I am home sweet home, reflecting on what was a mind-boggling experience over the past three days. Dubai, Dubai. A city erupted from sand— extravagant, extraordinary, excessive. Shopping mall upon shopping mall, construction and empty buildings, Lamborghinis, Bentleys and Maseratis, ladies in saris, halter-tops and abayat. It doesn't feel real.
I had searched road signs and buildings for familiarity, and while there was hardly anything recognisable left, to my joy, I discovered that I can still read some Arabic. Knowing that somewhere in the folds of my brain, I still know that مرحبا spells marhaba and means hello, fills me with the most astounding sense of satisfaction and triumph. Boosted by this revelation, I began reading every sign aloud, even if I didn't know the meaning of the word— funny enough, it was in Dubai that I first learned to read in English too.
I love Arabic. It's beautiful when spoken, and even more so written.