Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi قصر الحيرة الشرقي

Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi 
 On September 9, 622 AD Prophet Muhammad escaped from Mecca to Medina to avoid being assassinated; that event (Hijra, migration in Arabic) is the starting day of the Islamic calendar; just a century after that apparently minor event, the Umayyad Caliphs, the heirs of Prophet Muhammad, controlled one of the largest empires of world history which spanned from Spain to India. 

Views of the palace (on the left) and of the nearby khan (on the right)
Views of the palace (on the left) and of the nearby khan (on the right)

Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik came to power in 724 and he ruled over his vast empire until his death in 743; during his relatively long reign he managed to quell several local revolts and in general he strengthened the control of the central government; in 732 however his armies were repelled by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours (or Poitiers) in France, which marked a turning point in the Arab invasion of Europe.According to chronicles Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik was a very parsimonious man; he did however associate his name with the construction of two luxury residences in the Syrian Desert which are distinguished by their comparative positions: Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi (Western Castle) between Damascus, the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate, and Palmyra and Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi (Eastern Castle), some sixty miles east of Palmyra. The remaining evidence of the Western Castle is very limited after its main portal was relocated to Damascus where it was reconstructed as the grand entrance to the National Museum. The Eastern Castle has been preserved and in part reconstructed in situ; the first view of its ruins is a veritable mirage as they suddenly appear off a totally barren environment. 
Evidence of a complex water infrastructure system suggests that the site was comprehensive in scope. The remnants of this Umayyad city are encompassed by a large outer enclosure measuring some 7 sq km., probably reserved for gardens, animal husbandry, and other agricultural purposes. Within it the site includes two enclosures, one significantly larger than the other, and a bathhouse. 

Southern Gate of the palace
Southern Gate of the palace

Two large complexes known as the palace and the khan were built at the centre of a walled enclosure of approximately seven square miles; the area was irrigated, not for farming purposes, but for breeding game which the caliph and his guests hunted (Qasr al Hayr = Castle of the Game Park); water was carried from a distance of twenty miles. In Caliph Hisham's mind the meadows and woods of this large area were probably the realization of those which decorated the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus; only minor stretches of the surrounding walls remain.
Built in stone layers, the smaller enclosure is supported by a total of twelve towers, four at each corner and all equidistant with the exception of two that immediately flanks the main gate of the structure on the western façade. Its plan incorporates an entrance hall including a mihrab on its southern wall and a variation of narrow rooms surrounded by a portico that opens into a central courtyard featuring a cistern close to its centre. This layout suggests that this structure most likely served as a khan; with the reception hall available as a place for prayer, commercial and animal storage space on the first floor, and accommodations on the second level for merchants. 
The larger enclosure was also built of masonry with its interior walls erected in mud-brick over a stone foundation. Almost square in plan, each façade incorporates a central gate to the inside, each roughly identical in design and flanked by two supporting towers. Six other towers support each side, including one at each corner. Again, the plan is organized around a large, limestone-paved central courtyard, which includes a deep cistern that can hold slightly more than a quarter of a million gallons. In addition this enclosure incorporates a mosque in the southeast corner, residential areas, buildings for official administrative purposes, and an olive press. 

Approximately 60 meters to the northwest of the smaller enclosure stood the bathhouse. It included a large hall approximately 20 by 15 meters, which featured two pools supplied by water jets, a room for changing with latrines nearby, a changing room for winter months, which was slightly closer to the warmer sections of the bathhouse. It also provided three hot rooms located near the furnace, and service areas including a place to store water. 
Central area of the courtyard with evidence of a pool
Central area of the courtyard with evidence of a pool

The palace had the square shape of a Roman castrum (fort) with one gate on each side and two streets dividing the complex into four sections; this design was known to the Arabs from several forts the Romans built in the Syrian Desert to control nomadic Bedouin tribes and to protect trade routes to the Persian Gulf.
Northern Gate (from inside)
Northern Gate (from inside)

The walls and towers of the palace did not have an actual defensive purpose, as Caliph Hisham had no reason to fear an attack by an enemy army; also the existence of four gates did not correspond to an equivalent number of roads departing from the palace. 

Mosque in the south-eastern corner of the palace
Mosque in the south-eastern corner of the palace

Archaeologists have unearthed and partially reconstructed a mosque which occupied a corner of the palace; its design is similar to that of a basilica with three naves; the granite columns and marble capitals which decorate the mosque were taken from ancient buildings, possibly from baths built by Emperor Diocletian at Palmyra or from more distant Apamea

Courtyard to the side of the mosque
Courtyard to the side of the mosque

Apart from the central wide courtyard with the pool seven other courtyards have been identified in the palace enclosure; the rooms which surrounded them were rather small.

Details of the decoration
Details of the decoration

In 750 the Umayyads were replaced by the Abbasids as Islam Caliphs; the latter resided in Baghdad, but it seems that they continued to utilize the palace and that after them the Ayubbid and the Mameluke rulers of Syria did the same; the final abandonment of the site is thought to have coincided with the Mongol invasion of the region in the XIIIth century.

