Posted by: r.m. | April 1, 2009

what about Arabic?

There is a new cafe opening on Hamra Street.  An Italian cafe.  On the bare window is posted an announcement – in English –  for staff and the requirement for the staff: “English is a must. French is optional.”

And what about Arabic? Negligible?

In a country whose official language is – still – Arabic, and in a country whose majority of its population – still – speaks Arabic, how ludicrous is it that an announcement for employment is posted only in English, and Arabic is ignored?

Then again, there are families – how many, I don’t know – who take pride that their children, born and raised in Lebanon, do not speak Arabic.  It has become fashionable to embrace another language (and what else as well?).  Fashionable to enter restaurants and to read the menu in English or French, and to have the waiter or waitress reply, to questions posed in Arabic, in English.

What does that mean – when a people strive to diminish their own language?


  1. […] we still call it ‘Hamra’? … la wein ya Beirut? A few days ago, I wrote about an employment announcement on Hamra street written in English – without a word of Arabic – and requesting that the staff speak […]

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