“Die Gedanken sind frei”—Ideas are free “Ich denke was ich will”—I think what I want

ABOUT THIS BLOG: My first name is Rima and it means a little deer in my mother tongue, Arabic. Hence, the name of this blog (Bambi 😊). “Afkar” means thoughts in Arabic. Thoughts (or thinkers) are naturally free. However, paradoxically and sadly, this does not seem to be the case in our days and time, even in a “clever” small town like ours (Sackville, NB). It tells us something about the state of tolerance of diverse opinions, starting with our own brains and extending to our families, communities, schools, and public spaces.

This is why I decided to pay tribute to the freedom of ideas (or thoughts) on this blog by choosing a name that refers to a German song I love dearly, called “Die Gedanken sind frei” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Gedanken_sind_frei).

I cannot sing, or at least hum, this song without a wink to the sky to you my Dear childhood friend Firas (or Serge Merhi) who left us too early ☹. I would like to re-post an older comment tribute to you, which I wrote on your blog whilst in Toronto, Ontario. I recall having written this tribute to you at the exact same time of your burial in Lebanon. I miss you Firas today more than ever! I wonder sometimes how you would have found Canada, and by extension the Western world, nowadays had you been still among us…


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Die Gedanken sind frei!

When you were 17 and I was 16 (a year before moving to Canada), we went to the Goethe Institute in Beirut to learn German. I can’t recall how many times we used to sing “Die Gedanken sind frei” on our way to school, a popular old German song celebrating the freedom of thoughts. This is the song, which I will always associate with you in my heart:

Die Gedanken sind frei
My thoughts freely flower,
My thoughts give me power
No scholar can map them,
No hunter can trap them,
No man can deny:
Die Gedanken sind frei!

Firas, your voice echoes in my ears right now. Between my tears, I smile remembering how you once turned this meaningful lyric into a funny (but still very appropriate) version.

Free like a bird (as in the song), you lived your short life to its full extent, realizing so many great things in such little time! As you lived (fully, intensely), you passed away by flying in a rush to the after-life.

Brilliant, talented, loving, caring, courageous, crazy, and so handsome! You touched so many lives Firas. Not only you make us all proud, we are grateful because you made an amazing contribution to make our world a better place.

I am honoured to be your friend, Firas. Thank you for the wonderful memories in Montreal for several years. I love you so much. The last time you called me in Toronto, I told you so, adding to it “please don’t forget.” I hope you won’t.

I promise that I will always pray for (and be in touch with) your family. My heart goes to your parents and sister, to all your relatives, friends, and loved ones wherever they are, whoever they are.

You will be missed greatly… but most importantly, you will always be remembered! Love prevails and, yes I strongly believe that it can even transcend death. By keeping your memory alive, you will always be alive in our hearts.

Rest and fly in peace, my dear friend.

Rima Azar


Posted by Robert Chidiac at 4:33 PM

Keeping this spirit in mind, Bambi’s Afkar is a blog that is a space where I can indulge in writing and sharing personal reflections about matters, as a non-expert citizen. Bambi is not reflecting here as a scientist or an employee. Bambi refuses to be limited and categorized in any societal group of any sort; even if some would have liked to see Bambi fitting one homogeneous group, that is without regards to any inter-individual variability among the deer of the world. In other terms, this blog is about the “Bambi” in me that loves to jump freely, just like Firas whose ideas were beyond his (short) time on earth: He had a genuine inspiring openness to the world and yet solid proud roots. His parents must have provided him with what I have been lucky to also benefit from myself: Roots and wings. Roots to remain grounded as much as possible and wings to fly as high as possible, at least in the world of dreams and thoughts.  

I hope that, as readers, you will recognize yourself, or a facet of yourself, in some of the posts or questions raised. You may agree or disagree. Regardless, I hope you will enjoy and come back to visit again. I may address stories about local affairs, most likely, or about national and even international topics (when they may have an impact on our lives). Matters of interest to “Bambi” simply and selfishly 😊. Welcome to you, whether you will read silently or provide any comment to fuel an enriching discussion!