on little claringdon street oxford and it does mean beloved not friend, i have spoken with the owner about this in thje past and he has had work printed with Habibi (Beloved) :) FYI

Anonymous said...

Hey all, just confirming. Habibi literally means "my beloved". The Arabic word for love is "hob". A loved one is a "habib" (female: Habiba) and MY loved one is "habibi" (female: habibti). However, we use the word quite liberally. So we could be talking to a lover or friend or even someone who isn't that close and say "habibi" the same way you would say "my dear".