Thursday, February 09, 2006

Archives: iDip (3)

Back in 2001, I was ‘shopping’ for collectable items, my destination was the southern bank of the Seine river near the Latin Quarter.
There was an old french gentleman selling his collection of old books, magazines & newspapers.

While I was looking through his collection, he asked me with his french accent...

  • Him: “monsieur, can I help you find what you’re looking for?”
  • me: “please! do you have anything about Kuwait?” (while expecting him to ask “what’s koweit?”)
  • Him: “Koweit, Koweit, Koweit… Non!”
  • Me: (a look of disappointment)
  • Him: “what about Iraq?”
  • Me: “yeah, close enough” (wondering what it will be about)
  • Him: “here you are monsieur”

He handed me an old newspaper with its cover page facing down, I looked closer and… (hint: 1366 years ago)

  • Le Petit Journal (France).
  • Issue #960, Sunday 11th April 1909.

(click on the images below for a larger version)

The cover:

The back cover:

So it was about “Karbala Pilgrims” , and here's the article in page2 about it:

My lousy translation (with some help ofcourse):
Persian Fanaticism
The ceremonies of [the month of] Muharram –
a page of the history of Islam –
Karbala, the Mecca of Persians –
a theatre parallel to our “mystery” of [the] middle-age –
Religion and patriotism.

The article is 3 times longer, but I chose to show its beginning since the page is too long for my scanner or camera.

It talks about the ceremonies of Muharram, especially on the day of Ashura. The article is ‘geographically’ about Karbala (Iraq) and what does Ashura mean to Shiite muslims, but you can notice that who wrote the article thought that Shiites are Persians only.

If you are willing to buy this issue, it’s available on, or you can browse some of Le petit journal's issues here.

More episodes to come…

PS: NYdaily has resurrected.
قرت عينكم

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