Marhaba! Kifak? Kifik? Al Hamdulilla… These are few of the basic greetings I’ve learned from our Arabic course last month.
When Ricky received an email invitation from The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, without any doubt he immediately confirmed to join. He’s been really keen to learn Arabic for quite a long time and finally found one which is closer.
He encouraged me to join. So I did. I thought being able to speak and read Arabic in an Arabic country is pretty cool. We registered for a beginners class at SMCCU located in Bastakiya, Bur Dubai. The class consists of 12 sessions every Sundays and Tuesdays (7PM to 9PM) and we paid 1,850 per person.
As a beginner we are expected to learn basic greetings, days of the week, counting numbers, and memorise the Arabic letters. Our teacher Rawda is very nice. She’s from Syria and speaks very good Arabic. She made sure that we’ll be able familiarise the vocabularies and their sounds by repeatedly pronouncing it. We are 12 in the class which is great because you know that the teacher can properly assist each one.
I’m glad I went. It was such a great experience. I was able to meet new friends with different backgrounds. Like our class consist of students from Germany, Spain, France, Holland, India, Philippines, England, Scotland, and Singapore. Their reason for studying Arabic is mostly because of work. Some of them works with Arabic colleagues or bosses so it’s an advantage. Although I work in an industry where we deal mostly with westerners it is still a big plus to be able to learn the basic Arabic. Like one time we went to a Arz Lebanon restaurant and I started speaking to the waiter and he was smiling. He corrected me at first though and I’m pleased I made an effort.
For the last session we were given a final exam and thankfully all of us passed. And now we are waiting for our certificates. It’s great for CV’s too you know! Dubai offers plenty of things to do. So if you find some spare time don’t let it go to waste. Instead think of things on how to improve yourself such as learning a new language. Remember that you can never be over-educated!