Language Barrier

Learning a whole new language can be pretty intimidating and challenging. For some people learning a new language is not a choice, some times it can be a means for survival. Moving to a whole new country is frightining having to adapt to a new lifestyle and culture not to mention the feeling of being lost and not being able to understand basic information.

My first encounter with a new language was when I moved to the USA at 13 years of age. Although I had my rough and shaky moments with the language, it didn’t take long for me to learn it. However, as I grew older, I took for granted my new founded language and dismissed the challenges that many in the USA have with it, especially with older people. There were many people who had spent decades living in the USA and still were not able to speak English and I could grasp my mind around that.

Until now, living in Egypt for almost 2 years and my Arabic is, I will put into words of one of my students, ” You don’t speak Arabic, you speak broken”. It’s common to think that learning a new language is the only challenge that one might have. But we are totally wrong, here are some of the challenges I’ve faced from having to learn a new language.

  • You are not yourself anymore! You are not able to make a joke, have deep intellectual conversation and express your feelings.
  • You might take certain facial expression, intonation or even some misunderstood meaning offensive. Often times when people asked me to repeat what I have said, I take it personally, as i they are mocking my Arabic, don’t ask me why that is but it happens all the time.
  • It can impact yourself esteem. When, I first started learning Arabic, I was so enthusiastic and proud of myself but as time went by there was an incident, where one person was being aggressive towards me and I was not able to defend myself, leaving me to feel useless in that situation.
  • Not everyone is nice to you during your learning journey. Many people don’t understand that you are not a local and can unintentionally contribute towards your insecurity with the language.
  • You feel isolated and incarcerated. What I mean by isolation is that you might have people around you but you are not able to make a deep connection because you can’t talk about your values, mission and build a common bond.
  • Incarcerated by your thoughts not being able to be express the right way. Sometimes you want to engage in political or philosophical topics but you can’t because your vocabulary in the new language does not allow you to.
  • Some times you just feel plain stupid. Yes, you might carry even a PhD degree but in a new language you might talk like a 3-year-old.
  • If you are in a room and everyone is talking in a foreign language at some point, you will think they are talking about you making you feel uncomfortable all the time
  • It is possible to spent years in a county and not speak the language. I used to think of this as something strange but now it’s happening to me. I try as much as possible to go places where I know someone will speak English or try to avoid situations where I would have to come out of my comfortable zone.

However, these struggles don’t even compare with the enormous amount of blessings and experiences that you will have by moving to whole different country and learning a language completely out of your comfortable zone. If I could give you advice if you are in the same situation as I am, would be to open your mind and try to be as unbiased as possible with a new culture. Don’t compare your culture with another one, just take the new culture for what it is. Try to use as much as you know from the new language in your daily life to build fluency and confidence. You will gain an enormous amount of knowledge that no books or school can provide you with.

I am not writing this post to discourage you from learning a new language or even moving to a new country. The purpose of this post is to first letting you know that if you are struggling with moving to a new country or learning a new languages and do experience some of these feelings then you are not alone. Also, another reason for this post is letting you know how some people might be feeling learning a new language that we might take for granted and how they are coping with having to move to a new country. I certainly didn’t pay much attention to this phenomenon until I myself walked in these shoes.

Let me know if you are leaving in a new country completely different from your norm. If so, do you have some struggles and what are some of them? Are you learning a new language and what is it? Comment bellow if you  have some tips for learning a new language or coping with a new culture.




Homemade Vegan Granola Bars

Anyone who knows me knows that I love, love, love snacks. I barely even eat my meals, I usually just snack away, all day long. Well, with the exception to breakfast. I loooooove breakfast, in fact, I can just eat breakfast for all my meals..and that includes a cuppa coffee too. So lately, I’ve been trying to cut down from eating outside, mainly because I don’t trust the sanitation factor that goes on in most Egyptian popular restaurants. I also have been paranoid about by snacks and what effects it has on our body especially to kids. Since I am addicted to snacking with anything that has flours like bread, cookies, donuts, you name it, there isn’t anything that I will not like. I’ve been trying very hard to trick my snacking habits into something that is healthy, fulfilling and good for me. I guess, what I am trying to get at is that I’ve created an awesome recipe for granola bars that any gluten lovers like myself will sure to love. I can’t say it’s gluten free but it’s definitely vegan. I’m sure, you can substitute the flour that goes into these granola bars with almond and coconut flour. I would have opted for that option but I haven’t found any place that sells those types of flours in Egypt. That’s the good thing about this recipe, you can totally personalize with anything that you have around or whatever is local around you. Before I get to the steps and the recipe it self, I must apologize if this posts will come out immature. This is the first time I write a post like this and I don’t even know how to do it. I don’t have any pictures to demonstrate the steps but I will share a picture of what these granola bars look like taken by my phone 🤕.

