Eating Practices in Arab Countries

One of my favourite memories from my travels in Arab Countries has undoubtedly been food and the culture around food. In contrast with my British upbringing where food is so often eaten in a hurry and without ceremony, I was delighted to experience the richness and...

Do’s and Don’ts when travelling to Arab countries

In the past few years there have been a number of newspaper articles about tourists getting into trouble in Arab countries. These problems often occur when some tourists do not take the time to understand local or national customs and regulations. Here are some do's...

Making Arabic Script Appear Larger on Websites

I have been learning Arabic for six years now and all this time I have wondered why Arabic script looks so small on the screen even when I increase the zoom. This is unpleasant to look at and can quickly make you feel overwhelmed, straining your eyes to read the text....

Reflections on Becoming Bilingual

Reflections on Becoming Bilingual It has become common knowledge that knowing more than one language is good for the brain. It improves mental flexibility and makes it easier to switch between tasks. I recently attended a fascinating talk on bilingualism which was...

Bedouins in Oman: A foot in two worlds

As urbanisation creeps closer towards the desert, some fear that traditional Bedouin culture is being left behind. Sharqiya Sands, Oman - Leading towards the reddish, rolling dunes of Sharqiya Sands, the paved road gives way to a compressed dirt track, peppered on...

Self-study courses of Arabic

Lonely learning If you want to learn Arabic at home or as part of a self-studs programme, this can be quite challenging. Nobody is there to help you. This experience is often called 'lonely learning'. The question arises, how can I learn Arabic alone and without a...

Arabic Language: Negative statements in the Present Tense

Negative statements with „la“ (لا)."No" There are several ways to make negative statements, depending on what you want to express. The most simple negative statement in the present tense is la (لا), which simply means "No" when translated. The following way of making...

As-salamu alaykum

As-salamu alaykum is the greeting of Muslims and Arabs around the world, often simply shortened to salaam. Different ways of spelling this in western script or transliteration are: assalamuʿalaykum, assalamu alaikum, as-Salaam-Alaikum. Why 'alaykum and not 'alayki?...

Tradition in Arabic Expression

One of the first things that you notice when learning Arabic is the rich tradition in Arabic expressions, greetings and their appropriate responses, many if not all of an Islamic nature. While studying abroad, I found that even if my vocabulary was limited or when my...

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