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How rich & smart are you?

 All praises belong to God lord of the worlds

Yesterday I was pondering this verse it’s so profound!

God does not just say he is the lord and stop there. In Arabic the word lord رب rubb anyone can be a lord.

I could say أنا رب ألمنزل  ana rubbul manzil meaning I am the lord of the house meaning it’s my house.

God is not just lord and stop there he clarifies further stating he is the lord of all the worlds.

I used to think the worlds as just the various different planets in the universe, but there is world within our bodies within our cells, each of us lives in our own world as we experience life, there is a world within which bacteria live.  The football world, the political world, the academic world. God is the owner of all these worlds including the digital world we now see developing on our screens. He is the lord owner of all of this.

I used to pass verses that relate to God owning all the time and not reflect on them at all until yesterday.

To God belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth.

Us humans we love to boast and show off to others about what we own, fancy houses, car job etc. We can even become arrogant about what we have, and can do not realizing that what we have is a gift from God which can be taken away.

No matter how much a person may own, how powerful they maybe it will never equal even the size of an atom compared to all that God owns. One of the names of God is ألغنى al ghanni (the rich one)

Some people also love boasting about what they can do with regard to special skills they have speaking a language, martial arts computer knowledge or have smart and clever they are. They risk losing their abilities.

Remember when you are arrogant you are

God talks about what he can do which no human can match

Who has created the seven heavens one above another, you can see no fault in the creations of the Most Beneficent. Then look again: “Can you see any faults?”

Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out.

All these verses of God’s ownership and God’s power is a reminder to us to be humble and not forget his majesty magnificence which can be witnessed by observing nature.

Remember when you are arrogant you are  risking losing all you have and can do. And instead if you are grateful he will give you more.

Being grateful always leads to receiving more. How?

If a person gives you a present and you thank then really really sincerely showing it. Will they feel like giving you more?

Imagine in front of that same person you display arrogance and start boasting about the gift you received are they likely to feel like giving you more gifts in the future?

Thank you and please share this if you liked it. 🙂


Author of Get Fluent In Arabic





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You can’t go far aiming low

Award Winning Arabic Learning System

Award Winning Arabic Learning System

I talked last time about aiming low.

Aiming low is a serious problem.

I know many people who aim to ‘‘get married.’’ They set that as a goal.

What’s wrong with this?

If that’s what you aim for (bare minimum) that’s all you may get. You may get married but then not enjoy married life. Because you made it your sole aim to only get married.

You must make it an aim to get married AND have a wonderful relationship.

Analyse the following two persons
Person 1
To get a job
To get married
To go on holiday
To write a book
To be healthy
To earn enough to survive on
To give my children an education
To learn Arabic

Person 2
To get an excellent job
To have a wonderful marriage
To go and enjoy a wonderful holiday
To write an excellent book
To have an excellent healthy body
To earn more than enough
To give my children an excellent education
To become fluent in Arabic

If you look at person one they are setting themselves up to struggle financially all their life due to putting down or having the aim in their mind to earn enough to survive on. If you aim for this you’ll always have JUST about enough to survive on.

Person one wants to learn Arabic. Person two has set themselves a much higher goal to become fluent in Arabic.

When you set yourself a high goal you must have that desire and burning obsession to achieve it. You know how strong the desire is when you are totally obsessed with the aim. It’s always on your mind.

If you’re not then this could mean you dont have a desire for it and need to set something else as an aim.

We need to remember whatever we aim for in life we need to aim well. whatever the aim or goal may be. The prophet said whenever you do something do it with excellence. In other words aim high.

Don’t aim to do the bare minimum. Average aims result to experiencing an average life.

Aiming low is fine if upon reaching that goal you set yourself a higher goal.

Aiming low in life can lead to many struggles, such as struggling to maintain your marriage, your health, your spirituality, yourself financially.

Thank you 🙂

Please share if you liked this post
So let’s toss aside our low aims and reach higher.

(Author of Get Fluent In Arabic)

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Mistakes Are Your Teachers

Are you an Arabic student  avoiding making mistakes whilst you try and learn Arabic? If you’re trying to avoid making mistakes then you are avoiding learning for mistakes equals learning.

In school, the grade A students  are the ones who make the least mistakes.

