Learn Arabic as it is really spoken. Listen to and read Egyptian Colloquial Arabic.

Yomna tells us about a recent trip to the zoo with her sons and a lonely lion that makes her think.

اهلاً بيكم. يوم السبت اللى فات ابنى الكبير حمزه جه صحانى من النوم، و قالى: ماما ودينى جنينة الحيوانات. انا وديته قبل كده مرتين، و من ساعتها و هو متعلق بالمكان. و دايماً يطلب منى اوديه. اكتر حاجه بتعجبه هناك لما الحراس بيسمحوله انه يوكل الحيوانات بايده. بالنسبه لابنى الصغير سلمان، كانت اول مره يروح و هو مدرك. فا بالتالى الموضوع كان بالنسبه له مبهر جداً. حمزه بقى المره دى كان مركز معايا فى الاتجاهات و بيقرا معايا الخريطه. مثلاً كان عايز يشوف الكانجارو. و قدر ان هو يلاقيه عن طريق ان احنا اتبعنا ارشادات الخريطه. من ضمن الحاجات اللطيفه اللى شفناها كان البحيره بتاعه البط. و لما بيطلعوا من البحيره بنشوفهم ماشيين ورا بعض، زى ما بيقولوا عليه طابور البط. كان شكلهم ظريف اوى. و طبعاً الاساسى ان احنا بندور على الاسد. و الاولاد يقعدوا يقلدوا صوته. انا لاحظت انه الاسد كان عمال يلف جوه القفص بتاعه. يعنى كان احساسى انه هو منزعج. و بظن انه منزعج من الحبس. بصراحه هو فكره انه الاطفال يقدروا يشوفوا الحيوانات و يتعاملوا معاهم. هى فكره لطيفه و مسليه للاطفال. بس فى نفس الوقت ان احنا نحرم الحيوانات اللى طبيعتها انها تعيش بحريه فى الغابه و الاماكن المفتوحه… نحرمهم من الحريه دى ده شيء يعنى مش كويس. بتخيل انه لو اى حد فينا مكانهم هيبقى حزين جداً. يعنى بشوف انه ممكن نعمل مزرعه فيها حيوانات داجنه و اليفه. الاطفال يستمتعوا و يشوفوا الحيوانات و يلاعبوهم و يوكلوهم، و فى نفس الوقت الحيوانات دى متعوده ان هى تعيش فى اماكن زى المزرعه. انما الحيوانات اللى عايشه فى الغابه و متعوده على الحريه، احنا منحرمهاش من ده. لانه يعنى آدميتنا تخلينا منبقاش انانيين تجاه بقية المخلوقات. بتمنى فى يوم من الايام انى اخد ابنى لمزرعة الحيوانات بدل جنينة الحيوانات. و بتمنىالكم دايماً رحلات لطيفه. شكراً.

Hello! Last Saturday, my older son Hamza woke me up, and said to me, “Mom, take me to the zoo.” I had taken him there twice before, And ever since then, he’s been attached to the place. And he always asks me to take him there. The thing that he likes the most there is when the zookeepers let him feed the animals by hand. For my younger son Salman, it was his first time to go while being aware. So it was so amazing for him. This time Hamza was concentrating with me on directions and reading the map with me. For example, he wanted to see the kangaroo. He was able to find the way by following the map directions. One of the nice things we saw was the duck pond. And when they came out of the lake, we saw them walking single file, [or] as they call it, “in a duck row.” They looked so funny. And of course, the main target was to look for the lion. And the boys started to mimic its roaring. I noticed that the lion kept turning around in his cage. I felt like it was upset. And I guess it was upset for being confined. Frankly, the idea of letting the kids see and interact with the animals is nice and fun for the kids. But at the same time, depriving animals that are used to living freely in the jungle and open spaces… depriving them of their freedom isn’t good. I imagine if any (one) of us was in their situation, he’d be so sad. So… I think we could make a farm with domestic and tame animals, where kids can enjoy seeing, playing with, and feeding the animals while these animals are already used to living in places like farms. But the animals living in the jungle and used to freedom, we won’t be depriving them of this. Because our humanity should prevent us from being selfish toward other creatures. I hope one day I’ll [be able to] take my son to the animal farm instead of the zoo. And I wish you all nice trips. Thanks.

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