This song is rocking my little world at the moment, though the translation on the video is not Oli, Paul and Rami approved. Its by some Palestinians (Paul can’t remember who. we asked Rami when he got home from work but he told us ‘a man,’ preticipating massive giggles. Rami stood aloof from the hysterical foreigners, thought about it and decided the song is by ‘a band,’ which hardly stopped us laughing).
Paul played it to me the other day when I was chilling at his and Ramis flat in Jeramana. I recognized some words, and Paul wrote out the chorus in Arabic. It goes:
‘Whos a terrorist?
I’m a terrorist?
How (am i) a terrorist?
You(‘re) a terrorist. And I live in my own country.
Whos a terrorist?
You(‘re) a terrorist.
You eat me (more kinda ‘you destroy me’). And I live in my own country.
I would of understood it, goddamit, if I had the Ameya words for ‘live’ and ‘who’ (which I guessed), and known the words for ‘eat me’ and (this is kinda the deal breaker) ‘terrorist’. The root letters for ‘eat’ are in the ‘subject patten’ and the song triggered lots of explanations about this (Paul prefaced his explanation with ‘you wont understand this, or remember it yet, but eventually you’ll get it) and various other bits of Arabic.
When Rami came home Paul extracted an Arabic language Ladybird book of ‘Gullivers travels,’ that he’d brought in Dublin, and read us two pages of it, with feeling, while writing down all the words he didn’t understand on a whiteboard. Rami then drew and acted these words, with even more feeling. Not being interested in knowing two different words for barrel I laughed alot and added ‘stupid’ ‘clever’ ‘correct’ and ‘sure,’ words Rami seemed to be using alot, to my vocabulary.
They got into a convoluted, Arabic language discussion about some word.
‘I know this word’ I interrupted
‘makkan tisbah’ Rami said, meaning ‘place of swimming’
‘Swimming Pool.’The boys looked more surprised than anything.
‘I just don’t understand where the crocodiles come into it,’ and we all started drawing crocodiles that smoked nargillias and drunk beer.
The boys started talking about (it turned out) illicit urbanization. Paul failed to grasp something, causing Rami to draw lots of blocks of flats in a small space, while saying ‘Benaaya wer Benaaya wer benayya…’
I looked at him. ‘Rami wer Paul askon fi benaaya.’- Rami and Paul live in a flat.
‘how can i say well done, I’m proud of you with out it sounding patronising?’ he asked in English.
‘you can’t,’ I said, also in English, grinning back at him.
It all makes me feel happy about my life hear and engaged with Arabic, though I’m barely surviving at the institute. The no English method of teaching doesn’t work for me at all and I never understand whats going on. I was talking to Anne about bothering doing the next level, She thinks she will ‘because otherwise what would we have to complain about?’ On a good day the Mahad is an elaborate practical joke, on a bad day living the dream is more surviving the nightmare.
I need to be taught how to compare things and talk about ‘they,’ ‘hallway’ was not a word I was missing, though I have a bad attitude about the whole thing. I keep on deciding that even if I pass the level I wont go back, that I’ll spend a month in Ciaro doing a teffol course, work for the British Council hear and spend my earnings on privet lessons, then having a good day at the Mahad, and thinking ‘no, Fushas good for you.’ Either that or remembering that thes a spelling test before you can enroll on a tefol course.
I’ve got my exam results back – 53%, 65%, 72% and 76%. the credit goes to Rami and Paul.