In Arabic, every word is like a picture. And they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Suwaru Salalah can be roughly translated as 'pictures of Salalah.' The word صور comes from the singular صورة. And this particular word is illustrated by many defintions: illustration, image, likeness, picture, figure, total picture, overall picture, un-distorted picture, pictorial representation, and many more derivatives.


This blog is dedicated to capturing my journey through a two-month Arabic intensive immersion program in Salalah, Oman funded by the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) of the United States Department of State. In addition to conveying my journey in picture, I intend to highlight distinct words and their meanings, phrases and their usage, Arabic and its beautiful complexity.


What is CLS:
http://clscholarship.org/index.html

About Oman:
http://newsletter.clscholarship.org/search/label/Oman

About Salalah: http://clscholarship.org/details/arabic-salalah.htm

The World Learning Oman Center:
http://oman.worldlearning.org/arabic-language-cls.cfm

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email me!

Sayeef Mirza
saymirz@gmail.com

Final Reflection

I came back to the states more than a week ago on August 1st. I’ve been delaying writing this final post for a number of reasons. As soon as I got back, I juggled jet lag, reverse culture shock, the Ramadan rumble and the Ramadan routine, and preparation for medical school that started August 6th. Now after a couple weeks of Tampa, Florida and after a week of school, I guess it’s been long enough for me to finally say goodbye. Goodbye to this blog. Goodbye to Salalah, Oman. Goodbye to the CLS program.

I’m not a man of many words. Especially when it comes to expressing my emotions. Especially when it comes to saying goodbye.

These last two months have been one of the most amazing in my entire life, second only to last year’s pilgrimage. The people I met, the friends I made, the language I studied , the things I learned will stay with me for a lifetime, will benefit me as long my memory stays strong. I really cannot express to anybody how much I feel for Salalah and it’s people, the teachers, the students, the language partners, the administrators, the taxi drivers, the restaurant workers, the laundry man, the random people on the streets, in the masajid, even that dude that sells phone cards and nuts—- I miss them all so much.

And it is with obligation and determination, that I seek their forgiveness for any of my transgressions and wrong-doings. I am sorry for anything that I have done. There are many things I could have done more and I sincerely apologize for my shortcomings. Inshallah they may accept my apologies and accept me as their sincere brother. 

And since I cannot truly express my gratitude, I cannot express my appreciation, I cannot express fully how I feel, I will instead turn to prayer and pray for all the people have helped me, that I have met, that have made the experience it was. Everyone played a part in my education and they deserve so much. My words will not suffice and I can only pray and assure that their reward is with God inshallah. May Allah accept my prayers in these last ten days of Ramadan. 

Jazakumullah khairan O amazing people of the beautiful city of Salalah in the wonderful country of Oman.

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله 

final banquet recitation about fasting/ramadan

The Final Banquet and Award Ceremony

The Final Banquet and Award Ceremony

The Oman Adventure 

Picture Summary Part 3

(By the way, these summaries are using pictures from other cameras, much more higher quality than my phone, so its a summary through ‘another person’s eyes’)

continued…

The Oman Adventure

Picture Summary Part 2

Continued…

Oman Adventure 

Summary Part 1

A picture summary of the event, classes, students, teachers, outings, experiences, the CLS program

Continued…

Final Presentation in Omani Dialect

Last night of taraweeh day before I leave… I’m really going to miss that imam...

Ma’a salaam ya shaykh musallam

Taraweeh at sultan qaboos masjid

Final banquet and award ceremony 
My wise teachers and I :-)

Final banquet and award ceremony

My wise teachers and I :-)

Lord of the rings 
Fellowship of the ring 
Cast 
Final Project presentation for omani dialect… You want the video… Mumkin…

Lord of the rings
Fellowship of the ring
Cast

Final Project presentation for omani dialect… You want the video… Mumkin…

My teachers before class dinner at lebanese restaurant
From left to right
Ustadh rashid (فصحى و الإعلام)
Ustadh Hussein al - farisi (فصحى و الإعلام)
Ustadh saleh (عمّيّة و لحجة)

My teachers before class dinner at lebanese restaurant

From left to right

Ustadh rashid (فصحى و الإعلام)

Ustadh Hussein al - farisi (فصحى و الإعلام)

Ustadh saleh (عمّيّة و لحجة)

Last jumma in Salalah, Oman. I am going to miss the lead imam here at the jam’a sultan qaboos masjid. His voice, his wisdom, his confidence. It’s an amazing experience to pray behind him for taraweeh. Mumkin I will try to record taraweeh, its almost enchanting.

سبحان لله

I was invited to a Bedouin style iftar by one of the Arabic teachers in the mountains of thumrait, about 50 minutes drive from Salalah. All the teachers from the program went, and I was pulled in by my own class teacher. Notice the green mountains on the way and then windy desert when we arrived. You think you know Arabs or sunnah, but if only you could experience Bedouin hospitality. We sat and ate together, so much Omani coffee and green tea, iftar, snacks, dinner, must have been 4-5 courses, some of the teachers admitted later it was kind of lavish by bedouin standards. But who is to complain about new experiences. Top it off with camel milk: حليب الناقة