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In this post we’ll look at the little word كَم and the familiar and unfamiliar ways we can use it.

كَم is mainly used to ask how much or how many. For example:

كَم سِعر هذا القَميص؟                 How much is this shirt?

كَم ثَمَن هذه الطاوِلة؟                   How much is this table?

كَم ساعة عَملت هذا الأُسبوع؟       How many hours did you work this week?

كم شخصًا كانوا في الحَفلة؟          How many people were at the party?

كَم كتابٍ قرأتُ؟                      How many books have you read?

Important note: In English, when asking how many of something there are, we ask in the plural form, for example: How many rooms are in this apartment? “room” is in the plural form.

In Arabic, we ask in the singular form: كم غرفة في هذه الشقة؟ yet, the answer is in the plural form:

.يوجد ثلاث غرف        There are three rooms.

Therefore, always remember that in Arabic, we ask how many of something in the singular form and answer in the plural form.

Image provided by Yasmine K.

We also use كَم to ask the time.

كَم السَّاعة؟             What time is it?

.السَّاعة الخامِسة والنِصف     The time is five thirty.

We also use كم for asking about someone’s age:

كَم سنة عُمرُك؟  or كَم عُمرُك؟        How old are you?

.عُمري ثَمانية سَنوات                       I’m eight years old.

كَم can also be followed by a verb. For example:

كَم مَشَيت؟       How much did you walk?

.مَشيت أربعة كيلومترات        I walked four kilometers.

Note: In Levantine dialect, أديش is another word in addition to كم used to ask how much/many. For example:

أديش سعره؟         How much is it?

أديش نمت إمبارح؟       How much did you sleep yesterday?

أديش الساعة؟               What time is it?

أديش عمرك؟                How old are you?

Image via Pixabay

In Arabic speaking countries, more and more stores and shopping centers are opening where they have set prices. Yet, the old-fashioned markets (souk سوق) still exist and you definitely want to visit these markets to check out the produce, spices, sweets, etc. and also pick up some souvenirs. Therefore, it’s good to have a few easy phrases down to help you bargain with the sellers. Of course, make sure you have your numbers memorized!

كم سعر الكيلو؟    How much is a kilo?  (they go by kilo not pound)

كم سعر الكيس؟   How much is a bag?  (sometimes items are sold by the bag)

غالي جداً!           Very expensive!

.نزل السعر من فضلك    Bring down the price please.

As you can see, كَم is a very useful word to know whether you’re at the market or getting to know a new acquaintance, and it’s used in most Arabic dialects as well as Modern Standard Arabic.

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Marhaba readers! Yesterday, I went hiking in an area called Wadi Ammiq (وادي عميق) or The Ammiq Wetland. it  is the largest remaining freshwater wetland in Lebanon. It’s located in the West Bekaa Valley, Lebanon’s largest agricultural valleys.

Ammiq Wetlands

It was a five hour hike from the top of the mountain and through the wetlands. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

The swamp lies on one of the most important bird migration routes in the world, and over 250 species of birds have been recorded in the area, like endangered Eagles and Falcons.  Other important mammals were recorded as well like the Jungle Cat and Ferruginous Duck.

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In this post, we’ll be learning words and phrases that you’ll hear during Ramadan.

Let’s begin with wishing someone a happy Ramadan!

  • !رَمَضان كَريم      Have a generous Ramadan!
  • !رَمَضان مُبارك    Have a blessed Ramadan!
  • !كُل عام وأنت بِخير   May you be well every year!

Note: This phrase is also used for Eid, New Years, and Birthdays.

Image via Pixabay

As you may already know, Muslims fast during Ramadan, so let’s look at the word “fasting” along with other terms related to this holy month.

الصِّيام : to fast             .الصيام ركن من أركان الإسلام      Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam.

صائِم: fasting               هل أنت صائم؟                             Are you fasting?

آذان : call to prayer    هل سمعت آذان صلاة الفجر؟          Did you hear the call to Fajr prayer?

المَغرِب: sunset  (the time when Muslims break their fast)            متى المغرب؟           When is sunset?

صلاة التَراويح : Tarawih prayer (the night time prayers performed during Ramadan)

هل أنت ذاهب إلى صلاة التراويح؟        Are you going to Tarawih prayer?

الإفطار : breakfast (in this context, it literally means to break one’s fast)

ماذا سوف نأكل على الإفطاراليوم؟           What are we going to eat for breakfast today?

السُحور : A light breakfast eaten before sunrise to help keep one energized throughout the day while fasting.

أي ساعة يجب أن نستيقظ للسحور؟         What time should we wake up for suhoor?

الزكاة: It is the act of giving alms to the poor and needy, and is one of the five pillars of Islam.

Chapter (2) sūrat l-baqarah (The Cow)-Verse (43)  وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ

And be steadfast in prayer; practice regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship).

