I arrived in Jerusalem to begin my Arabic language program in early June and was quickly reminded of the electricity of a city like Jerusalem– everyday tasks seem to be infused with a vibrancy that is only possible in such a diverse and multicultural city. I began to settle into a daily routine that involved vegetable shopping and practicing Arabic with my neighborhood bayah– the shop keepers and vegetable sellers throughout the Old City and outside of the Damascus Gate.
These first few days where I was able to practice with local speakers were helpful for getting my feet wet and up to speed after months without language partners. This reminded me of the value of immersion– in days I regained a vocabulary that I thought I had forgotten after months without use. After brushing up I was eager and ready to start my intensive course so that I could add to my knowledge of Palestinian Spoken Arabic.