Arabic is Where My Heart is…

When I say that I grew up in Nigeria, people usually assume that I went to a Nigerian school. But the fact is, I went to a Lebanese school from kindergarten to graduation. How’d that happen? Well, there is a big Lebanese population in Nigeria and 52 years ago, they decided that they wanted the coming generation living in Nigeria to learn Arabic and know of Lebanon through the little things. So I grew up mostly around Lebanese diaspora, learning Arabic and about Lebanon along with them.

leb-school

 

Arabic has always been the language I connect to. I always express myself better with Arabic. I always find my emotions and other people’s feelings more strongly when expressed in Arabic than in any other language.  

 

I love Arabic. أنا أحب العربية

Arabic is a language that is written from the right to the left in contrast to English, Armenian and Russian (those mostly used in Armenia) that are written from left to right.

Also, the Arabic language has only 28 letters!

arabic-lett

Much less to learn, right? Wrong! Each of these letters has more than one way written, depending on where they are placed in the word. This is because in Arabic the letters join together to form a word whereas in English the letters do not particularly have to mash up to form a word (unless you are writing in cursive).

 

kaf
The letter K – Kaf 

 

 

ba
The letter B – Baa’

To non-native speakers, the pronunciation of these letters is very difficult. For me, hearing non-natives try to speak Arabic is my cup of tea.

Letters  3ayn and Haa’ are the most difficult to pronounce.

One more thing that makes the Arabic language hard to learn is the Harakat.

harakat

 Harakat is what adds an extra vowel to the letters.

arabische-harakat_3

Not only do the Harakat add a vowel to the letter but they can also change the meaning of the same word when placed on different letters. The Harake that looks like an inverted 3 though, does not add a vowel but rather doubles the letter itself (like the t in cottage is sounded off twice).

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Is your mind swirling with too much information? Are you lost? Don’t worry. Even I am lost sometimes. And that’s one of the reasons why I love Arabic so much.

It always poses a challenge for you in one way or another.

Another thing I really love about the Arabic language is its poetry. Poets like نزار قباني‎‎ Nizar Qabbani, جبران خليل جبران Gibran Khalil Gibran, and أحمد شوقي‎‎ Ahmad Shawqi are my knights in shining armor. I will let their poetry explain why I love them so much.

 

nizar
Nizar Qabbani 

 

gibran
Gibran Khalil Gibran

 

 

 

shawqi-2
Ahmad Shawqi 

 

 

 

Not only is Arabic poetry beautiful but so is Arabic street art, which I feel always has a stronger feeling than that of any other language.

 

 

gaza_10-copy-630x420
We see you with our hearts. So look at us with your eyes. 

 

arab-street
Bash your head

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P.S. I am sorry for posting this after the deadline…  sorry

 

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