A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

doing things with words: Arabic vocab boosters

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 14, 2007

In one of my more recent geeky moments, I subscribed to Arabic Word a Day’s email service, which I love as much for the utter randomness of its selections as for the vocabulary boost.

The words seem to be chosen with no particular authorial position on the anticipated level of knowledge of the reader – recent posts have ranged from the very basic (عند) ‘inda, which means “at”, to the very specialized (مقرمش) – muqarmash, which means “crunchy”. The sample sentences exhibit a similar range, from the very basic “he is a handsome man” (illustrating the word ‘handsome/pretty’) to beautiful but challenging Qur’anic verses like  “Say: It was revealed to me that a group of jinn listened and said, “We have heard an amazing recitation” (illustrating the verb ‘to listen’).

Anyway. I love the daily emails, although I was a bit stung to receive this one yesterday:

(تأشيرة) ta’shi_rah, noun


  1. visa


  1. yalzamu ‘l-musa_fira ikhra_ji ‘l-ta’shi_rati qabl riHlatihi
    (يلزم المسافر إخراج التأشيرة قبل رحلته )
    Travelers must obtain a visa before their trip.

Hmm. Timely word, that. I do not enter Lebanon on a visa – I have an iqama, a residency permit, which I renew every spring. To do so, I take my application, assorted photographs and official documentation, and passport to the General Security office, and leave them all.

For the past two weeks, I have been passport-less. Instead, I have a little green slip of paper with my name scribbled on it.

My iqama is, or at least should be, ready. I was planning to pick it up yesterday, but between work and the bombing, I ran out of time. Today, of course, General Security is closed – or at least closed for passport pickup. I’m not the worrying type, but … I’m traveling Saturday morning, and I doubt that US immigration will look kindly on my presenting a little green piece of paper with Arabic and English scribbles instead of a passport. For this and many other less selfish reasons, I hope tomorrow is a more normal day.


4 Responses to “doing things with words: Arabic vocab boosters”

  1. MacDara said

    I am just back from General Security , theying to get my new Iqama but as usual there are problems with the Work permit and so need another extension. Passing form billy to Jack today but at least it was quiet as everyone assumes they are closed.

  2. Oh, thank you! I promised Aramex I would be here for a package delivery, but the little green slip and I will head out once the package arrives!

  3. intlxpatr said

    Cutting it a little close, eh, Little Diamond!

  4. intlxpatr said

    I love mqermash! What a great word!

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