I must learn this Arabic!

December 27, 2010

I don’t understand why Arabic is such a scary language to us Westerners.  I don’t understand why we have problems with the people who speak it.  I know it must be just blatant ignorance and racism, but that didn’t prevent me from taking an Arabic class four years ago.  I knew nothing about it and I still didn’t even know which countries speak it until now (25 including my favorite, Lebanon). 

The people in my class either were from the Middle East, had a loved one from there, or were studying it for jobs.  I was there because it just seemed like an exotic language to learn and I was open to new experiences.  I only lasted two or three classes but got the book and maybe it was that experience that taught me to not be to be open to new cultures, though I was that way in college to a good degree.

Anyway, now that I’m serious about all things hummus (and then some), I really don’t want to be afraid of Arabic so maybe when I visit the Middle East, I’ll try again and hopefully not cause anybody to question me at the airport or elsewhere like I’ve heard that they do nowadays.  But I must say, Arabic must be easier to learn than English right? I shouldn’t give up! Have any of you wanted to learn a certain language (even English) and been stumped?


A Middle Eastern Opera

December 24, 2010

I’m reading a book about Hezbollah, the Lebanese military group and how they’re at war with Israel.  So I was thinking how all of what I know about the Middle East is what I read in the newspapers (and the research that I’ve done on my own).  Wouldn’t it be cool if there was an opera about the strife between the countries there and we focused instead on something else besides the war (like food!).  So I came up with some dialogue. You have to imagine it in Arabic though. ENJOY!
Ibrahim (from Lebanon) and Daudi (from Israel) are fighting each other when a young Palestinian woman named Abda, comes carrying a dish of hummus and pita bread.

Ibrahim:  Dude!  Hummus!

Daudi:  I kill you instead.

Abda. But what will you eat while you kill?

Daudi:  Hummus burgers anyone?

Ibrahim:  Dude, I like falafel. It’s fast food and more popular than hummus here.

Daudi:  If you kill me, I want falafel.

Abda:  I have falafel sandwiches here as well. I prefer tabbouleh.

Daudi: What do women like better?  Falafel or hummus?

Abda: I’m different, but they might prefer baba ghanoush.

Ibrahim:  What about meat dishes?

Daudi:  Yes, meat, yogurt, vegetables, baklava, you name it, the Middle East has it!

Abda: If I get it for you will you pray together at the mosque?

Ibrahim:  I will do anything for my falafel.

Whether it’s dairy, eggs, beans, meat, or nuts,

Amino Acids = protein for anyone, no ifs, ands, or buts.

There are so many different kinds; let’s see: leucine, methionine, cystine,

But most amino acids are found in dairy, eggs, and meat, which is mean.

So on to vitamins and minerals, for that is where beans, legumes, and nuts thrive,

Hummus is good for iron, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, fiber and protein, to keep you alive!

How’s that for proper dietary supplement from beans?

Or if you want to be really rebellious, try the legumes; they may even help your spleen!

And then there’s starch/carbs, which are necessary, but don’t overload.

If you do, then, Beware!, you may transform into a toad!

So sample some fava, kidney, pinto, garbanzo, or any other kind of beans today!

Because if you do, you will certainly be able to have your way!