(above) The khan; (below) minaret between the palace and the khan
(above) The khan; (below) minaret between the palace and the khan

The second (smaller) complex is known as the khan because its design is similar to that of a caravanserai with a central courtyard surrounded by two storey-buildings with warehouses and stables below and rooms above. A truncated minaret stands between the two complexes; its size, location and construction technique have led archaeologists to believe that it was built many centuries later than the two complexes, when a small village was nested inside the khan.

(left) Gate of the khan facing the palace; (right) detail of a niche
(left) Gate of the khan facing the palace; (right) detail of a niche

The side of the khan facing the palace has an imposing gate flanked by two domed circular towers; this gate is very similar to that which has been reconstructed in Damascus; the presence of two decorative niches at the sides of the entrance is a reminiscence of ancient buildings where such niches housed statues.The construction technique is a blend of Syrian (stone layers) and Mesopotamian (bricks and mud covering) practices.

Inside the khan
Inside the khan

The use of ancient columns and capitals in the khan indicates that it was not meant to house ordinary trade caravans, but retinues of vassals visiting the Caliph.

Ruins(what have left from) of a bath near the khan
Ruins(what have left from) of a bath near the khan

A third building has been unearthed seventy yards from the north-western corner of the khan; it housed baths which were designed following the scheme of Roman baths with halls at different temperatures, two pools, changing rooms and latrines.The fact that the palace, the khan and the baths were not unified into a single complex, but stood separate, although being so close to each other, is perhaps due to the desire of Caliph Hisham to give actual form to the various imaginary buildings depicted in the mosaics of the Great Mosque of Damascus.


Creswell, K. A. C. A Short Account of Early Muslim Architecture, 149-164. Rev. ed. Allan, James W. Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1989. 

Grabar, R. Holod, J. Knutstad and W. Trousdale. A City in the Desert: Qasr al-Hayr East. USA: Harvard Middle Eastern Monographs, 1978.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Arabic Language FAQ

Here are the most common FAQ about Arabic language:

Learning Arabic:
1. How hard is Arabic?  
That depends on a lot of things, like what your native language is; for example, if you’re a Hebrew speaker, Arabic will be easier for you than it would be if you were a native speaker of Spanish. But for native English speakers, Arabic is objectively a difficult language, largely because it’s just so different from English. This page sums up the difficulties of learning Arabic for native English speakers pretty well. The State Department’s Foreign Service Institute ranks Arabic as a “category 3″ language (“exceptionally difficult for native English speakers”), along with Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. So, depending on your native language, how much experience you have with learning languages, and so forth, Arabic can definitely be a difficult language. But the important thing is motivation — if you really want to learn it and are willing to work at it, you can do it. You have to invest a lot more time and effort into learning Arabic than you would with Indo-European languages, so many people give up early. But like I said, if you have the desire to learn, that’ll make everything else easier.
The Arabic alphabet does seem intimidating at first — all those squiggles, and it goes from right to left! And then there are all those letters like ح ,ج, and خ that are the same except for the dots. But if you just sit down, focus, and go through it systematically, it’s easy to learn in just a few days. (And you can comfort yourself with the fact that at least Arabic does have an alphabet, unlike, say, Chinese!) Pronunciation can be difficult for a native English speaker — letters like ع ,ح, and غ may be hard to produce at first. But that sort of stuff will get easier with practice.
What complicates things a bit is the fact that short vowels are usually not indicated in writing outside of the Qur’an and children’s books. This makes things pretty difficult when you’re just starting out and have no way of knowing, just from unvoweled text, the correct pronunciation for words you’re unfamiliar with. For example, looking at the word فلفل, you would see “f-l-f-l” and not know what vowels come in between those letters. The good news is, this gets easier with time and practice. And if you memorize the verb forms (more on them below), that really helps in figuring out the correct pronunciations for lots of words.
A lot of people have trouble with Arabic grammar, especially at the beginning of their studies — it’s systematic but complex, and the case endings can be difficult to handle, particularly if you’re not already used to a language like Russian or Latin. Also, one irritating thing is the broken plurals; while some nouns take regular plurals, many have completely irregular plurals. However, there are patterns of broken plurals, and if you memorize enough words with their plurals, you can eventually internalize the patterns just through the practice, and be able to guess plurals intuitively.
As far as vocabulary goes, there are only a tiny number of cognates, which does make it harder to pick up a newspaper and immediately recognize words (as you could with, say, French). Also, the vocabulary is very rich; there are many synonyms and words with similar general meanings but different usages/connotations. As I’ve gotten further on in my Arabic studies, I’ve found that after you develop a good base of grammar knowledge, it’s the endless vocabulary that continues to pose a challenge.
Stylistically Arabic is also complicated; it’s quite common for sentences to go on for a paragraph, so that by the time you reach the end you have to remind yourself what the original subject of the sentence was! The Arabic writing style is also a lot more “flowery” than the way English is usually written. So writing in Arabic is quite different from writing in English, and it takes a lot of practice to write in a smooth, natural style.
And then there’s the diglossia issue: the divide between the standard Arabic that’s written and the Arabic people actually speak, which varies from place to place. You can think of the different dialects in terms of American, British, and Australian English, albeit with more differences.
2. What’s the root system?  Most Arabic words are derived from a three-letter root that connotes a general meaning. (There are some four-letter roots, but they’re quite rare.) The usual example given is d-r-s, which has to do with studying. So the form 1 verb درس darasa means “to study,” while the form 2 verb درّس darrasa means “to teach”; درس dars means “lesson,” مدرسة madrasa means “school,” and مدرّسmudarris means “teacher.” And so forth; you can derive tons of words with related meanings from a single root. It’s really quite helpful; if you come across an unfamiliar word but recognize the root, you can use that knowledge to make a good guess at the meaning.
3. What are the verb forms? Every trilateral Arabic root can (theoretically) be transformed into one of fifteen possible verb forms (أوزان awzaan). Each root has a general meaning (like “leaving,” for example), and when you add a specific combination of letters to transform the root into one of the verb forms, that alters the meaning (like “making someone leave”). See below:
Most Arabic words are derived from a three-letter (trilateral) root. And each trilateral Arabic root can theoretically be transformed into one of fifteen possible verb forms (الأوزان, al-awzaan). (Forms 11 through 15 are very rare, so people usually just focus on forms 1 through 10, although 9 is also pretty rare). Each form has a basic meaning associated with the general meaning of the root being used. Here’s a more detailed breakdown, using فعل (fa3ala, to do) as an example. (This is all taken from old handouts I got at the AUC, so it’s not my original work.)
Form 1 - فعل (fa3ala)
Expresses the general verbal meaning of the root in question

