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“Mish mumkin li wāhid amrīkī an ya’īsha bidūn al-aflām!”
The quotation above, transliterated from semi-colloquial Egyptian Arabic, reads “It’s impossible for an American to live without movies!” Offered by a professor at al-Azhar University in response to an American student’s question about the permissibility of watching movies; the statement was at once facetious and insightful. Although the professor was clearly poking fun at the American obsession with Hollywood, he was also offering a lesson in legal realism or fiqh al-wāqi’. In other words, he was saying, is there really any consequence to how I respond to this question; no matter what I say you’re going to watch movies!