Monday, February 14, 2011

اركي غَ بَ نِن

What do you see? How does it make you feel? Nervous? Annoyed? Left out? The truth is all it really says is God loves you in Zarma. A week ago I had a crash course in the Arabic script which many languages use for writing. When the language actually being written is not Arabic, this writing is called Ajami which translates into something like “ignorant” or “barbarian”. I took the course with an SIL missionary who worked in Cameroun. He discovered that people who may otherwise have been considered illiterate were able to read the scriptures the moment they were written with this alphabet. Many children here are daily memorizing this alphabet in order to chant the Qur’an, in a language they don’t even understand. The standard educational method of many Qur’anic schools is to first teach the alphabet, then memorize the entire Qur’an, and then teach you how to understand Arabic. The process apparently takes about 12 years… Most kids never get that far but they do know how to sound out the letters. Likewise my neighbour, who doesn’t speak French but does have a little prayer mosque in front of his house where he prays and reads the Qur’an every day, would probably have no problem figure out what those squiggles at the top of the page mean. Pray that I would continue to understand how to read this and find ways to use it effectively.

In mean time we have finished paying the owner for the property we are buying but have some final paper work to fill out with the notary in order to have a title deed in our hands. And she needs to get paid too.

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