About

 

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Kan ya ma kan is a place for sharing materials, resources, and ideas. This website aims to help people to increase their knowledge and access to information, and to think and communicate across cultural boundaries.

The name is the traditional beginning of Arabic stories (like ‘Once upon a time’ in anglophone stories). Literally, it means “There was, there was not.”* It uses phonemes (repeating the open “a” as the only vowel) and a relatively heavy cadence to open an imaginary world where things are not as they seem.

 The site currently has two parts: Arts in the Arab World and Professional Portfolio. The latter contains items regarding my education, teaching, and work experience. The former gathers and presents a gallery of arts (material, oral, print, and linguistic) from Arabic-speaking societies. Enjoy!

Bienvenidos • مرحبا بكم • Welcome • ברוכים הבעים • Bienvenue

* In North Africa, storytellers use the similar phrase: ḥājītak (mā jītak), ‘I’ll come to you, I didn’t come to you.’ Like the more generic Arabic phrase, this statement followed by its immediate negation causes the listener to pause (at least the first time they hear it). It introduces a genre in which listeners should pay careful attention because they may hear marvelous or fantastic stories.

Email: melaniemagidow [at] gmail [dot] com

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