”Arabic” is the language of Quran. Moreover, I think it is important and helpful to know the language of the land you reside in.
Learning Arabic could be the first step in accepting UAE wholeheartedly. It will be our way of praying respect to UAE.
Being here in UAE for 14 long years, I have always wanted to learn the local language, Arabic. Being Muslim, I wanted to learn it because Arabic is the language of the Quran. Moreover, I think it is important and helpful to know the language of the land you reside in.
But I couldn’t learn it fluently for some reason. A significant reason for this was the dominance of English and how things are quickly done in English. After settling down here in UAE, I always had this question in mind: How many people are here as expatriates? And how many have put in the effort to learn this local language? Learning Arabic could be the first step in accepting the UAE wholeheartedly. It can also be beneficial in many ways.
I had the opportunity to do many things and learn new activities. So, I thought of giving the language a try and joining a summer camp to learn Arabic as I knew the tutor, Aunt Nafisa. She is from Yemen having fluency in language with deep understanding. She is an inspirational soul, seen always motivating others.
Nearing the age of 40, when I went for my first class, I saw we were only six students in the room, to my complete surprise. There were two women my age, a young boy who was seven and two other boys, both years old. I didn’t know that Arabic was one of the top ten most widely spoken languages in the world.
We started with basic greetings like “Marhaba”, which means hello, “kaifa haluka”, which means ‘how are you and more. Then, we studied the history of Arabic. They taught us about the Arabic language and its origins on the first day. And then, we started understanding grammar – verbs, nouns and plurals. Two more people joined us, and we were now a class of eight. With lots of fun and learning, our Arabic camp ended. We did receive a certificate, which left me with a lot of pride. I was happy I thought out of the box and did something that inspired my daughter, my community, and me. It made me want to continue what I started, no matter how much time it demands. I am sure this small step would take me a long way. I have personally decided I will continue learning Arabic. It will help me master a new language and add to my skill set. I request that people living in the country know the language and give it some thought. It will be our way of paying respect to the UAE.