alaagii


Audio with Theyab's pronunciation









During my last ijaazah in Kuwait, I was looking at Theyab's family book
majmuu:ah for a text about the country's history.

When abuu-h saw me, he said: "I have a book you can read. khal-ii-nii

alaagii-h."

His choice, Forty Years in Kuwait told the remarkable story of how a young

English woman became the wife of the British ambassador to Kuwait
during the discovery of an-naft.

Leaving friends and family behind, Violet Dickson took a boat to France

then boarded the Orient Express bound for Istanbul. When arriving in Basra
no train track existed into Kuwait, so one of the very few cars available
back in 1930s drove her from the Iraqi border to Kuwait City.




Dickson braved searing Kuwaiti summers in times when the closest thing to
air conditioning was opening ad-dariishahWith her husband often absent
and loved ones far away, a solitary life in the desert might have been enough
to break her resolve, but Dickson set about learning Arabic as well as making
friends among the local Bedouin people, often using her position to rally 
on their behalf to the Emir.

Dickson lived for over sixty years in Kuwait until her death in 1991. She lived with
the Kuwaitis through the rapid transformation of the country as adobe houses
became skyscrapers, and was beloved of them.

Theyab's father's generation remember Violet Dickson - my generation hardly so.
So here is a salute to a voice that is fading from collective memory,
to her contribution and not least, to her impressive command of a language
foreign to her, as can be seen in the video below:



إجازة
ijaazah Holiday
مجموعة
majmuu:ah Collection
أبوه abuu-h His father
خليني khal-ii-nii Let me (lit. let to you (f) me)
النفت an-naft Oil
بيت bayt House
الدريشة ad-dariishah The window
صبر شوية Sabr shwayyah Wait a little bit
لازم laazim I have to 



















الرقي
alaagii I find
تلرقي
tlaagii You find (>m)
تلرقين
tlaagiin You find (>f)
تلرقون
tlaaguun You find (>pl)
نلرقي
nlaagii We find
يلرقي
ylaagii He finds
تلرقي
tlaagii She finds
يلرقون ylaaguun They find