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

Rita and her mom had a lovely evening at a restaurant. But who ended up paying for dinner?
(Hint: It wasn’t Rita or her mother!)

بحبّ إنّو بعدني زغيرة بنظر أهلي

قصة حلوة بتخليك تضل حاسس إنو أهلك دايماً الن فضل عليك. حبيت اخد امي تا نسهر سوا بي مطعم بعد الماما منا رايحة عليه. لبست أحلى تياب عندا ولبست المجوهرات لي بتلبسن بس تكون معنا. يعني أحلى مجوهرات عندا. طلعنا بالسيارة و كانت كتير مبسوطة. وصلنا عالمطعم كان كتير في عجقة. ركض صاحب المطعم وغمر الماما. هوي كان ساكن حد بيتنا بس كنا زغار. اعتذر و قلنا بدي منكن ترجعوا بعد شي نص ساعة. أكيد قلنا مش مهم. منتمشى شوي ومنشم هوى نضيف ومنرجع. مشينا ع شط البحر ورجعنا عالمطعم، كانوا مجهزين طاولة بي اسمنا وصاروا الموظفين معجوقٍين فينا. هلأ ما فينا ننكر إنو هني عطول هيك.

فا بلشنا نطلب شو طالع عبالنا. جابوا عرق نح ما طلبناه، قال هيدا ضيافة. سهرنا ونبسطنا ونسينا الوقت وكان عنا حكي كتير نحكيه أنا والماما. وصار نص ليل قلنا صارت منيحة الرجعة عالبيت. طلبت الحساب والماما بلشت تقلي ميرسي. بينسوا الأهل إنو هني كتير ضحوا تكبرنا وصار دورنا نحنا هلّق نضحي شوي كرمالن. عكل حال، ما قدرت كفي لي كنت رايحة اعملوا. تلبكت الموظفة وراحت عيطت لصاحب المطعم. انصدمت بس قرّب صاحب المطعم وقلي “الحساب واصل”. اتطلّعنا بيبعضناأنا والماما، وسألتوا كيف؟ قال بس شفت إمك تذكرت إيام الطفولة.

فبغضّ النظر عن قدّي أنا بقبض، إمّي ضلت إمّي، وطلعت هي لي عزمتني بالآخر.

I love being a child in my parents’ eyes.

A cute and humorous story to remind you that you’ll always have a reason to be grateful for your parents. I wanted to take my mom out to a restaurant she hadn’t been to. She wore her cutest outfit and wore the jewelry she typically wears when she’s with us, so the prettiest jewelry. We got in the car, and she was so happy. When we got there, it was so crowded, but the restaurant owner ran and hugged my mother. He was our next-door neighbor back when we were kids. He apologized and asked if we could come back in 30 minutes. We, of course, said it’s no big deal. “We’ll go for a stroll and a bit of fresh air and come back.” We walked along the beach and came back to the restaurant. They had a table ready under our name, and the waiters and waitresses kept visiting our table to make sure that we were well taken care of. Now, we can’t deny that they’re always great.

We started ordering what we felt like having. They brought us a’arak (a traditional alcoholic Lebanese drink that we hadn’t ordered and said it was on the house. We had a great time and stayed there late. We didn’t feel the time pass; we had so much to talk about. At midnight, we thought this would be a good time to call it a night, so I asked for the check. My mom then started saying her thank-you’s to me. Parents forget how much they’ve sacrificed to raise us, and now it’s our turn to sacrifice for them. The waitress got flustered, so she went and got the owner. I was shocked when he approached our table and said, “It’s been taken care of.” My mom and I looked at each other, and I asked ‘how come?’ He said, “When I saw your mom, I remembered my childhood.”

So, basically, regardless of how much I make, my mom was still mom, and she technically treated me in the end!


  1. thank you Rita for this lovely story, i am gradually pursuing new found passion to learn my mother tongue (Levantine Arabic) even though i was born in Australia

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