Unfortunately, the opposite is true in language learning.

As I have mentioned in Get Fluent In Arabic that the ones who make the least mistakes
develop their language skills slower than those that have not.

If you’re waiting around for the day that you never make mistakes before you start speaking Arabic then you’re waiting for an event that will never happen.

So go on throw yourself at the deep end, speak Arabic and make mistakes sound stupid, don’t be afraid to be laughed at, speak even if you don’t make any sense speak even if you make a million mistakes don’t worry.

As you learn grammar and speak and practice the grammar in your speech your mistakes will decrease.

Thank you for reading this blog please reshare it if you found it to be beneficial.

Moniur (Shajahan) Rohman
Author Of Get Fluent In Arabic

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How To Use Your Phone For Arabic

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Assalam alaikum,

even though I went abroad to Egypt six years ago to learn Arabic when I remember my phone I was using whilst there I feel like a veteran. It was the Nokia 3210. A phone so old King Hendry the eighth used it lol.

Nowadays people are so fortunate.

As phones can now do more than allow you to call people.

So how can your phone allow you to use it to maximise and speed up your Arabic learning process?

These ideas might be obvious but hey I didn’t have these opportunities when I was 23.

Thanks to the smart phone you can,

  • Record your lessons. Online or offline. This allows you to replay the lesson in case you missed something the teacher said. If you’re studying in a group class online some institutes record lessons for students who missed the lesson audio and visual.
  • Join whats app chat groups to practice your Arabic writing skills. Having an Arabic keyboard on your phone allows you to write messages in Arabic to people worldwide. You can even send voice messages and call people on whats app for free.
  • Hold conversations online with other learners on language exchange websites. Much better than using a laptop.
  • Carry your class books as PDF files or ebooks on your phone so less for you to carry
  • You can make notes on word documents using Polaris office 5
  • Receive automated reminders about your future lesson days and times on SMS or email.
  • Access online learning videos, lectures Arabic reading material (newspapers etc)
  • Being able to check the meanings of words online. Much faster than flipping through pages

This means thanks to your smart phone you can practice for the first time all four languages skills easily. Forget your house you can now practice them on your bed.

A decent internet connection and voila you’re ready to go. You can even receive the same tuition you’d receive without having to travel abroad and at a fraction of the cost.

So if there are no barriers to learn Arabic what’s stopping us?

If anyone has any other ideas a smartphone can help others learn Arabic faster  please feel free to add in the comments below.

Thank you 🙂

wasalam alaikum

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Focus On The Learning Process Not On Results

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When I started learning Arabic I tried learning to do it myself.
I started looking online at free information trying to learn myself at hundreds of various blogs, videos, books and courses Trying to follow various different courses.
Which makes you really confused when you get conflicting advice from different courses. I tried doing it that way but it was painful, slow and frustrating trying to put everything together.

Then I decided I’m gonna join one program and ignore everything else that’s out there.
I committed myself to the one institute and followed everything the teacher said for me to do.

I learned the process and ignored all other textbooks and material.
If you wana learn Arabic. Pick one course, then learn the process and implement the process.

I wish I had first gone out and learned the process FIRST before doing anything else. If you don’t have a systematic process then you’ll end up dabbling here there and jumping around from one Arabic institute to another.

Focus on learning and implement ing the learning process first than on achieving fast results. Forget about becoming some advanced person and on quick results. Learn act on the process for at least six months.

Get fluent In Arabic gives you the whole process. All you gotta do is get a teacher and then start gradually implementing the process.

To get anywhere in life we need to follow a process. Our bodies follows a process of digestion from the time we eat to converting the food to energy, there is a process to get married, divorced, apply for a visa, lose weight etc.

And most certainly to learn Arabic there is a process.

Feel free to read my previous blog titled My Plan To Arabic Fluency and my book Get Fluent In Arabic to get further clarification on the process to fluency.

If you found this useful please reblog it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog I honestly hope to benefit as many people I can with it. 🙂


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How Do We Learn Languages?

The Language Flow Quadrant

Below is my story of how the language flow quadrant guided me to fluency in Arabic.

