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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Baladi Memories

I've been working on my upcoming book and I want to share a poem I wrote that I will be including in the book. The book will be called As Far As The Eye Can See.

Baladi Memories
Jessica Marie

It all started with my request
of speaking Arabic with you.
Then with my
صباح الخير
and you sweetly replied with
صباح الفيل/ الورد
You make me really blush--
Baladi, you explain, colourful Arabic.
صباح القشطة
you laugh at me when I say that--
morning of cream - it sounds nice.
I ask why and you coyly say no reason.
I begin with the search of baladi
to make our conversations more colourful.
I'm always the rose - your rose,
you're always my cream:
sometimes I make up my own for nighttime-
تصبح على الورد
but it doesn't make sense,
you don't care because it's "sweet."
I would love to add
You really get me
and know how to cheer me up,
and I feel a comfort in confiding in you,
through tears and laughter,
the first time I opened up to someone
and not feel judged—
but, it'd be too much - the simple is better
and it's in these memories of baladi
I really miss talking to you
and I long to be near you, hugging you
with our ridiculous made up expressions

and sweet sayings to brighten each other up.

I know, I know, this poem is sappy compared to other things I've written... but, yeah. I think this poem is pretty self explanatory.

But what is baladi? In Arabic, these are colourful terms used among lower class and rural people. Apparently high class speakers don't use these terms. However, I find these expressions to be beautiful and really add colour to the morning.

I remember asking one other friend about this. I met him in West Chester and he's originally from Egypt (and now back in Egypt); I thought he'd be the best person to ask. He laughed at me and said "morning of cream" is fine and it's not bad. I feel like I should write a book about learning Arabic! Maybe I'll settle for a static item on about my adventures in Arabic. :)

When I was looking up baladi terms I could say, I found these two sites explaining more:
Morning of Roses

Then someone on City-Data sent me a site totally in Arabic. I'm still interpreting that; I won't post that just yet.

  صباح الورد و
اتمنى لك يوم جيد


  1. How do you know Arabic? You have mentioned it here and there, but I don't know the backstory.

    1. I took two years of it in college. Since I was a young teenager I always wanted to learn it and when I saw my college offer it, I signed up and earned A's for the first 3 semester, B+ the last. I keep up with it with friends and I am looking to get tutored in it at some point. I love it.

  2. People love when I speak in Russian to them.
    I've often been told I have an adorable Chinese accent. Well, if the movies were a little less violent... I swear! Everything I've come across, beyond what Alisa Bernardovna and Svetlana Anatolyevna have recommended before. (...all of which I found silly) Bombings. Shouting. Loud and sudden sounds which would give my mother heart attacks.
    I think it's just the culture. The people's reactions towards me make more and more sense...
    It's not too hard to get used to, though! I already have a somewhat impervious shell from the hospital...
    The useful word to pick up from this is вражда, hostility (vrazhda)!

    /*peaceful dove smile* At the same time, I only practise Russian in broad daylight if I can help it nowadays. True, the most night-time Russian I ever have had was through chess.
    This is for a reason.
    I have mounting evidence that my Russian friends have caused my initial seizure episode. But that doesn't stop anything.

    I swear though, the language and culture have helped me through dealing with life! I could learn a little bit of Arabic from you if you'd like, but I have seen a more obvious use for this other language in my everyday life. Like how you love Arabic, I have intense and violent feelings for Russian.

    1. That's true! I love Arabic and German. :) I'm passionate about those languages. If you want to learn Arabic, I can teach you some. :)

    2. Commenting in response to, "Then someone on City-Data sent me a site totally in Arabic. I'm still interpreting that; I won't post that just yet." when I went to China and brought my laptop, my search engine had gotten switched by my Russian friends a long time ago to searching the Internet using Яндекс so most of my web activities had not been curtailed by the "great firewall" which is the Chinese government's blocking everything, such as Facebook, from being used in the boundaries of that country.

      You have been teaching me gradually! Though my passion is centred a little north...

    3. أفواً! I try. :)

      I'm going to be starting on a children's Arabic book, methinks. :)