Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Summer reading list



I have been stuck in the worst reading-slump ever, but I am hoping that I would read at least five books before the summer ends. To motivate myself and to stick to the plan, I thought of sharing the list with you guys, and maybe it would motivate you as well to go through your list too. I mean, we’re halfway through the year and I am way behind on my Goodread’s reading challenge. So here is a list of the books I am planning to read:

 
1.      Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami 
2.      The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling 
3.      Room by Emma Donoghue
4.      The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organization by Marie Kondō
5.      Lullabies by Lang Leav

Once I am done with the list, we'll talk books again! I'll provide a mini-review of the books in a later post. Till then, stay safe and have a good read! (pun intended) 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Women


She laid under the tree

Wondering when women will be free

The sky above looks spacious and wide

When will women ever decide?


She laid under the tree

Wondering when men will see

The destiny women designed

Must not be twined? 


She laid under the tree

Wondering when women will flea

The grips of stigmas and shame

To a place where they can't be tamed

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Being bilingual



“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”
-Charlemagne


I attended a conference once about bilingualism and I left the room feeling extremely proud to be bilingual myself. Unfortunately, I am not able to recall everything that was said in the conference, however, I do remember that one of the many benefits of being bilingual is keeping the mind sharp. As a result, speaking two different languages or more can make you a great multitasker. Now that sounds magical, right? Maybe. Let’s get into the other side of being bilingual and it isn’t as magical as it seems.

It began with me the same way it began for most of us. We were taught in school our ABCs and even sang the letters along with our teachers. It was a celebratory song because it meant that our minds were ready to put themselves in division. It meant we were ready to separate ourselves from our mother tongue. It marked the beginning of a creation; the creation of another identity being sculpted and designed to hang side by side with our original self. Being bilingual is truly extraordinary.

My native language is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, if not the most beautiful. It is rich, complex and alluring to both the ears and the heart. One written word can have several pronunciations and different meanings. I am in awe of the Arabic language as much as I am intimidated by it. I was always struggling with my Arabic classes in school and it frustrated me beyond belief. “It’s my mother tongue, I should perfect it”, I would tell myself. I realized that my heart was already taken by another language. Opposing to my frustration to the Arabic language, I found peace in the English language. She was and still is my sanctuary, my protector, my shelter. My passion for English has been planted in me for as long as I can remember, but it
bloomed recently. I listen to English songs, watch English shows, read English books, have conversations in English and even think in English. In that way I subconsciously put my mother tongue in the dark. Doing so made expressing myself a struggle. Though I am perfectly capable of delivering a full thought in English, translating it to those who don’t speak the language is a challenge. I find myself getting nervous, sweaty and sounding like a complete idiot. Given the fact that I am born and raised in an Arabic speaking society, I am expected to speak Arabic. And I don’t do that often, which upsets people for some reason. I would try nonetheless and in return, I get mocked, accused of snobbery and even shamed for having my identity “westernized” and stripped away. These claims are treacherous and they hurt because I am aware of how beautiful and important my language is, but I simply find it easier for me to use English as a communication tool. I have had people coming to my face telling me that I am acting all high and mighty for unintentionally infusing an Arabic sentence with two, or three English words in a conversation.  What they don’t understand is that I am trying. To put it in another way, if Japanese was the language I found myself comfortable using then I would use it. There are no complicated reasons behind why I choose the English language over my native one.

I think most of us can relate to the accusations being thrown at our faces. I personally am finally making peace with the fact that eventually, no matter how much I try to avoid it, I have to be reunited with my mother tongue. I’m actually excited to challenge myself and find the bridge between the two languages so none would be neglected. I want to practice speaking Arabic again and embrace it as I always embraced the English language. I mean, it’s only fair.