I called my friend Muhammed Ameen and invited him for tea. He had studied Arabic abroad in Egypt and was fluent.We met in a café next to the local library at 8 in the evening. The wind kept whistling in the background even after I closed the door to the café. Muhammed was waiting for me at our table. I greeted him, shook his hand, and sat watching the tree’s branches sway from left to right in the wind. The waitress came and placed our tea on the table. “I hope you don’t mind that I ordered for you.”

His words took me out of my trance. “Hm? No, not at all.” I took a sip. The hot tea warmed my stomach in a very welcome way

“Let’s get started then, shall we?”

I nodded and began to relate the happenings that took place with my friend Omar.

Muhammed didn’t say much. He simply kept nodding his head and interjecting with an “aha” every now and then while sipping his tea. After hearing my story he remarked “so did you learn the lesson then?”

“What lesson?”

“Well if you compare your situation to your friend’s, there clearly is a startling difference between your progress and his, despite the fact you had more schooling.”

“Can you elaborate on that?” I asked, curiously.

“Let’s look at the facts. When did you commence your studies?”

“In 2005.”

“So it is now 2008, and here we are. So three years have passed since you started your studies right?”

“Right, but I have not been studying continuously for three years.”

“Let’s begin,” he said, ignoring what I said about not studying continuously.

“Begin what?”

“Begin going through some very important concepts about learning Arabic.”

“You mean you’re going to give me some academic lecture on how to learn Arabic?”

“It depends on how you look at it. I look at it as naseeha [Arabic word for “advice”] to a fellow Muslim and human being.”

He took a sip of his tea and asked, “Do you know anyone that watches Bollywood movies?”

Astaghfirallah! [An Arabic word which translates to “I see refuge in God.” It is often used as a reprimand.] First you talk about naseeha for learning Arabic, and now you are talking about Bollywood movies? Have you seen how family-unfriendly the movies have become? I hope you don’t let your children watch them!”

By no means am I a self-righteous person. I used to enjoy watching Bollywood movies as a kid. I loved the fight scenes, even though I didn’t understand the language completely. I especially loved Mithun Chakraborty and Amitabh Bachchan. My dad used to borrow the videotapes from a local store.

Muhammed grinned, and waving his hands up and down as though he was putting out a fire with them said, “Calm down holy man. Just answer the question.”

“Yes, I know many people who watch that stuff, mainly from the Indian subcontinent.”

“Ah, so not everyone then. Who constitutes the rest of the audience?”

“Well non-South-Asian people, of course”

“Like who?”

“You mean in terms of nationalities?”


“Well I know some Somali people who watch that stuff, and umm… Arabs, for sure. Oh, and Afghanis and English people too.”

“Now do any of those people understand Hindi?”

I scratched my chin. “Come to think of it, one Somali boy I from my days in school used to speak Hindi.”

“Right, but what about when they started watching these movies for the first time? Did they understand the language?”

“Well of course. Man has gone beyond discovering fire to inventing subtitles,” I said laughing.

“Good, so the question is, how did they get from a situation of not understanding the language to understanding the language?”

I just wished he would tell me the answer straight without asking me this barrage of questions. It was a cold evening, and even though we were inside a café, my hands were really starting to feel the cold. The tea had lost its warmth.


“Hmm, not sure,” I muttered, pouring myself a second cup of tea, hoping he would notice and cut to the chase, as he knew that I normally do not drink tea.

“Let me put it like this. Have you watched a foreign movie before?”

“Yes, a Chinese one.”

“So how did you follow what was going on?”

“Well, to state the obvious, by reading the subtitles.”

“Yes, then as time went on the same words started to pop up again and again, right?”

“Yes I see what you mean,” I nodded at him.

“So you see, the audience starts to associate the words they see in the subtitles with the words of the spoken language along with the facial expressions and hand gestures. So by repeatedly hearing the same words again and again, they start picking up the language.”

“So are you saying that Omar knows more Arabic than me because he watches Arabic movies?”

“We’ll get to that. Remember there are certain fundamental words in any language that will pop up again and again. So the more a person watches movies with subtitles, the better they will be able to understand and pick up these ‘fundamental’ words. Until eventually, they no longer require subtitles. In fact they become…”

“A nuisance!” I interrupted him loudly, excited by this realisation.

