The opportunities I’ve had to practice Arabic over the past two days have left me feeling dissapointed with myself. Unlike my first couple of days, when my time was occupied with tourist activities (visiting the pyramids, Bedouin Night, and a Nile Cruise), more recent days have brought more opportunities to interact with Egyptians.
On Tuesday, I walked with a friend through Downtown and Islamic Cairo from Tahrir Square (the city center) to Khan el Khalili, Cairo’s oldest bazaar, and spent several hours eating and window shopping with friends in Khan. On Wednesday, I walked around Zamalek and to the El Sawa Cultural Wheel to hear a poetry reading.
This experience produced my first feelings of embarassment and shame for studying in Egypt with virtually no knowledge of Arabic. (more…)