RootForm 1 verb
خ ر ج (x-r-j) – leaving, departingخرج (xaraja) – to leave, go out
ج م ع (j-m-3) – joining, unitingجمع (jama3a) – to gather, collect
ع م ل (3-m-l) – doing, makingعمل (3amala) – to work, to do, to make
ق ط ع (q-T-3) – cuttingقطع (qaTa3a) – to cut, cut off
ب ع د (b-3-d) – separating, distanceبعد (ba3ada) – to be far from
Form 2 - فعّل (fa33ala)
Built on form 1 by doubling the middle radical of the form 1 verb (adding a shadda to it)
Often is a causative version of the form 1 verb

خرج (xaraja) means “to go out”; خرّج (xarraja) means “to make (s.o.) go out; to graduate (s.o.)”
Often an intensive version of the form 1 verb (especially if the form 1 verb is transitive)
جمع (jama3a) means “to collect, gather”; جمّع (jamma3a) means “to amass, to accummulate”
Form 3 - فاعل (faa3ala)
Built on form 1 by adding an alif between the first and second radicals of the form 1 verb
Usually gives an associative meaning to the form 1 verb; describes someone doing the act in question to or with someone else

عمل (3amala) means “to work”; عامل (3aamala) means “to treat or deal with (s.o.)”
Form 4 - أفعل (af3ala)
Built on form 1 by prefixing an alif to the form 1 verb and putting a sukuun over the first radical
Similar to form 2 in that it is usually a causative version of the form 1 verb

خرج (xaraja) means “to go out”; خرّج (xarraja) means “to graduate (s.o.)”; أخرج (axraja) means “to expel, to evict; to produce”
Form 5 - تفعّل (tafa33ala)
Built on form 2 by adding the prefix تـ to the form 2 verb
Often a reflexive version of the form 2 verb

خرّج (xarraja) means “to graduate (s.o.)”; تخرج (taxarraja) means “to graduate” (Note: form 5 is usually intransitive)
Sometimes an intensive version of a form 1 verb
جمع (jama3a) means “to collect, gather”; تجمّع (tajamma3a) means “to congregate, to flock together”
Form 6 - تفاعل (tafaa3ala)
Built on form 3 by adding the prefix تـ to the form 3 verb
Usually a reflexive version of the form 3 verb

عامل (3aamala) means “to treat or deal with (s.o.)”; تعامل (ta3aamala) means “to deal with each other” (Form 6 is usually intransitive)
Form 7 - انفعل (infa3ala)
Built on form 1 by adding the prefix انـ to the form 1 verb
Usually a reflexive and/or passive version of the form 1 verb

قطع (qaTa3a) means “to cut, to cut off”; انقطع (inqaTa3a) means “to be cut off (from); to abstain (from)”
Form 8 - افتعل (ifta3ala)
Built on form 1 by adding the prefix ا to the form 1 verb and placing a sukuun must be placed over its first radical
Often a reflexive version of the form 1 verb

جمع (jama3a) means “to collect, gather”; اجتمع (ijtama3a) means “to meet; to agree (on)”
Sometimes has a specially derived meaning relative to a form 1 verb
بعد (ba3ada) means “to be far away”; ابتعد (ibta3ada) means “to avoid”
Form 9 - افعلّ (if3alla)
Built on form 1 by adding the prefix ا to the form 1 verb, placing a sukuun over its first radical, and adding a shadda to the last radical
Relates to colors

ح م ر (H-m-r) relates to “redness”; احمرّ (iHmarra) means “to become or turn red”
Form 10 - استفعل (istaf3ala)
Built on form 1 by adding the prefix استـ to the form 1 verb and inserting a ت between the first and second radicals; a sukuun must be placed over the first radical
Often a considerative version of the form 1 verb; means “to consider or to deem someone to have the quality” of the form 1 verb in question