“Exactly. It’s just like learning to ride a bike. First, you ride using both training wheels. Then, you take them off and your dad holds you, helping you ride. And with time, you learn to ride the bike without the assistance of your father or the training wheels. First you need a lot of help, like when you watch a movie reading subtitles, and then you need none at all.”

I pondered his words. Looking out the window into the darkness, Muhammed sipped more tea. “Think back to your childhood, when you first started learning to speak. What was the first skill that you learned?”

“Speaking?” I answered.

He shook his head.

“Learning to say mama?”

“No, before that.”

“Before that? Learning to cry?”

“Ok you’re way off now. I’ll give you a clue. If you can’t speak, read, or write a language, what are you left with doing?”

“Oh yeah, listening,” I said feeling a little embarrassed that I did not notice something so obvious.

“Exactly,” smiled Muhammed.” You learned to listen. Like the Greek philosopher Diogenes said, ‘The reason why God gave us two ears and one mouth is that so we may listen more and talk less.’ This is how children learn to swear and how they pick things up. A language is picked up through listening, and whatever is picked up can be spoken. We first learned to listen as children. We listened for a whole year before we started babbling one word at a time like ‘no,’ ‘yes,’ ‘car,’ ‘house,’and ‘Mommy.’ Then we started moving on to simple two-word sentences. If you observe children, you will see this. With the passing of time, the sentences become longer and more sophisticated structurally as the child’s language abilities develop.

He popped a question out of nowhere. “What was the first word that came out of your mouth when you were a little baby?”

“I don’t know, really. I never asked my parents, but I’m assuming ‘Mommy,’ like a lot of kids.”

“Yes, Shajahan, you’re absolutely correct. For many of us it is ‘Mommy.’ It’s hardly surprising since many of us had our mothers eliciting the word out of us. After changing your nappy, your mom may have said, ‘Darling can you say mommy? Say mommy, moooommyyyy.’ So you see, your mother was training you. She would say the word she wanted you to learn, then repeat it and break the word into elongated syllables and pronounce it slowly for you. I mean, all you were doing apart from lying on your bed on your back was probably looking at her and watching her sound the word slowly. Most importantly, you were listening to her, right?”

I nodded my head in agreement.

“In fact, even before we start getting trained by our mums to speak, our first language experiences start in a place where we haven’t even started taking our own breaths, a temporary home for all of us, a place where our journey in life begins. That place is…”

“Our womb,” I said, finishing his sentence.

“Yes, exactly. Babies start using their ears to listen to their mothers well before they are born. It is a known medical fact that a foetus can hear when it is only 16 weeks old. They can even recognize certain music, songs, and lullabies that they heard in the womb well after they are born. This is why many Muslim mothers recite the Qur’an to their babies before they are born. You may be thinking, well a baby’s brain develops much faster, and they’re able to learn a lot more than adults are, and you’re right, to a point. Even as adults, we learn languages best by listening to words first. It’s the way we are built. Speaking from an evolutionary perspective, humans developed words and gestures to communicate. Think about it. If you’re in a non-English speaking environment and you can’t speak, read, or write the language what’s the one thing you can do?”

“Listen,” I responded.

“Exactly. If you spent a good month anywhere abroad where very little English is spoken, then I am certain you picked up a few words and phrases. How? Just like when you were a child, you start to associate words with things and situations. When dealing with people in a foreign country, you listened to them and tried to decipher what they were saying through their facial expressions, hand gestures, demeanour, tone of voice, and body language. By repeatedly listening to people, you started to associate words with meanings and context. It’s a slow process at first, but it becomes much, much faster as your experiences build up. Note that no English was required for you to start learning the foreign language. In fact, had the people been English speakers, it would have greatly inhibited your learning because your exposure to the language would not have been so great.”

His words amazed me. How could I not see it before? I needed to listen before I could do anything else.

The waitress handed Mohammed the bill. He took it from her and started doodling on the opposite side. First, he drew two lines. One went down and the other went horizontally. On the top left, he wrote an L. Under that, he scribbled a big, sloppy R. Next to the L, he squiggled an S, and a W went in the last corner. He kept doodling. Turning the paper towards me, he asked, “So what do you see?”

“Umm, it’s a quadrant.”

“Good. And what does each letter represent?”He asked. His facial expression told me he was expecting me to know the answer.

