“American… hmmm, but where are you really from?” It’s a question I hear multiple times each day, and at this point, I’ve made it into a game, because as a brown girl, saying "American" is never a satisfactory response. “Guess,” I respond, “What do you think?”. Occasionally, people are spot on, greeting me with “Namaste” … Continue reading Identity, Nationality, and Community, Here in Morocco
Sometimes, when I sit in Arabic class, I feel like an imposter. I’m the literal definition of “fake it till you make it,” or so it seems. Those are the rough times. The days when my teacher expresses her surprise because there’s a basic grammar concept that I don’t know, or I mess up for … Continue reading My Relationship with Arabic: It’s Complicated…
I stare at the homework assignment. Only 50% of the questions make some sense. I attempt the ones that I understand, and circle the rest, because there’s not much I can do just by looking at the sheet of paper. The feeling is so familiar, yet so unfamiliar at the same time. I’m used to … Continue reading Struggling, Learning: A reflection on the past month of Arabic classes
As I write this, I’m sipping mint tea at a cafe in my beautiful neighborhood, L’Ocean. They call it L’Ocean for a reason, because the Atlantic Ocean is a short walk away. I’ve been in Morocco for just over a week now, and I’m still in the “honeymoon phase” of the culture shock curve. Despite … Continue reading Highlights from a Week Well Spent!
As I write this, I’m three days into my year in Morocco. I’ve gotten past my jet lag, but it’s only the first of many hurdles and adventures along the way. My tap water consumption is still limited to cautious “shots,” and when it comes to getting around in my new neighborhood, L’Ocean, I’m at … Continue reading Spilling Tea about my First Days in Morocco
As I sit at my desk and type up this blog post, I'm starting to realize that this is it. Tomorrow morning, I will be stepping on a plane to DC and leaving my life as I know it for nine months. Nine months isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things, but … Continue reading Goodbye to Summer, and Hello to New Adventures
[VIDEO BELOW] Before I begin, I must say that filming this video took some courage because, in case you haven't heard this from me at at least 100 times before, Arabic is hard! And as I've realized, learning three dialects/registers of Arabic is even harder. For a quick timeline of my Arabic studies, I focused … Continue reading Video: Attempting to Speak in Three “Arabics”
Happy Independence Day to all Indians, as well as a belated Independence Day to all Pakistanis! From the eyes of an outsider, "India and Pakistan," seems synonymous for conflict and decades of disagreement. Recent years and months have seen a rise of nationalism, divisions, and heightened tension. And in the midst of all the polarizing … Continue reading Independence Day, and another favorite Desi Recipe
It’s August 5th, 2019: my mom’s birthday. It also means that in 29 days, I’ll be in DC attending my Pre-Departure Orientation before spending nine months in Morocco. Every year, on August 5th, it’s a family tradition to celebrate my mother’s birthday with goat curry. My grandparents visit us each summer, and as much as … Continue reading A chicken curry recipe, and a realization of how much I will miss Desi food
[VIDEO BELOW] A few weeks ago, when I filmed my last Shaami video for a while, I committed to a project of recording monthly Arabic videos to gauge my progress. And so this weekend, I took the plunge and filmed a video to practice speaking in Modern Standard Arabic, or "fus7a," as it's called in … Continue reading My first video in Modern Standard Arabic!