– Hey 3aoosh, do you wana go watch a movie?
– Yeah why not? Esh fee 3al cinema?
– I don’t know, fi filim cartoon 7ilo. You know you can never go wrong with cartoon
– Enzain you wana go eat something later?
– Eeh madry ween, how about Biella?
– La ma a7ib Italian
– Enzain what do you want ya3ny?
– Abby applebeaze
– Waaa3 you know I hate it, akilhom elaw3 elchabid
– Enzin e5tari mokan.
– Je ne sais pas 9ara7a
This is how we speak now. Half English half Arabic and some French! Is it a problem? Are we loosing our language? Whose fault is that? I cannot help but put few English words whenever I speak Arabic. It comes out naturally; not like am trying to be cool or anything. Sometimes I find it easier to express myself in English; in other situation I cannot help express myself in Arabic and in other times in French! My brothers get irritated whenever I speak English, I tell them “this is me, am not pretending”. When did it become part of me? Whenever I am with someone who doesn’t speak English, I have to make an effort to watch out every word that comes out of my mouth. Because some people get offended when I speak to them in English; I would probably feel the same if some one kept speaking to me in Russian! I like speaking in English; but I love Arabic even more. I don’t mind speaking English by choice, not by force, in my own country!
It is very irritating that English became more important that Arabic in Qatar. I know that it is essential for business and communication. Hell I use English more than Arabic I know! But how come when we go to France we have to speak French because they refuse to speak in English even if they know it. I certainly don’t expect to go to a Bank in UK and find that the employees only speak in Arabic! When foreigners go to France, they are forced to learn French to be able to live and communicate with the French. Imagine you were French, and went to a restaurant in France and the waiter told you “I am sorry, I only speak English!”. But this is absolutely normal in Qatar. No one is expected to speak Arabic, or even make an effort and learn it. I feel that we are loosing our Arabic. I don’t want to be forced to speak English when I don’t want to. All foreigner should make an effort and learn Arabic and learn about our culture instead of making judgments that we are aggressive and unwelcoming as many of them do.
One day my father asked me to go to a shop with him, when I asked him why, he said that every one there spoke English and he doesn’t know how to communicate with them! This made me feel so mad. Especially that this situation happened several times with him. How many times he asked me to make phone calls or go with him to places for the same reason. And what I hate the most is that look they give you “oh you don’t speak English?” as if it’s a shame. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? “oh you don’t speak Arabic”. This is my country, my father’s country; how irritating it is when we cannot speak our own language in our own country!
I think that there should be new laws that preserves our language. Foreigner, especially those who work in customer service and have to deal with the locals on daily basis must learn Arabic before they acquire their visa. Our language is strong, beautiful and the most comprehensive language in the world; why are we not taking care of it. The blame is not on foreigners, it is on us. We are not only loosing it on streets; but also in schools. An English school is much better and “cooler” than Arabic schools. A school that has changed all its curricula into English is “improving”. Our Arabic and Islamic studies curricula are pathetic! Students complain about studying Arabic because its difficult. They don’t see the beauty of it; and no one cares! I hate it when I see young parents speaking to their kids in English. One of my work colleagues punishes her kids if they didn’t speak in English with each other! How ridiculous is that!
My message to foreigner: please make an effort to respect and maybe learn our language
My message to Qataris: lets force our language everywhere and teach our young ones about its importance and beauty.