بعد (ba3ada) means “to be far away”; استبعد (istab3ada) means “to consider s.o. or s.t. remote or unlikely”
Often a requestive version of a form 1 verb; means “to request or to seek something” for oneself
عمل (3amala) means “to make; to do”; استعمل (ista3mala) means “to use, to put into operation” (that is, to seek to make something work for oneself)
And here’s a table of all the verb forms, including their perfect and imperfect conjugations (الماضي والمضارع), active and passive participles (اسم الفاعل واسم المفعول), and verbal nouns (المصدر). Because they’re all regular and predictable (with the exception of form 1 – the second vowel in the imperfect and perfect conjugations, and the verbal noun), if you just memorize them, you’ll know them for almost every verb there is. So if you’re learning Arabic, I suggest you memorize all the verb forms along with their associated meanings as soon as you can; it’ll really come in handy.
المصدراسم المفعولاسم الفاعلالمضارعالماضي
مُفاعَلَة or فِعالمُفاعَلمُفاعِليُفاعِلُفاعَلَ3
4. Which dialect should I learn?  That really depends. If you have a special interest in a particular part of the Arab world, or if you have friends or family from a certain area, go ahead and learn that dialect — although if you’re interested in, say, Morocco or Algeria, just keep in mind that Arabs outside the Maghreb cannot understand these dialects in their “pure” form. (The first time Ahmed Ben Bella spoke to the Arab League, he had to do so in French, because nobody could understand his Algerian dialect!) If you want to learn 3ammiyya but have no real leaning towards one variety or another, I would recommend Egyptian or Levantine Arabic. Egyptian is the most widely understood dialect, thanks to the well-established music, TV, and film industry there; Egyptian media is popular enough that no matter where you go in the Arab world, you’ll keep hearing Egyptian Arabic on TV and the radio. So if you learn Egyptian Arabic, people all over the Arab world will be able to understand you easily.
Levantine Arabic is the next most widely understood dialect after Egyptian. Thanks to the popularity of Lebanese music, Syrian musalsalaat, and so on, the Levantine dialect is well-understood in the Arab world. Gulf Arabic is not as widely understood outside the Khaliij, though, and as for Maghrebi Arabic, Arabs from the Maghreb generally have to modify their speech significantly to be understood when talking to other Arabs (see the next question). Since this is harder for non-native speakers to do, I would recommend choosing a dialect that’s easily understood throughout the Arab world like Egyptian or Levantine.
5. How can I read Arabic fonts and write in Arabic on my computer?
Here’s how to enable Arabic on Windows. Mac users can use this information to enable Arabic support. If you want to be able to type in Arabic without going through any of those steps, you can use this online Arabic keyboard, which you can also use to learn the Arabic keyboard layout. For really exhaustive information on enabling Arabic for Windows, this webpage covers just about everything.
For more information please Do not hesitate to contact us by emailing us on info@arabiclearly.co.uk or fill the form on the right side of this page, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Learn Arabic in London

Ibrahim Othman, a confident, animated and versatile teacher with an in depth understanding of the Arabic language and a wealth of linguistic knowledge accumulated whilst studying for a Masters Degree in Applied Linguistics in the UK and previous studies of Arabic at the University of Damascus. A flexible individual with significant practical teaching experience in classroom settings and private tuition, who is proficient in producing detailed lesson plans and creating and adapting learning materials to suit all learning styles.
All lessons are tailored to your needs and course materials are provided.
Themes covered:
•1. Media Arabic: Specialised tuition to learn how to read and understand press and communication material. Listen to TV and Radio and understand the total meaning of the news. Analyse news and make comments about all elements of news on Arab TV and Radio.
•2. Modern Standard Arabic: Standardised form of classical Arabic used for formal   communication in all countries of the Arab world.
•3.Spoken Levantine and Gulf Arabic
4.• Business Arabic: Develop communicative skills in a wide range of business contexts including negotiating and courtesies.

Arabic lessons
Modern Standard Arabic MSA
Spoken dialects
English translation
Arabic translation
Educational services
Evening courses
Higher education
Independent schools & colleges
Modern Standard Arabic courses and Spoken Arabic courses in London | Arabic private tuition in London
International schools
Language courses & schools
Proof reading
Translators & interpreters
Website translation
Voice overs
Business clients Arabic-English
Intensive Arabic courses
Arabic media
Arabic television
Arabic newspapers
Arabic spoken
Arabic dialects
Arabic - Syrian
Arabic - Lebanese
Arabic - Gulf
Arabic - Egyptian
Arabic - Palestinian
Cultural Awareness

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Learn Arabic Fast – Five Easy techniques to Learn Arabic Rapidly

