When love takes over you, your analytical and reasoning capacities suddenly all serve another goal: the survival of this sweet innocent love. Just like any other virus, love feeds on your insecurities, fears and hopes. It hugs and suffocates only to addict and to subjugate. A person in love is not to be trusted with anything really, since love is a criterion changing, danger under reckoning disease.
Those are the words your classical anti-love uses when asked about love. However, love is the essence of everything.
I remember my very first conception of love to be vague and foggy. At first, I did not think it was for everyone. An exclusive bonus for the most noble and most accomplished people. The ultimate reward for lifesavers, heroes and mothers. To some standard, it is true that love brings up mothers. A pregnancy only creates potential.
Growing up, love was a big hit. Every acquaintance I ever had seemed to look for it or pretend to have it. I wasn’t that infatuated with it so I thought I wasn’t very special. Later, after watching movies and witnessing the love between mice and bees, I understood that it is for everyone brave enough.
Today, my conception of love hasn’t changed much. I still believe in its holiness and sanctity, but also in its rareness. This soreness of mine is a result of the highly disturbing lack of braveness in the world. A brave heart is a disappearing kind.
To me, the most fascinating love is the one existing between strangers. Two human beings who don’t share any common ground, any common interest and who don’t have any pressure on each other. They love each other without any effort. It’s in their core. I am talking about the same love that makes a person risk his life in order to save another’s one, a doctor does not rest until the heart of the complete stranger on the table starts to beat again, a civil rights militant stands up heartedly for hundreds of unknown faces in the crowd.
I wonder how many people would have fallen in love if they had only spoken to each other. Strangers sitting next to each other on an airplane at night, watching the world grow smaller beneath them. Or in a tiny bookstore filled with old stories, their pages yellowed and dusty with age. Or sitting next to each other at a concert, both wanting to linger in the same note of a song that they think contains a universe. How many strangers have shared lovely, beautiful moments together? How many people would have found the love of their life if they had decided to say something? – Polarioid
This suggests that love is in fact human. It is not specific nor private.
We recognize love in ourselves first. As babies, we learn to love our mothers unconditionally, even though our senses are very restricted and our understanding of value, benefit, interest and quality is absent. We are born capable of love. However, as we grow, we become impure and smirched while love stays unflawed and whole.
Secondly, we start to recognize love everywhere; in the tender eyes of a man, in the constant smile of a woman, in the sound of laughter and the smell of freshly made cookies outside homes, in the excited tone of a kid talking to his parents over dinner. Some little things betray the human being. Luckily, those delicate and fine details are internationally shared.
I am blessed to witness love in three different cultures: Arabic (حب, Hobb), French (Amour) and English (loooooove).
Before you continue reading, please listen to this music:
An Arabic love song: Hobb
A French love song: Amour
BONUS: A Turkish love song: Aşk ♥
From my not so limited contact with Arabs (if modern Moroccans could ever be considered real integral Arabs) and from my long wisely spent (I testify to that only now) hours watching quondam TV, Arabs love intensively. They take love very seriously and often offer sacrifices of name, honor, fortune and even life to their lovers. In return, they are highly possessive and excessively jealous. Although faithfulness is a priority value, they believe that love is the ultimate moral weakness of reason. The person in love becomes a fool, a vagabond wandering his days -mostly nights- away, looking for his beloved, longing to catch a quick glimpse of her shadow or fully covered body around a corner. Some of you may ask the most distinguished question: How can a man fall in love with a robe? I don’t know the answer of that question as much as the next person does. It doesn’t bug me yet because I strongly believe that love has its ways, although sometimes very mysterious.
This mystery, however, greatly shows in love poetry. Actually, the eyes seem to fascinate the poets and so take all the credit. Eyes kill, enchant and weaken. They have the most impact of all parts of the body. Strangely, one look at the eyes of a passing woman in a crowded place is all it takes.
If I dare include Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, a Persian poet when talking about Arabs, He really was and still is the master. He first understood love, then felt it then became it. His wisdom and clarity are almost infinite that sometimes we mistake him for a fictional figure. His quotes about love are visionary and impractical at first. However, later on, you discover that they were exactly what you needed to hear. In his life, he did “experience” love. He had one of the purest and most truthful love stories of all time. Maybe the purest one ever. I couldn’t and wouldn’t even try to put it into words because I will fail miserably. If I do try, however, the short version would be that he loved his best friend. Before you continue with your but’s, please know that the words love and best friend are in this exact occasion extraordinary and should in no way be treated lightly. For more insight on the subject, I recommend the book The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak.
Sample document which will allow Arabic script on the type layer — users can edit the contents of this layer to create their own Arabic type
I miss you in French is “Tu me manques”. This next picture is the reason why I decided to write this in the first place. I remember reading it a few years ago and it completely struck me. Each language portrays love in such a beautiful way and you eventually forget about the beauty of the language itself, but pass it all to love, as if language is one of the other many servants of love, along with water, wind, sand and rain. You see a language is only as beautiful as its words of love.
French people love love. And sex.
Some may argue that it’s strictly a widely spread stereotype, that happens to be highly supported by the media (Moulin Rouge), however, based on my modest encounters with French people and the French culture, I believe that the myth is quite valid. Isn’t the image of the entire country romantic?
French people are obsessed with love. Consequently, they are very good at it as they make successful lovers.
They don’t hold back and aren’t scared of love.
They master the art of loving.
Many times, love in French “Amour” holds in itself a sexual connotation. That explains why French is considered the sexiest language worldwide. Not to forget that French is also the language of love! Well, after all, love and passion expressed themselves forcefully in French literature. Most major French novels are related to love from Stendhal’s “Le rouge et le noir” to Balzac’s “Le lys dans la vallée”.
Lately, I have come across a wonderful article titled: The miserable French language and its inadequacies. It’s hateful and mean, but also facetious, clever and very perceptive.
Check it out here.
Meet the most cliché picture of all time.
Sorry, I needed the quote!
Personally, I like love in English. It’s easy and close to the heart. English uses very simple words to express complex feelings and to create beautiful connections. It focuses on the reality of the feeling rather than the mere expression of it. On the other hand, French tends to use sophisticated and convoluted words to express feelings that may not even be true nor deep.
Overall, love is an international language. To love, love is love. Any time, any place. Wherever, whenever.