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Disclaimer: Why write in English, and not Arabic?

If you asked this question and caught the irony of me writing in English, while promoting the Arabic language, congratulations! You've just discovered the problem we at Dardasha are trying to help address.

It’s me. Hi, I’m the problem. It’s me.

While I'm also trying to be part of the solution, this problem is more deeply rooted than just any one individual’s responsibility.

I am fluent in Arabic. At home, we exclusively speak it with our sons. With my family and friends, I speak (mostly) Arabic. I make it a daily ritual to read and watch Arabic content. I even take weekly Arabic lessons as an adult. As someone who struggles to write as easily in Arabic as I do English, this challenge deepens my admiration for those who effortlessly express themselves in our mother tongue.

More background: I attended English language schools and universities my whole life. We deferred to English at work, my professional network mostly speaks English, and my online research and reading are primarily in the English language.

So, when it comes to writing, I find myself more at ease with English and tend to reference English language resources, further deepening the gulf between my Arabic and English language proficiency.

I'm aware there's more I could be doing, but when your entire adult life has been mostly in English, catching up in Arabic is a journey. I’m also mindful that I have a whole lifetime ahead of me, so we started Dardasha! *pats self on back*

Our focus at Dardasha is to empower our children's generation in their mother tongue.

There’s two sides to this, one is our nuclear family’s responsibility to create an environment rich in our culture and language so that our children never have to write a disclaimer like this when they simply want to express their thoughts.

The other side extends beyond our immediate family, no matter in how small a way, to impact this rising generation of children.

It wouldn't surprise me if many in our immediate community share similar sentiments, even if the specifics of our experiences vary. If you do, I'd love to hear from you.

If you've made it this far, thank you for reading.

- Nabih

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8 comments

100% Agree. Fantastic post, your insight and Dardasha’s purpose resonate with me and many others. Can’t wait for more content – please keep sharing your journey.

Feras

هذا بالضبط كان سبب ولادة oh my bookness مع انني لم اتقن الانجليزية إلا في مرحلة الجامعة و لكن اصبحت تحيط بي من كل الجوانب و صارت تعجبني و تمثل لي وسيلة أسهل و أجمل للتعبير و اكتشفت انني لم أكن أتقن العربية أصلاً و لم اتعرف على جمالها حتى اقتربت منها اكثر عن طريق القرآن و الكتب… استمتع بالعربية كم نحن محظوظين بها

Walaa Almehri

Your dedication to preserving Arabic in your family and empowering your children to embrace their mother tongue is truly inspiring. Looking forward to more insights from Dardasha!

Zarmina Kanwal

Yup, yup and yup. So so proud of you and Reem for being on this journey. It’s been a source of inspiration for me and my family. Lots of love to you Dardasha!!

Basma Khalifeh

So much appreciation for Dardasha and everything you’re trying to do for Arab children especially in international communities.

Hamsa

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