Arabic and art

Now I’m not at the Mahad any more I can study in bed until about 10am when the sun hits the veranda and Sophia or I go to the bakery on the corner and fight half Bab Tumas old ladies, then run home clutching warm bread which we eat with lebbna, hoummas and parsley. I have a side order of tea, Sophia takes matė (really this is South American, but lots of Druze have worked their, and they brought matė back with them. Its overcome sectarian differences, and now all Syria loves it. Rami prepared me some once, with elaborate ritual. Rami, I said. This is disgusting).

Theoretically I earn lessons from Rami by modeling for him, but he taught me a rediculious amount of Arabic before my exams so now I owe him about a month and a half of sessions. Now its my tern to give:

I’m really enjoying the modeling. We listen to music, taking it in terns to choose the album, When I get too stiff or too cold to sit still any more we have coffee and that matė and talk about Ramis problems (which, other than financial, haven’t made it on hear), particually his

girl problems. He really likes a woman that is neither obtainable nor halal. One thing that is becoming obvious in my counciling sesions is that formal english isn’t a particually good language for talking about this kind of stuff. Arabic isn’t going to be any better; it has only word for ‘I quite like coffee’ and ‘I love my boyfriend more than anything else in the whole world, ever.’ consiquently Rami has added such concepts as ‘get over’ ‘move on’ ‘man up’ and ‘I’m hear for you,’ to his vocabulary. The boys both seem to think that I’m some kind of wise older sister. perhaps they  should tell to James.

I also have a specific Fosha teacher, Hossam, who I pay for. Ullin’s one of his graduates. I’ve read my first piece of Arabic literature for Hossam. It took all day to translate the 16 sentences in it, and I’m a bit confused about some of the finer detail, but its basically about a crow that goes to school but doesn’t work, only sings. Then it fails its exams and ‘is sad and doesn’t sing no more.’ Is Hossam insinuating something? I told Ullin about it, but he interrupted me in gales of laughter. Apparently it was his first story to.

I think Hossam would like to be the trainer of Jedi nights or something, breaking down the ego and preconceptions about how things are suposed to work, to buld up the traini Jedi again, in a new, force understanding, way. I spend my whole life lerning vocab, translating Arabic and writing sentenses useing spechial grammer pattens, then going round for Hosam to abuse me. I’m waiting for him to turn to me and say ‘now my son, you can start lerning arabic,’ and give me a copy of the Hans Ver root dictionary or something.

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Author: adventuresinarabic

I'm studying Arabic in Damascus, living through the Arab Spring and blogging about my experiences hear.

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