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Arabic Talent Show

Arabic Talent Show Last night was the night all of our hard work paid off: it was the Arabic Talent Show! I had three “entries” into the show: a song, a video skit, and a short film.

For the past several weeks, my beginning Arabic class has been rehearsing a song to perform at the talent show. Our professor would take a few minutes during class each week to help us learn the lyrics of the song Baba Fein (Where is Your Father?). (It’s a really catchy song, so I recommend looking up the music video if you are looking to take a study break from studying for finals!) I had so much fun rehearsing the song because I think it really did bring our class closer together.

Of course, actually performing the song in front of so many people at the talent show was more nerve wracking than practicing from the safety of the classroom. Our class performed with the other beginning Arabic section, which made me feel more comfortable. We stood at the front of the room and danced and sang once the song began to play. I was in the front row, so I felt even more pressure, and I may or may not have forgotten some of the words, but I don’t regret getting up there to perform.

I’m proud of our class (and the other section too!) for getting up there and performing the song because it really did take a lot of time to practice the song and to gather the courage to perform in front of so many faculty and peers.

We were the third group to perform, so for most of my class the rest of the talent show was about enjoying the other acts. I, however, had two more videos to be played. The first was a video skit I made with Global Engagement Fellow Hennessey Chism for an assignment in our Arabic class. We had turned the video in to our professor a few weeks before the talent show, and after she watched it, she asked if she could submit it to be played at the talent show. It made me feel really good to know that our professor liked our video enough to submit it out of all the videos of the class, but I was still nervous about playing the video in front of everyone. After all, when Hennessey and I had made the video, we’d only been in Arabic for a few weeks. Luckily, the audience laughed at all the right parts, and it seemed to go over well.

Last up was a short film produced by the Arabic Drama Club. I had helped write part of the script, but I wasn’t present for filming, so the talent show was the first time I got to see the video come together. It ended up being really funny and full of inside jokes about the films we had watched, and I am proud to say I got to work on it even a little bit.

The Arabic Talent Show was full of so many talented people. I am really glad that I went not only because of my personal involvement in the show, but because there was so much to enjoy. From belly dancing and poem recitals to a band and a video parody of the Lord of the Rings, the Arabic Talent Show had a lot to offer, and I am proud and grateful to have been a part of it.

2 thoughts on “Arabic Talent Show

  1. Let me just say, we got a kick out of your performance(s) at the talent show. It was really evident that you put time and effort into preparing, and that you are passionate about the language and culture. I found it incredible that you have been learning this language for just a few months, and you were ready to sing and dance front and center during the show!

    I know that there is an Arabic influence on Spanish, so do you think it was helpful knowing Spanish while learning Arabic? And do you see any similarities between Spanish and Arabic cultures, especially after being involved in this organization? I am curious to see if you have made any connections.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I appreciate all the time and effort you (and the rest of the students and faculty) put into the show!

    1. Thank you so much for coming out to the talent show! It was nice to have some familiar faces in the crowd.

      I think having studied Spanish does make learning Arabic a little easier, particularly because some grammatical structures are the same. For example, in both Arabic and Spanish, adjectives usually come after the noun they modify. Also, nouns and adjectives need to agree in gender and number in Arabic and Spanish in a way that they don’t in English. Because I am already familiar with those concepts from learning Spanish, it has made that aspect of learning Arabic grammar a little easier. I do, however, think that the Arabic grammar is going to prove more difficult to understand than Spanish because my professor keeps saying we have only begun to scratch the surface!

      I do think that both Spanish and Arab cultures place a really big emphasis on family. For instance, I believe it is totally normal in both cultures to live at home until you are married, which is way different than the expectations we have in the United States. I also believe in both cultures you are closer to your extended family than people in the US are. I think people tend to live closer to their whole family so that aunts, uncles, and grandparents are also around to help watch the children. I am sure there are more similarities, but that is what immediately comes to mind!

      Thank you so much for your comment, Josie!

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