Monday, March 24, 2014

Nana Diaries: A Malaysian Girl in Yemen

I thought I could give up on blogging and start Dayre-ing. Unfortunately enough, I am not so fond of Dayre right now. It just seems a bit complicated and limited. So yea, I shall stick to this little blog of mine.

As some of you may know, it has been a week since I arrived Sana'a, Yemen. I am here for my Arabic classes. I has always been so interested in languages. It doesn't matter what language it is, as long as it is a L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E. I did learn Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Japanese and even Spanish. Online and by myself of course! I'm too cheap to attend proper classes. Heheee! Besides Malay and English, the only proper language classes that I ever attended was Arabic. Yes, languages can be the hardest subject to learn and master without proper classes. Even so, I never really into Arabic that much. To me, it was just an old and hard to learn language and who cares, I can speak and understand English well. So why do I even bother studying Arabic.

I started learning Arabic since I was 11 because Arabic has always been one of the important subjects at school. However, I don't really give so much thought into it. Yes, I might be good in Arabic compared to some friends in class but unfortunately enough, no matter how good I was at answering questions in class (mind you I'm not that good. I only got a C in Arabic for SPM), I can never really speak Arabic. Believe it or not I can actually have an hour long conversation (with full of laughter and giggles too) with my new (at that time) Japanese friends who can barely speak English but when it comes to having a conversation in Arabic with my Arabs friends, somehow everything seems so blur! I can't even come up with one proper sentence besides "Hello. How are you? I am fine. Thank you". But mehhh, who cares!

UNTIL ...!!!

A year ago, alhamdulillah my family and I went for our umrah for the second time. It was a good and pleasant experience until one day we were about to go to I-can't-remember-where, and we were explaining to the tour guide where we were planning to go , suddenly a guy said "you Muslims yet you don't know how to speak your own language?!" By own language he meant Arabic. Honestly, it felt like a big giant slap on the face. He continued "you can't even speak Arabic so how can you even understand what the Quran is saying?" Another big giant slap! He was right. How can we understand the Quran if we can't even understand Arabic, yes? Yes, we do have the terjemahan, the translation, but can we REALLY understand the meaning of it (Quran)?

Things got worst. It was our last day in Makkah and we were supposed to be in Jeddah by 8PM. The driver was supposed to be at the hotel lobby at 5PM but he wasn't there til quarter pass 7! Just imagine we only have less than an hour time or we might miss our flight home. We tried to explain to the driver to drive as fast as possible because we needed to be at the airport by 8PM. Unfortunately, he can neither speak nor understand English! AT ALL! It was a disaster.

Alhamdulillah, after hundreds of stupid hand gestures, he managed to understand what we were saying and we managed to arrive at the airport on time. Since those incidents, I always thought to myself, why am I so blinded with worldly stuffs? Why do I even bother learning other languages but Arabic? Why am I so .... stupid?

The morning view of Sana'a right from my room window

Since then, it has always been a dream of mine to be able to once again attend Arabic classes and I promise myself to really learn it well this time. Alhamdulillah, I am so grateful that my dream came true. Here I am today, in one of the best places to learn Arabic, trying my very best to learn and understand Arabic as much as I could. Inshaa Allah :) Wish me luck alright? Heheeee.

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