Learn Arabic Fast – Five Easy techniques to Learn Arabic Rapidly

Learning to speak Arabic can be quick and easy with our Arabic language courses and learning aids. Whether you are looking for an Interactive Arabic course like Rocket Arabic or other computer based Arabic language courses like Rosetta Stone, we have what’s right for you. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to learning Arabic fast.
Learn Arabic fast on the Go
Having a busy life shouldn’t keep you from trying to learn Arabic fast. We offer several Arabic language courses that will allow you to learn to speak Arabic while driving, exercising, doing housework, etc. This means you can learn Arabic anywhere, anytime. The ease with which you’ll learn Arabic is amazing.
Can I Really Learn Arabic Fast?
The answer is YES! Learning Arabic is easier than ever with our full line of Arabic language courses and learning aids. Learning Arabic is not as hard as you might think. With all the available Arabic resources, you can learn while commuting, while watching TV or while sitting in front of the computer. If you want to learn to speak Arabic, there is no excuse to not. The world is at our fingertips and learning Arabic will help you better communicate with everyone.
Here are five tips to Learn Arabic Fast:
• Keep setting Objectives – Decide how many minutes each day you are going to set aside for your Arabic studies. Stick to this no matter what comes about. Setting a goal to study each day will help you more quickly achieve your goal to learn Arabic fast.
• Set a Daily Routine – Know at what time you are going to study Arabic each day. This is part of your goal setting but of equal importance to your success. Your time might be first thing in the morning. Or it might be on your evening commute home. Whatever the time is, stick to it.
• Write Down Arabic Words and Phrases – Buy yourself a notebook to use for your Arabic studies. In your notebook take notes of the words or phrases that may be difficult for you to remember. Spell them out. Write their definition. You’ll be surprised with how much this will help you in your goal to learn Arabic fast.
• Collect Arabic Articles and Pictures – Keep a folder and collect Arabic articles and pictures about the language and country you are learning about. You might find an article about Egypt or Iraq. Add those to your folder. The internet is full of Arabic language newspapers. Print off some articles to look over and see how many words you recognize.
• Have Fun Learning Arabic! – There is no sense setting a goal to learn Arabic if you don’t have fun. Use your new language skills to practice with native Arabic speakers. And before you know it, you’ll be on your way to learning Arabic. Good luck and have fun!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Arabic grammar introduction

Arabic Grammar Introduction – Arabic Grammar Rules

The challenging part of learning any language.. learning Arabic grammar rules! The rules you must follow and understand to properly speak the Arabic language. But don’t worry about how hard learning Arabic Grammar might feel at first. Learning Arabic grammar rules is one of the most effective ways to speed up your ability to speak the language. Keep in mind this is just a basic introduction into understanding how Arabic grammar works.
By now you should already know that Arabic is read from right to left unlike other languages.
Arabic Grammar Rules: Sentence Structure
• Arabic has two style of sentences. Nominal and Verbal.
• Nominal sentences start with a Noun, and can be made without a Verb or Subject.
• Verbal sentences start with a Verb, and have at least a Verb-Subject sentence structure to them.

Arabic Sentence Structure

More on: Arabic Sentence Structure

Arabic Grammar Rules: Nouns And Pronouns
• Arabic Nouns can be Masculine or Feminine which effect how the word is pronounced.
• The Special character “ta marbuta” is added to indicate if a noun is feminine.
Some feminine Arabic nouns don’t always have the “ta marbuta”
• Inanimate objects are neither masculine or feminine.
• Arabic Nouns can be either Indefinite or Definite

Arabic Nouns Arabic Pronouns

More on: Arabic Nouns and Pronouns

Arabic Grammar Rules: Verbs
• Arabic Verbs start in present tense verbs which can be conjugated into other tenses.
• Future Tense Verbs can be created by adding sa or sawfa before the verb
• Modal Verbs don’t exist in Arabic. Neither do indefinite articles.

Arabic Verbs

More on: Arabic Verbs Conjucation

Arabic Grammar Rules: Adjectives
• Adjectives can be either masculine and feminine. Feminine are defined by adding “ta marbuta” at the end.
• Adjectives only come after the noun they describe.

Arabic Adjectives

More on: Arabic Adjectives

Learning Arabic grammar rules can be considered the cornerstone of the language and will take some time to learn but creates a sturdy foundation to help you completely learn Arabic in no time. Take the time to let these points soak in, then build on them as you continue your Arabic studies. Good luck, and have fun learning Arabic.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Arabic Vocabulary Words for Greetings, Family

Arabic Vocabulary Words for Greetings, Family, and More!

Your Arabic vocabulary should begin with words you could use in your daily life and should be familiar with already. Below are some useful Arabic vocabulary and expressions for Arabic greetings, Arabic days of the week, Arabic words for family members, Arabic words for meal times, Arabic times of the day, and Arabic words for Colors.

Basic Arabic Vocabulary Words
Arabic Vocabulary Words for Family Members
Arabic Words for Greetings
Arabic Words for Family Members
Learning Arabic Vocabulary is very crucial because its structure is based in our daily interactions with other people. The more Arabic Vocabulary you learn the closer you come to completely understanding the Arabic language.

Arabic Vocabulary Words for Days of the Week
Arabic Vocabulary Words for Times of Day
Arabic Words for Days of the Week
Arabic Words for Times of the Day
Try to memorize as much as you can because it will improve your Arabic vocabulary. I only included the commonly used Arabic words. other words can be used in place of the ones noted above depending on different circumstances. Developing a strong vocabulary is crucial before tackling the concept of Arabic grammar rules.