عيد الفِطر : The “Festival of Breaking the Fast” celebrated every year after Ramadan.

.يأتي عيد الفطر مباشرةً بعد شهر رمضان           Eid Al-fitr comes directly after the month of Ramadan.

هِلال : crescent        .بعد رؤية هلال رمضان، أعلنوا أن رمضان غداً         After seeing the Ramadan crescent, they announced that Ramadan is tomorrow.

تَمر : dates            .أحب أن آكل التمر كل يوم في رمضان       I like eating dates every day in Ramadan.

Dates are considered a blessed fruit and a custom to have them during the holy month. It also recommended to start Iftar by eating dates, as it provides the body with sugar, helping restore low blood sugar after fasting all day.

I hope you found this post interesting and useful. It’s always good to know the vocabulary associated with a particular holiday or celebration since it will be what many Arab speakers are talking about! !رمضان كريم 

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The Arabic language is one of the hardest languages to master in the world for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact that it has its own alphabet.

The Arabic alphabet is not like any other alphabet, for starters, it’s written from right to left. Moreover, it is almost impossible to find equivalents to most of the letters in it. For example : the Arabic س is equivalent to the English S, meaning their pronunciation is similar. But the majority of the Arabic letters do not have any equivalences or similarities like the letter ض , which is pronounced Daad, NOT dad as in father, but daad. It’s because of this particular letter that the Arabic alphabet is called the language of the daad لغة الضاد , because this letter has no equivalent (among others).

This is the English standard alphabet :

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  ( 26 letters)

And this is the Arabic alphabet :

 (28 letters ) أ ب ت ث  ج ح خ د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ك ل م ن ه و ي 

Here are the equivalents between the English standard alphabet and the Arabic alphabet :

A : أ  as in Alaska                                             K : ك  as in Cake                                 Y : ي   as in Why

B : ب  as in Barn                                              L : ل  as in Lake                                   Z : ز  as in Zebra

C : س  as in Cinnamon                                   M : م   as in Mom

D : د  as in Doctor                                           N : ن   as in Noun

F : ف  as in Confetti                                        R : ر   as in Reality

G / J : ج  as in Gender or Jim                      S : س  as in Super

H : ه  as in Ham                                              T : ت   as in Take

I : ي  as in Confetti                                        W : و   as in Wagon

These are 19 English letters with Arabic equivalences, which leaves a number of  Arabic letters with  no equivalences or with an equivalence of two English letters :

ث : Th as in Think

ح : No equivalence

خ : Kh as in the name Khaled. Not Kaled, Khaled.

ذ : Th as in That

ش : Sh or Ch as in Chandelier

ص : No equivalent

ض : No equivalent

ط  : No equivalent

ظ : No equivalent

ع : No equivalent

غ : Gh as in the expression Ugh for frustration

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In this post, I write about the rules for writing hamza (ء) in Arabic at the end of the word. Just like medial hamza, the writing of final hamza depends on how it is vowelled and how the letters before it are vowelled. In this post, I will describe the most important rules. Final Hamza appears in one of the following forms (ء ، ـئ، ؤ ، أ) Final Hamza is written separately as (ء) If it is preceded by a letter vowelled by سكون, e.g. دفء = warmth جزء = part بدء = beginning If it is preceded by a long vowel and the hamza is vowelled by سكون, e.g. ضوء = light  شيء = thing أصدقاء = friends Final Hamza is written on alif as (أ) If it is preceded by a letter vowelled by فتحة, e.g. قرأ = read  مبدأ = principle بدأ = started Final Hamza is written on و as (ؤ) If it is preceded by a letter vowelled by ضمة, e.g. يجرؤ = dares  تكافؤ = equivalence لؤلؤ = pearl Final Hamza is written on ي as (ـئ) If it is preceded by a letter vowelled by كسرة, e.g. شاطئ = beach   ينشئ = establish طارئ = emergency
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It is undeniable that the TV series Game of Thrones has become a worldwide sensation. After premiering in 2011, the show’s popularity kept increasing through the years. On Sunday, the final installment of the 8 season saga aired at 8 PM in the US. As for us, the people who live on the other side of the globe, we had to watch it on Monday morning because of the time difference.

Game of Thrones is kind of a big deal here in Lebanon. People get so hyped about new seasons that they clear their schedules on Mondays and call in sick for work so that they can live-stream GoT simultaneously with the US.  It is aired in pubs and cafes all around the country.

This year tho, it has been taken to a whole new level. Funny banners were put up all around Beirut in support of John Snow and his battle against the White Walkers, wishing him luck and fortune in his endeavors.

” John Snow , May the Lord be with you.”

And another one :

” The citizens of Beirut pledge full support to John Snow in his battle against the White Walkers”

A special message to Cercei :

” Cercei LAnnister … be smart … our union is our strength. “

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