The poverty of second and third hand sources, as exhibited in Forward:
You might find it odd that a Hebrew word for “interesting” is used regularly in Israeli Arabic. I once asked an Arab friend of mine about this and was told, to my surprise: “That’s because we don’t have our own word for ‘interesting.’ The closest we can come is either ajib [‘strange’ or ‘unusual’] or else muhim [‘important’ or ‘noteworthy’], and neither really means what me’anyen does.” When I checked on this with other Arabic speakers, it was confirmed. Is this just a linguistic oddity, or is it indicative of a deeper feature of Arab culture — the absence, perhaps, of the very concept of “interesting” that is so basic to the Western mind, since what isn’t unusual enough or noteworthy enough to arouse curiosity is not considered worthy of attention?
To clarify, Arabs do find things interesting, and do possess a “concept of ‘interesting'”. In fact there are multiple expressions in Arabic that are equivalent or precisely the same as “interesting” in English. !شَيِّق