“Umm, well, I guess L stands for language.” I scratched my chin. “S definitely stands for skills. R is… repetition, and umm W… words?”

“Mmm not quite. Good try, though. Think about where each letter stands with relation to the others.”

“I have absolutely no idea,” I said, totally baffled. I could feel he really wanted me to understand something important, but I could not figure out what it was.

“What were we just talking about?”

“Listening…” I replied. Then suddenly the answer dawned on me. “I get it! L stands for listening, S for speaking, R for reading, and W for writing. Right?”

“That’s exactly right,” said Muhammed, breaking into a smile. “These are the skills used to develop any language, including Arabic. There are four sections and a line separates each because each language skill is separate and independent of the other. Have you noticed that a person can speak, listen, and read their mother tongue, but not be able to write? You were able to only read at one point, and then you learned to write Arabic later on, by yourself, didn’t you Shajahan?”

I nodded in agreement. “Or a person may be able to listen and understand a language, like Hindi, in my case, but not be able to speak it.”

“You got it now, Shajahan!” he clapped me on the back. “So if you want to be a good speaker, you need to exercise your tongue and get it used to speaking Arabic. If it’s writing you want to improve, you need to train your hand to write. If you find the language too fast to follow, then it’s your ears that need exercising. So the reason Omar was so much better than you in understanding those videos was because he had spent so much time listening to Arabic being spoken casually. You, on the other hand, are a much better reader because your eyes are used to picking up written patterns in Arabic. Am I right when I say that?”

I nodded enthusiastically.

“Another thing, have you noticed that the quadrant can be subdivided into two sections: a left and a right side?”

“Yeah I can see that.”

He drew an arrow that flowed from the L box to the S box, and another from the R to the W box.

Productive Skills
Receptacle Skills

“The left side of this quadrant consists of your listening and reading skills. These are receptacle skills because you receive information through your eyes and ears. In fact, you learn almost everything by listening and seeing. The right side, as you can probably guess, is the output, or productive skills. They consists of speaking and writing, which you use when you want to give out information, whether you are writing an email to a friend, writing a message on Facebook, or when you are calling your wife to convey to her that you’ve been promoted at work. So why do you think I have the two arrows flowing from the left to right?”

His question caught me off guard.

Seeing that I did not know the answer he said, “Do you know the verse in the Qur’an which states that everything in creation has an opposite?”

‘And of everything we have created opposites, that you may remember.’ (Surah 51:49 Adh-Dhaiyat)

“I certainly do,” I replied, now wondering where he was going with this.

“And have you thought about the significance of the reality that everything is designed in opposites?”

“Well, a bit,” I said. “I know that there are females, and there are males…” I stopped, worried I might say something stupid. “I haven’t really thought about the verse deeply, to be honest.”

“Well if you look at the world, you’ll notice that there are opposites to almost everything, and these opposite parts balance one another to complete something.”

“I’m not too sure what you mean by that.”

“Okay, well let’s look at your example of female and male. There would be no people on this without opposites, right? For the human race to exist, opposites need to exist. The sperm needs an egg to penetrate, but at same time, the egg needs sperm to penetrate it in order for conception to occur, right?

I nodded my head in agreement. “One cannot do without the other.”

“That’s just one example. The same applies to empires. When one goes into decline, another one rises. Let’s take a look at the temperature of the planet. The earth’s temperature is, on average, about 16 degrees Celsius. Imagine what the temperature would be without the presence of cold temperatures and if there was only hot weather. Would life exist on the planet?”

“Probably not,” I responded.

He went on, “You cannot have expenses without an income, or something old without there being something new. You can’t have a sense of direction without opposites either. There can be no up without down or left without right. Similarly, if there were only rich people on the planet, they would no longer be ‘rich.’ They’d all be just average. So you can’t have the rich without the poor.” He continued to pound me with more examples. He really wanted to nail this lesson into my head. “A bird has two wings, a right and a left. The bird won’t fly without both its wings, just like a dolphin can’t swim without both of its flippers. Now,” he said adjusting his glasses, “the two skills, listening and speaking are like the two wings of a bird. You need both to communicate effectively” Pointing to the quadrant again, he said, “The left side of the quadrant consists of receptive skills, which, are…?”

“Listening and reading,” I said.

“Yes, and the right side consists of productive skills which are…?

