I attended high school, trolled the bazaar ("Khan al Khalili"), rode trains, shopped markets. Wandered into the desert on horseback to oasis-like Sahara City…where a group of errant teens could prop boots on railings, sip "lamoon" (lemonade) and chat with Bedouins.
Most locals did not speak English.
Surrounded by the language, I learned to produce Arabic sounds like:
- More than 250 million people comprise the Arab world (New World Encyclopedia)
- Nearly 26% of the world's population, approximately 2 billion people, are Muslim (Islamic Web)
- Educated Arabs read, write and understand MSA, regardless of their home dialect
- Muslims often understand MSA, regardless of their home country or native language
- Arabic is a beautiful, musical language, thick with nuance
- Knowledge of MSA is necessary to study the Koran, read Arabic books, street signs, menus and more
- The best way to understand a culture is through its language