NABA Quotations Collection


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Arabic Language

"Whether Arabic possesses all those merits which are being so bountifully bestowed upon it by its zealous defenders is a matter of personal bias and, to a certain degree, even an academic topic. What remains certain is that, in a way, it is a privileged language. It has lived for one millennium and a half essentially unchanged, usually gaining, never completely losing. Venus-like, it was born in a perfect state of beauty, and it has preserved that beauty in spite of all the hazards of history and all the corrosive forces of time. It is true that there was not always that Praxitelean limpidity of line about it. Figuratively speaking, it has known its Gothic, its Renaissance and its Baroque periods. It has known austerity, holy ecstasy and voluptuousness, bloom and decadence. It exuberated in times of splendor and persisted through times of adversity in a state of near-hibernation. But when it awoke again, it was the same language. The fact that Arabic long survived and still had the vitality to burgeon a new might be due to religious and social factors, but the quantitative ability to expand and the qualitative capacity to attain perfection and to maintain its essential characteristics are merits of the language exclusively."

Jaroslav Stetkevych, an emeritus professor of Arabic at the University of Chicago
The Truth

Truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas. Shoseki
Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth. Jean-Paul Sartre

We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter. Denis Diderot

Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident. Arthur Schopenhauer

There is no Truth. There is only the truth within each moment. Ramana Maharshi, attributed

There is no Truth. There is only the truth within each moment. Ramana Maharshi, attributed

It will never be possible by pure reason to arrive at some absolute truth. Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy

"Religion has been used, politicised, not only by groups but also the official institutions in every Arab country. Nearly everything is theologised, every issue society faces has to be solved by asking if Islam allows it. There is no distinction between the domain of religion and secular space."

Abu Zayd, professor of humanism and Islam quoted by Reuters

We ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.

Bertrand Russell

There is no subjugation so perfect as that that which keeps the appearance of freedom, for in that way one captures volition itself.

John Jacques Rousseau (From Emile)

The best argument against democracy is spending 15 minutes with the average voter.

Winston Churchill

The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was 'given' by a foreign to another people for the creation of a new state.  The result was many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless.  With every new conflict their number increase. How much longer is the world willing to ensure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they we driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict.

Bertrand Russell Feb 1970 
(just before he died in a message to the International Conference of Parliamentarians).

Most men, whether men or women, wish above all else to be comfortable, and thought is a pre-eminently uncomfortable process; it brings to the individual far more suffering than happiness in a semi-civilised world which still goes to war.

Vera Brittain 
(Mother of Baroness Shirley Williams from her book: testament toYouth, 1933)

Rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools. 


No plan survives the first bullet.


Sent by Living Stones: "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: 

"You have gone far enough, O princes of Israel! Give up your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Stop dispossessing my people, declares the Sovereign Lord." 

(Ezekiel 45:9)

Collections of quotations by Israeli leaders on Palestine and Zionism (Click here)

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

Winston Churchill

Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?

Mark Twain


A modest little person, with much to be modest about.

Winston Churchill

I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."

Clarence Darrow

He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts ... for support rather

than illumination."

Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend ... if you have one."

George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one."

Winston Churchill, in response

I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."

Irvin S. Cobb

He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by

diligent hard work, he overcame them."

James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."

Samuel Johnson

In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."

Charles, Count Talleyrand

He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."

Forrest Tucker

His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."

Mae West

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Oscar Wilde

They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human


Thomas Brackett Reed

He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.

Robert Redford

There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."

Jack E. Leonard

He had delusions of adequacy."

Walter Kerr

He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.

Paul Keating

He is a self-made man and worships his creator."

John Bright

I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."

Stephen Bishop

He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."

Oscar Wilde

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.

Groucho Marx

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.

Mark Twain

He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.

William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"

Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it.

Moses Hadas

He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."

Abraham Lincoln

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music."

Billy Wilder

Arabic Quotations