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

Eman shares with us some of her feelings on growing up and dealing with life as an adult. Can you relate?

اليوم زرت الحديقة اللي جنب بيتنا و لقتهن مركبين لعبه جديدة. أنا عم إتطلع عليها، تزكرت طفولتي و الأيام اللي عشتها بحارتي و تزكرت القصص اللي عشيتها بشوارعا، إستغربت كيف الوقت عم يمشي بسرعة و كيف كل يوم بروح و ما برجع و كيف الرفقة اللي كنت فكرون رح يتمو معي العمر كلو كانو أول ناس إختفو لما كبرنا. لما كنت صغيرة كانو يقول عني حركه كتير لدرجة أنو كانو الناس ينزعجو مني لأنو ما كنت بعرف اقعد بمكان واحد . بس هلق لما كبرت صرت أنا اللي أنزعج لما حدا يأومني. مع الإيام الناس بتتغير و ما ديمن للأحسن. لما لاحزط هالشي زعلت و تحسرت علي طفولتي. بس يومتا لما ارجعت على البيت و خبرت أمي باللي صار. ابتسمة و حكتلي شغلة كتير مهمة بدي شاركها معكون. قالت أنو مهما كبر الأنسان و مهما تغير و مهما تغيرت الدنيا اللي حولي في شي واحد بضل متل ما هو و لا عمرو بيتغير، و هو حلوة شعور السعادة. شرحتلي مع أني كبرت و تغيرت و تغيرو رفقاتي و صرت نام 16 ساعة بنهار أنو هي بتشوف نفس الإبتسامة علي وشي و بتسمع نفس الضحك لما أفرح كإنو عمري ست سنين. و لما حكتلي أمي هيك فهمت شغلة كتير مهمة و هي أنو الحياة ما رح توقف لا و لحدا بس بتعطيك خيارين يا أما بتركض معا وببتسم نفس الإبتسامة و بتضحك نفس الضحك اللي كنت تتضحكها و أنت صغير يا أما بتضلك واقف متحسر علي الأماكن اللي تركتها وراك. و من اليوم أنا أخترت أركض (مع أنني ما بحب الركض) و شوف شو رح تقدملي الحياة مع أنني بعرف أنو مو كل المشوار رح يكون تسلايه و رح أتكون في أيام صعبة، بس لازم أتزكر أنو أنا ما عم أركض لحالي. في ناس بحبون متل عليتي و رفقاتي اللي مستعدين يوقفو ركض ليسعدوني إزا وقعت. و لما فهمت هالشي، فرحت لأنني زرت هديك الحديقة و شفت هديك اللعبة لأنو تعلمت منا درس كتير كبير.

Today I visited the park next to my house, and I saw that they’ve installed a new piece of playground equipment [lit. toy]. As I was looking at it, I remembered my childhood and the days I lived in my town and the memories I experienced on its streets. I was surprised how fast time is moving and how every day that passes doesn’t come back, how the friends that I thought would be with with me my whole life were the first people to disappear when we grew up. When I was young, they used to say that I was really active, to a point that people would get annoyed at me because I didn’t know how to stay put in one place. But now that I’ve grown up, I’ve become the one who gets annoyed when someone makes me move. As the days pass, people change, and not always for the better. when I realized that, I felt upset and heartbroken over my childhood. That day when I went home and told my mom what had happened. She smiled and told me something very important I’d like to share with you. She said that no matter how old someone gets, no matter how much they change and no matter how much the world around them changes, there’s one thing that will stay as it is and never change, and that is the beauty of the feeling of happiness. She explained to me that, even though I’ve grown up and my friends had changed and that I started sleeping 16 hours a day, she still sees the same smile on my face and hears the same laugh when I’m happy, as if I were six years old. When she told me that, I understood something very important–that life isn’t going to stop for anybody, but it gives you two choices: You either run with it and smile the same smile and laugh the same laugh as you did when you were young, or you can stay standing heartbroken over the places that you’ve left behind. And starting today, I’ve chosen to run (although I don’t like running), and see what life has to offer even though I know that not all of the ride is going to be fun, and that there are going to be hard days, but I need to remember that I’m not running alone. There are people I love like my family and friends who are ready to stop running to help me if I fall. And when I understood that, I was happy that I visited that park and saw that “toy” because from that I learned a big lesson.


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