Arabic Vocabulary Words for Meal Times/Food
Arabic Vocabulary Words for Colors
Arabic Words for Meal Times/Food

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Why Learn Arabic – Ten Reasons To Learn Arabic

Why Learn Arabic – Ten Reasons to Learn Arabic

You probably already have your own reasons to learn Arabic but in case you don’t have one already or still looking for more reasons to get motivated to learn Arabic. This article should help you answer the question “why learn Arabic?”
Reasons to Learn Arabic 1: Arabic is the fifth most spoken language in the world
The Arabic language is spoken by over three-hundred million speakers. Most Arabic speakers are found in the Middle East and is presence as the official language of more than twenty countries with a minorities of Arabic speakers all over the world. Arabic is also an official language of many world organisations. Arabic has a rich history and dated back as one of the oldest languages.
Reasons to Learn Arabic 2: High Demand but Low Supply of Arabic-Speakers in the Western World
Despite being one of the most spoken languages globally, there are very few Arabic translators available in the western world. With the increasing importance of the Arabic world in our daily news. There is a very high demand currently for more and more Arabic translators and interpreters are needed by government departments and agencies as well as corporations seeking to enter the global arena.
Reasons to Learn Arabic 3: Arabic is the Language of the Qur’an, the Holy Book of Islam
Arabic is the language of the Islamic Faith. The Qur’an is written in Arabic and as part of their faith is required to pray towards mecca in Arabic five times a day.
Reasons to Learn Arabic 4: There are Scholarship Opportunities for Arabic Studies
Because of the higher demand for people speaking Arabic, many of the world’s governments and agencies have been offering scholarships and other opportunities for individuals who are interested in Arabic studies and learning Arabic.
Reasons to Learn Arabic 5: A Growing Arabic Minority in the United States and All Over the World
Like the rest of the world, the United States as a growing minority of Arabic speakers. The estimated percent of Arabic according to recent census data is around four to five million. Even just a basic knowledge of the Arabic language and culture can improve understanding and acceptance of this often misunderstood and misrepresented group of Americans.
Reasons to Learn Arabic 6: You Plan to Visit an Arabic Speaking Country
This one I’m sure you have the gist of already. If you plan to travel a lot to Middle Eastern countries then learning the Arabic language will come in handy when trying to find your way around and talking to the local people.
Reasons to Learn Arabic 7: Business Opportunities in Arabic Speaking Countries
Learn Arabic because the company you work for wants to branch out into the Middle East. The Arabic economy is one of the biggest in the world and doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. This makes the Arabic world a great place to expand any business into.
Reasons to Learn Arabic 8: Learn Arabic as a Hobby/Love of Learning Languages
Maybe you are just one of those people that just enjoy learning languages for the fun of it! Once you’ve mastered the urge to learn more becomes pretty strong. Contrary to popular opinion, not much confusion happens between languages.
Reasons to Learn Arabic 9: Rich Cultural History of Arabic on the World.
Arabic is one of the oldest in the world with a wealth of knowledge that Archaeologists to this day are still trying to uncover. Arabic has roots going back as far to the sixth century. The Middle East have a rich story telling history and has produce some of the most memorable stories such as the Arabian Nights, Ali Baba, and Aladdin. Arabs have also made significant contributions in such areas as literature, mathematics, navigation, belly dancing, astrology, and architecture.
Reasons to Learn Arabic 10: Help Intercultural Understanding When Knowing Arabic
Arabic-speaking people have been demonises with one-dimensional negative stereotypes through most of the media and other outlets. This disconnect from reality is caused by a lot of miscommunication, and inability to separate fact from fiction. Understanding the Arabic world to help bring the cultural and linguistic gap to halt to avoid intercultural conflicts.

Arabic Beginners Guide

This guide was written for Arabic beginners that don’t know where to start learning Arabic. Arabic is spoken by an estimated two-hundred sixty million people around the world and is the official language of several countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Each region has it’s own regional Arabic dialect, although the standard dialect is Modern Standard Arabic which is understood by many but can be considered too formal.
The most important thing you need to have before you start learning Arabic. You need to have a reason to learn Arabic .To keep you properly motivated towards your goal of becoming fluent with Arabic. Motivation to learn will be your biggest challenge to determine if you’ll be successful or not. So focus on a reason to keep you interest and motivation for the long haul.

Familiarises Yourself with the Arabic Alphabet And Arabic Numbers
Learning to read the Arabic Alphabet should be the first stop for Arabic beginners. First thing that sticks out is that Arabic is written right to left. Arabic has 28 characters and most of them are consonants with no capitals and small letters. Unlike the Arabic alphabet, Arabic numbers are written left to right like English. Further information about both the Arabic Alphabet and Arabic Numbers linked below.

