This semester I joined even more international groups because I am now a member of the Arabic Flagship Program. As a result, I joined the new Egyptian Club which met every Tuesday from 4:30 to 5:30. The club was led by three students, two of whom are from Egypt and another who is their close friend who has visited Egypt once and is studying the language. The club was a chance for students to learn more about Egyptian culture and practice our language skills.
I had so much fun hanging out with everyone every Tuesday. The moderators — Lamis, Caroline, and Youssef — are all so entertaining and humorous and kind. Lamis and Youssef really did a great job of introducing us to Egyptian culture, especially youth culture. Each week was a new topic and we covered everything from music to television to politics to history to slang. I have to say, I think when we went over Egyptian slang was my favorite meeting because it was really fun to learn vocabulary that we would never cover in class, but I also really enjoyed the day when we watched an episode of Bassem Youssef’s show. Bassem Youssef is the “Jon Stewart of Egypt” and watching an episode of his political satire show inspired me to read his recently released book which gives an account of the Arab Spring from his (admittedly biased) perspective. (It’s called Revolution for Dummies: Laughing through the Arab Spring, and I recommend it if you want a good laugh and also a little insight into the Egyptian revolution.) Attending Egyptian Club was always such a great way to spend my Tuesday afternoons because I was in great company and I learned some really interesting things.
I am definitely going to join Egyptian Club again next semester. I am really looking forward to learning more about the Egyptian culture and learning how to talk like an Egyptian so that I don’t get laughed off the streets with my formal sounding Arabic.