Tattoos in the Arab world

Tattoos in Arabic In my job as an Arabic teacher, I have often experienced that people come to me and want to have Arabic names for tattoos. Many just want to know the Arabic writing of their own names or that of  their friend or terms like "strength", etc. However,...

English words from Arabic (part 2)

Here are some more Arabic words which have entered the English language. You might be surprised that many of these common words come from Arabic. gazelle ghazaal غزال ghoul ghuul غول harem Hareem حريم hashish Hasheesh حشيش henna Hinnaa’ حنّاء hummus HummuS حمّص lemon...

Camels and beauty

The root   j - m - l In the Arabic language the  root  j - m - l  conveys the idea of beauty. Here are the English equivalents for these words. jameel (m) جميل beautiful (masc.) jameela (w) جميلة beautiful  (fem.) jameela جميلة first name for female Jameela /...

Oman and her neighbours

Another fascinating talk was held at the Anglo-Omani Society at their headquarters in Mayfair on Thursday, January 18th, 2018. The event was about Oman and her neighbours and was completely booked out - a clear indication of how keen and enthusiastic Anglo-Omaniphiles...

Prayer times and being a guest in an Arab family home

When visiting an Arab home please be aware of the importance of prayer times in the daily routine of a Muslim family. Don’t feel confused if your host leaves you to say prayers in the mosque. If your host prays at home, make sure you do not pass in front of him / her...

Arabic Grammar: The verb ‘be’ (present, singular)

The verb 'be' (present, singular) If you look carefully at these sentences, you will see there are English equivalents for each word, except for am, are and is (forms of the verb be). ana min fransa. I’m from France. min ayna anta? Where are you (= male) from? min...

Travelling in Arab countries as a woman

I've traveled to some Arab countries alone as a woman, although many of my friends were sceptical or even opposed to it. I travelled alone in Syria and Jordan and with a girlfriend and her husband in Yemen. I visited Tunisia and Oman with some students. Arab countries...

Ailments and illnesses when travelling in Arab countries

Ailments and illnesses A common problem that foreign visitors experience, especially in the early stages of visiting the Arab world, is an upset stomach. This is not inevitable, but an upset stomach can happen for a number of reasons: eating unfamiliar food, uncooked...