Sunday, February 04, 2007

4days in Alexandria

I have lived in Alexandria for 5days, have had 3lessons and have completed hours upon hours of homework, I now know words for all sorts of things in Arabic my favourite so far being foot and bucket. I have to learn every new word along with its plural, the dual form hasn’t yet come up and am certainly not asking am already snowed under with words Truly i have never looked forward to doing my homework so much! Having read the chapter on knowledge in imam Nawawi’s the "Gardens of righteous" whilst braving the winter to get to work in Manchester now I find I am treasuring all that am doing.

The flat is literally a 2minutes away from the institute and my room mates are both Somali! What was the likelyhood eh? They are very nice mashallah and have been going out of their way to help me settle in. An example being that Nadifa searched the whole of Iskandariya for a blanket for me as I froze the night before. Oddly enough we had a storm that night and it rained later on, which made me feel very much at home running through the rain. The older of the sisters Amel reminds me of the banker, she has that older sister aura about her and her command of Arabic is fantastic mashallah so she gets us about.

My lack of Arabic shocks people when we go out, they are convinced am Egytian and when ever they ask and I tell them am Somali ( one of my 6 pre-rehearsed (Q&A) they just shake their heads. My teacher who taught MD,Bangles and Liz last summer thought I was from the same origins at Bangles, come on am at least 2foot too tall be Bengali :)An old man who offered me his son’s hand in marriage was convinced I was Egyptian. So the list to date isEgyptian, Bengali or just plan disbelieve that am Somali, I clearly need to tan!

I have discovered am a neat freak I tidy and clean at least twice a day, if I see any dishs in the sink I wash them, the inside of my wardrobe is neat and systematically ordered. I know where everything is and everything has a place. My mother would be so proud. My Diplomatic skills are also being finely honed. I have made 2 suggestions and they have all been taken up as household practice.

We should have a pot were we all contribute a set amount each week so the basic shopping in the kitchen so we don’t have to double shop.

Because we all work really hard during the week that after jummah we should have a girlie pampering afternoon.

I am very close to the sea and as soon as it gets warmer and the sea less rough am going to learn my vocabulary by the sea inshallah. I want to start Tajweed soon but I don’t want to over burden myself maybe in a few weeks time.

My teacher (beautiful Sara) also taught MD and the first thing she said to be was that she really loved MD and bangles and Liz and how much she misses them. Then when explaining something to me she saw me trying to suppress a laugh and asked if I laughed a lot like MD aww…. Me thinkth MD should right to her Ustadha.


Justice said...

Hi there,
We were in Alex recdently and found it an interesting place - very similar to Izmir in Turkey, if a little more run down. Fould your blog interesting. I am an English teacher living and working in UAE. I did some writing on Alex in my travel blog. Go to and then click on my blog - if you wish.
Many thanks again
Robert L. Fielding

NM said...

Hi Robert L. Fielding:) sounds like an pen name for an author, aptely named there i see.

I am going to read your blog as soon as this connection speeds up (god willing)