Learn Arabic AlphabetLearn Arabic Numbers
Arabic Vocabulary and Phrases
The logical next step for Arabic beginners after learning the Arabic Alphabet would be to start developing your Arabic vocabulary with Arabic words and phrases. Pronouncing Arabic words can be challenging at first because some sounds in Arabic are pronounced deep in the throat and may not be familiar for Arabic beginners at first. I put together two posts of Arabic vocabulary and one post of Arabic phrases for Arabic beginners to start building their knowledge of Arabic Words and Phrases.
Arabic Grammar
The Arabic grammar rules you must follow and understand to properly speak the Arabic language. Sentences in Arabic can be formed in two different ways. Nominal and Verbal. Arabic nouns can be masculine or feminine. Arabic uses only present tense verbs which can be conjugated into other tenses. Arabic Adjectives only come after the noun they describe. More information about Arabic grammar can be found below.
Consider a Online Arabic Language Course
If your really serious about learning Arabic and want to maximize your time then you should consider using an Arabic language course to further aide you in your quest to learn Arabic. There are several great programs out there that deliver a great language learning experience. The advantages of a language learning program is the organization and having a next step already lined up. Most break down the lessons into 30 minute intervals that can fit into any type of schedule. Flexibly to retry a lesson to make sure you understand what you are learning and give you confidence in succeeding. Examples of great Arabic language programs can be found below.
Rosetta Stone ArabicPimsleur Modern Standard ArabicRocket Arabic

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The importance of growing Media Arabic course in London

At ArabiClearly we offer Media Arabic course to develop all the aspects of the Arabic media; this includes to adapt the style of speaking, accuracy
Media Arabic course in London
,  reading and creative Media  Arabic writing Style. The course will focus  on  the ability to read and understand Arabic daily newspapers and become familiar with topics such as business, health, technology, politics and Sci/Environment, the learner will be able gradually to write on the same style of Arabic journalist during this course acquiring and adapting  Arabic manner.

The course is structured around a number of articles from Arabic media which deals with current affairs in Middle East, starting from very basic and short articles and gradually to have more advance and longer articles.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
  • Be able to read and understand Arabic newspapers and online website such as BBCAljazeera, and Al-Arabiya.
  • Listen and understand the daily news from radio stations and TV news
  • Discuss topics related to politics, business and current affairs
  • Adapt Arabic media writing Style 
  • Focus on a specific field or multiple topic, depends on learners needs and gaols 
To apply for this course, students should have a decent knowledge of Arabic and be able to read simple text and write short sentences. for more information about this courses and adapting to match your needs please Do not hesitate to contact us at: info@arabiclearly.co.uk

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Contribution to Arabic linguistics and grammar-Abu al-Aswad Al-Du'ali (Arabic: أبو الأسود الدؤلي) (ca. 603–688 CE)

Abu al-AswadAl-Du'ali (Arabic: أبو الأسود الدؤلي) (ca. 603–688 CE) was a close companion of Ali ibn Abi Talib and grammarian. He was the first to place dots on Arabic letters and the first to write on Arabic linguistics. He educated many students. It has been said - and many adduce it as fact - that the first grammarian in the Arabic language was Abu'l-Aswad al-Du'ali (d. 69 AH), a companion ofAli bin Abu Talib and an early poet.

Ibn al-Nadim, author of the Fihrist (book) said:
"Muhammad b. Ishaq says that most scholars agree that grammar was taken from Abu'l-Aswad al-Du'ali, and that he took it from the Khalifah 'Ali." This is also the opinion of the famous language specialist Abu 'Ubayda (d. 210 AH), and the lexicographer al-Zubaydi (d. 397 AH) said about Abu'l-Aswad: "He was the first to establish [the science of] the Arabic language, to lay down its methods and to establish its rules."
There are also stories in which both 'Ali and 'Umar acknowledge or refer the subject of grammar to Abu'l-Aswad al-Du'ali. The reason why Abu'l-Aswad began to lay formal rules for the Arabic language lies undoubtedly behind the multiply of non-Arabic Muslims - who recited the Qur'an.
It has been illustrated by a report in which Abu'l-Aswad heard some Muslims pronounce the wrong reading of the Qur'an, owing to a mistake in voweling. As a consequence, following the order of the governor Ziyad b. Abi Sufyan, he instructed a scribe, saying: "When you see me open my mouth at a letter, put a dot above it. When I close it, put one next to the letter. When I draw them apart, put a dot under it. 

Ibnun Nadim, author of the Fihrist said: “Muhammad bin Ishaq says that most scholars agree that grammar was taken from Abu’l Aswad ad Du’ali, and that he took it from the Khalifah ‘Ali (radhiymahu allah wa Ahloh)”. The reason why Abu’l Aswad began to lay formal rules for the Arabic language lies undoubtedly behind the multiply of non-Arabic Muslims who recited the Qur’aan. It has been illustrated by a report in which Abu’l Aswad heard some Muslims pronounce the wrong reading of the Qur’aan, owing to a mistake in voweling.
As a consequence, following the order of the governor Ziyad bin Abi Sufyan, he instructed a scribe, saying: “When you see me open my mouth at a letter, put a dot above it. When I close it, put one next to the letter. When I draw them apart, put a dot under it.” Hence it is accepted that Ab’ul Aswad ad Du’ali had initially accepted the vowel points. However, these vowel points were not those which are used today. As previously mentioned, for a “fat-ha”, one dot was placed above the letter; for a “kasra”, one dot was placed below the letter; for a “dhamma”, one dot in front of the letter and for a tanween, two dots were fixed. Later Khalil ibn Ahmad (rahimahullah) used the signs of hams and tashdeed. Thereafter, Hajjaj ibn Yusuf had requested Yahya ibn Ya’mar (rahimahulla), Nasr ibn Aasim Laithi  and Hasan Basri (rahmahullah) to insert both dots and vowel points in The Quraan Kareem. On this occasion, to denote the vowel points, the present forms of fat-ha, kasra, were fixed instead of dots, so that they were no confused with the normal dots of letters. Ad Du’ali passed away in 69 AH. Muslims are indebted to the highly beneficial contribution of this great scholar. 

