From 24 May 2011 I learn Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) at the Arabeya language school at Cairo. The teachers study at the Ain Shams University, and the method of teaching has worked on me – With three days I have learned the alphabet, some basic everyday phrases, the possessive pronoun, names of the World’s states and nationalities, and I even can write some phrases in Arabic. Writing in Arabic is not a joke – each letter has at least four forms of appearance ((isolated, beginning, medial, and final form), but alef (that appears in the beginning of a word as ا , in the middle of a word as ـا , and in the end of a word as ـا may appear in all those forms with hamzah آ or without ا hamzah, but may also have hamzah down إ or appear as alef maddah آ or in the end of the word as ى or ـى but sometimes its appearance depends on the letter it appears with. And appearing differently, alef also pronounces differently. It all generally means that you have to multiple the 28 letters with 4, add exceptional forms, vowels, vowel omissions, diphtongs, and punctuation marks in order to get the real number of the literal “nuances” of MSA.
Why study Arabic in Cairo? Why Egypt, not Saudi Arabia? – For me the reason is simple – as a former stud. theol., I have studied Ancient Egyptian for one semester besides Ancient Hebrew, Jiddish, Ancient Greek, and Modern Greek, and was interested in also the Egyptian culture, and wanted to see how does Egyptian culture combine with Arabic culture, and what do the Egyptians think of such processes. I know that the Egyptian language (Coptic language) is written with Greek letters since the first Century, but was then replaced by Egyptian Arabic – So I really did find it thrilly until I came here and have here seen here mostly the use of the Standard Arabic language (that is the official language here) – as I would theoretically distinguish between the Ancient Egyptian (with it’s own alpabet), Coptic (adopted Greek alphabet), Coptic-Arabic (named also bilingualism), Egyptian Arabic (combined alphabet), also Cairene Arabic, and MSA (Arabic alphabet). But actually many different dialects add here.
As time (καιρός) proceeds, I am going to post on the political, cultural, and economical issues related to Cairo.