When I saw this book I immediately grabbed it. All it took were the words “Adventures in Arabic in the Arab World” and I was hooked. This was the book I have been waiting for ever since I took that life changing, amazing trip to the heart of the Middle East three years ago. A woman, travelling through Egypt, Morocco, The Gulf States, and Lebanon on her own and learning about the differences in culture and dialect throughout the Middle East.
I wanted to read this book all at once and take it slow at the same time. I knew I would enjoy it and I also knew I wouldn’t want it to end.
Zora O’Neill, studied the Arabic language in University and even spent time living in Cairo during her studies. She fell passionately in love with the language and in 2011, she decided it was time to go back. She returned to Cairo where she took a refresher course in the language and got to remake the memories she had lived years before.
Zora takes you on an amazing, adventure through the deserts and cities of the Middle East. She starts every section with a page that has the country’s name written in Arabic and some Arabic words that describe the experiences she had. It was so great to see the letters again and try and sound them out to see if I still remembered something.
Every page I could just close my eyes and it all came back, the warm air, the sandy deserts, the smell of pita bread and shawarma mixed with hummus and olives. The kindness of the people and just the wonder that you are in a place so ancient is a feeling like no other. I absolutely enjoyed this book and I thought the author did a wonderful job capturing all the great things about these countries. I’m happy she was able to fall back in love with a language and place she felt so passionate about and I can’t wait to do the same!
If you like reading travel memoirs, check out my 2017 Travel Reads post to find your next wanderlust inspiration!