His name was ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn Qinbar (Abu Bishr) originally from the lands of Persia. Seebawayh was a laqab (nickname) given to him by his mother, meaning ‘the scent of apples.’
At the beginning of his youth he sought knowledge in the field of hadith. He studied with the likes of Hammaad, the famous muhaddith in Basra, and it was here with Shaykh Hammaad (rahimahullah) that a particular incident took place which changed Seebawayh’s entire focus.
Scholars to this day have not stopped benefiting from his book and the knowledge which he left behind. 

“Another story describes Abu'l-Aswad's reason behind the beginning of grammar. Some Arabic people laughed once when a client of an Arab mispronounced an Arabic word, so Abu'l-Aswad rebuked them, saying: "These mawali (non-Arab Muslim means- allies) have formed a desire for Islam, and have converted, so they have become our brothers; if only we were to lay down [the rules] of language for them!"
Basra was a very important centre of grammar. The first one who had established the base of the school of Basra was Abul Aswad ad Du’ali, the close friend of Ali (radhiyallahu anhu). His real name was Zalim ibn ‘Amr ibn Sufyan ibn Jandal ad Duali. He was the first to place dots on Arabic letters and the first to write on Arabic linguistics.

This school competed with the school of Kufa. The grammarians of Basra were called (people of logic) to be distinguished from the grammarians of Kufa. One of the most prominent scholars of this school of grammar was Seebwayh the Persian Muslim scholar  who had written a book called “The Book of Seebwayh”.
Seebawayh (ra)
One day Hammad (rahimahullah) asked him to read out a hadith and Seebawayh began by saying: “ليس من أصحابي أحد إلا ولو شئت لأخذت عليه ليس أبا الدرداء…” – however, he read Aba as Abu in a state of raf’ (nominative) thinking that it was the Ism of Laysa. Hammaad al Basri corrected him and said, أخطأتَ يا سيبويه إنما هو استثناء – ‘You’re mistaken O’ Seebawayh, it is in fact an Exception,’ (i.e. meaning: ‘… except for Abu Darda’). So Seebawayh said, لأطلبنّ علما لا يُنازعني فيه أحد – ‘I will certainly seek knowledge (grammar) such that none can dispute with me therein.’
So he travelled to the learned scholars and grammarians of his time in Basra and studied extensively with the famous al Khalil ibn Ahmad al Farahidi (who established ‘ilm al-’Aroodh) and other grammarians such as al Akhfash. It was here that Seebawayh established the foundations of grammar for the people and wrote his huge scholarly work ‘al Kitab.’ However, at the time, he did not release it to the people. It is stated that he would travel through towns and villages, sitting with the folks and recording their poetry as well as historical statements (handed down through tribes) in an attempt at gathering shawahid (linguistical evidences) for each point and argument that he mentioned in his book.
After his death, one of his students took it upon himself to make this book available to the public. Not only did his book benefit the people of Basra, but it thereafter became one of the greatest books on grammar to have ever been written in history, such that the people began to call it ‘Qur’aan an Nahw’ (the ‘Qur’aan of Grammar’). Seebawayh (rahimahullah) died at the young age of 34.
There are also stories in which both 'Ali (k.w.) and 'Umar (r.a.) acknowledged Abu al-Aswad‘s command of grammar or deferred to him on the subject.  Shaykh Abu al-Aswad (r.a.) began to lay down formal rules for the Arabic language because more and more non-Arabs were converting to Islam, especially with the conquest of the Persian Empire.  They needed help in learning the language of the Qur’an.  It was reported that Shaykh Abu al-Aswad (r.a.) heard some Muslims pronounce words wrongly whilst reading of the Qur'an, owing to a mistake in vowels.  As a consequence, following the order of the governor, Ziyad ibn Abi Sufyan, he instructed a scribe, saying, "When you see me open my mouth at a letter, put a dot above it.  When I close it, put one next to the letter.  When I draw them apart, put a dot under it."

Another story describes Shaykh Abu al-Aswad's (r.a.) reason behind the beginning of grammar.  Some Arabs laughed once when a non-Arab muslim mispronounced an Arabic word.  Shaykh Abu al-Aswad (r.a.) rebuked them, saying, "These mawali (clients) have formed a desire for Islam, and have converted, so they have become our brothers; if only we were to lay down [the rules] of language for them!"

The following was taken from the blog of Ustadzah Zafirah binte Jeffrey: The Requirements of Being an Educator.  She translated one of the poems of Shaykh Abu al-Aswad ad-Du’ali (r.a.).

This is one of the most notable works by Shaykh Abu al-Aswad ad-Du’ali (r.a.) (16-69 H), one of the greatest forefathers of Arab grammar.  He is of the tabi’in, the generation after the Prophet (s.a.w.) and played a major role in assigning the markings, ashkal in the Qur’an.  Much reference has been made to this, especially the last line, in studies of Arabic literature and grammar.