My name is Thahani Salih. I am an International Studies major, with a minor in Peace Studies. I decided to take Arabic, because I wanted to be able to read and understand the Quran better. I used to have a hard time reading the Quran, let alone understanding it, but after being exposed to 3 semesters of Arabic, I have a much better understanding of how to pronounce the words & letters, as well as an understanding of the words used in the Surahs.
It’s great how much Arabic I am able to put together these days both in my work and personal life. For example, I was a volunteer for a citizenship workshop at Truman College. There was a lady from Jordan who needed help in filling out applications, and I realized she was speaking Arabic. One of the questions on the form she had to fill out asked her what country she visited, for how long, and what were the dates. I asked her these questions in my best Arabic, she was so happy that I knew how to communicate with her and explain to her in Arabic what she was supposed to do with the forms.
Even in my own family life, I found myself able to find connections to Arabic. My brother is currently taking Arabic and we sometimes study together and have funny Arabic conversations together. Recently, I went with my dad shopping at the meat store. Besides the food items that I can recognize now, the owner was trying to sell my dad an incense burner, and was trying to explain to him in Arabic that he had to only use a small amount of the scent for it to work well, and he kept saying the word “Sagheer”. So of course that being one of the first words I learned in Arabic 101, I knew right away to tell my dad to use a small amount of it. The shop owner was impressed and as we were leaving he greeted me in Arabic.