“Speaking and writing,” I answered.

“Now consider this. In order for a person to learn to speak Arabic well, what do they need to do?”

“They need to listen to Arabic well right?”

“That’s correct.”

“And in order to write Arabic well they need to…?”

“Read Arabic with comprehension. Wow backtrack a bit,” I said trying hard to let this all sink in. “So a child cannot learn to speak their native tongue without mastering the ability to listen to it and to understand it first.”

“That’s exactly right,” said Muhammed.

“Ok I got you now. That makes a lot of sense, actually. I mean, I had this friend who took me to a French restaurant once and started ordering in French! I had no idea he could speak French and thought that he must have been watching some French cooking shows or something.”

“Yeah, he learned to speak by listening first, because you can’t speak a language until you’ve spent a fair bit of time just listening to it. Similarly, a person cannot learn to write well without reading well and reading enough. And since most Arabic classes don’t involve much listening, you have to develop your receptacle skills ability on your own.”

I was shocked. It all made sense now. The reason I had been doing so well in my classes but not in the real world was because my classes did not prepare me adequately. I wasn’t listening enough.

Muhammed continued, “A person that exercises their receptive skills is likely to develop good productive skills. You must have heard of the saying, ‘people who read a lot tend to write well.’ And people who speak English with an American accent do so because they listened to people with American accents. You speak English with a British accent because you grew up hearing the British accent. Had you grown up in the US, you’d have spoken with an American accent.”

Hmm, very interesting, I thought to myself.

“It is through the receptive left half that we ‘pick up,’ or expose ourselves to a language,” he added. “We produce language based on what we have been exposed to, and the only way we are exposed to a language is by listening to it and reading it. Notice that each quadrant is equal in size. Why do you think that is?”

I had absolutely no response.

“Each section is equal in size because the skills are equally important. So don’t believe anyone if they tell you that reading is more important than speaking, or vice versa. No skill is more important than the other. Each has its own role and function. Now why do you think each box is separated from the other by a line?”

“Because each skill is different?” I said, now beginning to understand Muhammed more and more.

“In what way?” asked Mohammed, sipping a fresh cup of tea.

“Well isn’t that obvious?”

“If it is, please enlighten me. If it is sooo obvious, please do share,” he said mockingly in a posh English accent.

My mind went blank as I realised my statement put me under the spotlight, and I hated being under the spotlight. Despite Muhammed explaining it to me once, I’d forgotten what he said at the beginning of the conversation. The longer the silence went on, the worse I felt. Seeing that I was tongue-tied, Muhammed asked another question.

“What do we use to speak?” he asked now making it easier for me to answer

“Pfft obviously the tongue!”

“Obvious? So why could you not tell me that before hand?”

“Apologies. It was a slip of the tongue.”

“Really? So when we start talking about the hand are you going to have a slip of the hand and punch me?” he chuckled.

I grimaced.

“What about when we listen?”

Without a moment’s hesitation I replied, “Ears. And hands for writing, and eyes for reading.”

“Good! Each skill is different. Each requires a different part of the body. Therefore, each requires separate training. And separate boxes.” He pointed to the quadrant again. “Don’t ever forget this quadrant,” he said in a serious tone. “A lot of people get confused when learning Arabic because they fail to make these distinctions.” He gulped down the last bit of cold tea. “I’ve got to go.” Muhammed stood up hurriedly.

“But wait! I want to learn from you more! I’ve learned a heck of a lot from you already. Is there any way we could meet up while I’m in Egypt?”

Muhammed taught both English and Arabic in Egypt.

“We can meet, but it will mainly have to be through Skype. You’ll be in Cairo and I’ll be in Alexandria.”

“Great! So you’re going to be my coach then?” I said grinning.

“Don’t call me that!”


“It makes me feel old. Secondly, we’ll see just how long you last away from home, rookie.”

“Oh I can last all right. That’s a given.”

“We’ll see rookie. We’ll see.”

He kindly paid the bill and we agreed to meet again next week, just a week before I flew out to Egypt to begin my journey to learn Arabic.

pg 24 – 37 Get Fluent In Arabic! for more feel free to check out my book Get Fluent In Arabic

Thank you for reading my blog 🙂🙂
Wasalam alaikum Shajahan

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