Zoom icebreakers are usually terrifying. I mean, how am I supposed to think of a “fun fact” when all I do is sit around all day and stare at a screen? Sometimes, though, I get lucky. Because sometimes, I am asked to “share my favorite quarantine pastime,” and I can breathe a sigh of relief … Continue reading K-Dramas, K-Pop, and Kerning Cultures
I love making unrealistic goals that I never accomplish. Which is exactly why I planned to film an Arabic video every month during my time in Morocco, and ended up not filming a single one, and not even blogging consistently. However, I'm finally back with a video that's somewhat of a culmination of the past … Continue reading And finally… an Arabic video!
Ever since I returned to the US, there’s one, single word that constantly nags at me. A single word that makes me feel guilty when I find myself neglecting all things academic, a word that comes to me when I hear from friends who are finishing up a year in college, or others who are … Continue reading I’m not “productive”… but I guess that’s okay?
One of the things I learnt about gap years, from being on one, is that they are absolutely misunderstood by the general public. Halfway through the program, people back home expect that I’m having the time of my life, and that I have everything figured out. That four months in a foreign country have allowed … Continue reading At Last, my “Gap Year Epiphany”
“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
[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”
[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!
Arabic is one of the hardest languages in the world. It doesn’t hit me every time I sit down to study. Rather, it comes at random times. The times when I realize how great the discrepancy between 3ammiye and fus7a is. The times when I listen to a Moroccan song and notice that I can … Continue reading Arabic: the Thrill and the Struggle