Grey Wool Knickers They breathe

October 19, 2007

I love Arabic! أُحب اللغة العربية

Filed under: Masr —مصر — Tags: , — admin @ 3:43 pm

The language is totally fascinating to me. There are a lot of rules and conventions that are strange and challenging for someone like me who has only studied indo-european languages, but once you learn the rules, there are very few exceptions to them. There is a whole class of verbs called (by European linguists) “defective” verbs, but there is no such thing as an irregular verb. As such, learning to read and write well is an accomplishment i can see on the horizon. Unfortunately, learning to speak and listen well is a totally different thing, as one has to actually internalize many of these rules and conventions—and they are legion—to listen and speak well. Matters are further complicated by the fact that the rules are quite different in the colloquial, and there are significantly more exceptions to them, as opposed to the “classical” or “modern standard Arabic”. Still, it is all very fascinating to me and i’m excited to be learning the language.

If you’ll indulge me for a little while, i’d like to tell you about some of my favorite things about the language. (more…)

October 18, 2007

Initial observations on the hijab and niqab

Filed under: Masr —مصر — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 6:39 am

Most of the following may be totally off-base, and like much of what i commit to publication on this blog at this early stage, it will probably embarrass me at some point in the future, once i’ve gotten more of a clue. But here goes anyway. (more…)

The Corniche—the Reno of Cairo

Filed under: Masr —مصر — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 1:34 am

In general, things in Cairo are pretty flashy. I’ve described the cabs elsewhere, but clothes are similar, at least wherever Egyptians are conspicuously out on the town. The Corniche, the road that flanks the Nile, and some of the bridges crossing it, is packed most evenings with hip beglittered young people, men and women both.   (more…)

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