What you will need for the granola:

Baking Pan

Cookie 🍪 sheets

One bowl 🍲

Spoon 🥄


You don’t really have to measure but I’ll give you a sense of how much I put of each ingredient.



Black honey 🍯 or bee 🐝 honey 🍯

Oil, it can be olive oil, vegggie or coconut 🥥

Those are the main ingredients but if you like you can put anything else at your possession, such as, nuts 🥜, chocolate 🍫 chips, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon powder, cocoa and coconut 🥥 flakes. I also add, chia seeds to make into a energy booster snack. 😉

Sorry for all those emojis, I’m writing this post from my phone and I am currently obsessed.


In one bowl mix all the main ingredients together.

For every cup flour put half cup of any flour you have. The end product should look gluey and sticky.

Add 1/4 of black honey (I am totally bull sh*tting these measurements). Like I said the end product should be gluey and sticky as if you are making chocolate chip cookies.

Add 1/4 oil of your choice. Again bull sh*t as long as it’s looking gluey.

Now, that you’ve mixed it all, you can add any flavoring that you want. I added what I had around the house and that was chia seeds and raisins. I also added this spice that Egyptian use a lot in their baking and as tea which in Arabic it’s called “yansoon”. Comment below if you know the name of “yansoon” in English.

Place in a baking pan with the cooking sheet and spread the formula out as flat as possible. Since the mixture does not rise with the heat you will have to spread it out in a thin layer.

The oven can be at any temperature and the mixture should be ready once you smell it and it has browned.

It’s very important that you cut the formula as soon as it’s out of the oven since it will harden after 5-10 min at room temperature.

Now it’s ready to indulge, enjoy!

I hope you have found this post is useful and that you have tried it for your self. Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe and/or if you have other healthy snack alternatives.

Bon appetite!

A New Year 2018

Dear Me,

You know you are not one to commemorate anything and the New Years is not an exemption. However, this year was a very challenging one and lot of self-reflection and growth happened. I am finding myself deeper in my thoughts and reflecting very hard on my personal growth and barriers I had to overcome.

I am not one to make new years resolution and I am not here to write a list of what I would like to accomplish in 2018. It’s time to make goals and set time lines. To leave behind the negativity and move forward. To stop making excuses and just do the things I most fear. Mostly, I want to live in the moment, to cherish everything around, to leave a little bit of goodness every day.

This letter is not to set up expectations and looking to fulfill them in a time span. It is not to accomplish all my dreams, goals, obstacles and fears in a the year to come. Rather, it is a time to pause and reflect on how far I reached within a year. To look at my blessings and downfalls.

Most importantly, when you look back remember there is no such thing as “failure”. When you wake up every day and try again and didn’t succeed, you didn’t fail. When you try new things and it did not go as planned, you didn’t fail. When life takes its own course instead of yours, you didn’t fail. What’s more important is what you learned from all that God had planned for you.

Now, read this post and reflect all the personal growth and blessings that have occurred within a year and don’t worry about what people think you should be doing or where you should be.

Don’t be delusional, don’t fall into trend, there is no such thing as happiness. There is however, a sense of peace knowing that you will embrace whatever comes or does not come your way. Not only embrace, face it, conquer it and gain the most expensive gift in life, “patience”.

Look at your daughters and see how much they have grown, hug them and tell them you “love them”. Pray for all the blessings that God has bestowed. If you cried a lot, it is time to smile. If you smiled a lot, it is time to help others who have cried. If you have gained, it is time to give. If you have lost, it is time to accept. If you loved than love even harder. Know that all your prayers are not answer in this life. Ameen.