It struck me again last night that one of the most useful skills my partner has taught me is how to say “thank you” in Arabic. When I can tell that someone has some Arabic background (and no, I’m not being a sterotyping moron, I’m talking about when I can hear the person speaking Arabic or see explicitly Muslim symbols), it is a real pleasure to be able to thank her in her language. You would be amazed at how people’s faces light up at that simple recognition of their individual humanity, their personal history and a part of their self-identification. It is a joy to be able to do that for someone else, especially with just a few simple words.

Shukran. Ma’a salama.