My Arabic teacher asked me to start collecting images of signs in Arabic from around Doha. She says that practicing reading every sign I see will keep my Arabic fresh between classes. I know it’s been a productive day when my eyes start reading a sign from the right (Arabic is written from right to left, like Hebrew and Farsi). But even on a day when I look first to the left of a sign to read the English, I sometimes stop to try and sound out the Arabic text which nearly always accompanies English here.
But, like the khaleeji* first grader whose vocabulary I aspire to, sometimes the pictures can tell stronger stories than the words. Check out these posters for a diabetes prevention event (stickman of OddlySpecific would be in good company in Doha). These photos, like all of my photos, contain information in their alt-texts. So hover your mouse to learn more!
*Khaleeji (خليجي) is slang for a woman from the countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (khaleej would be a man from one of those countries. In a real sentence I heard from a friend: “That dummy, he assumed I wasn’t khaleeji because I was playing football with men!” Does not describe Jordinians, Yemenis or Lebanese people.
“The conventional wisdom of the Tower of Babel story is that the collapse was a misfortune. That it was the distraction, or the weight of many languages that precipitated the tower’s failed architecture. That one monolithic language would have expedited the building and heaven would have been reached. Whose heaven, she wonders? And what kind? Perhaps the achievement of Paradise was premature, a little hasty if no one could take the time to understand other languages, other views, other narratives period. Had they, the heaven they imagined might have been found at their feet. Complicated, demanding, yes, but a view of heaven as life; not heaven as post-life.” Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel Prize Lecture