When I was still young my father encouraged me to learn Arabic. He said there are many advantages of learning another language which includes the ability to read the Qur’an. I became so skilled with the Arabic language that I’m more comfortable using it than English. That’s when I decided that I want to be an Arabic teacher. I started teaching kids ages 8-12 years old in Marawi City during Saturdays. It was not so difficult because most of them learned the language at home just like me. One of my unforgettable experiences as a teacher was when the Department of Education asked me to translate English and Tagalog textbooks to Arabic. That became a big break in my career. It was a great honor to do that work. If there is an Arabic phrase I want you to learn first, it will be “assalamu alaikum” which in English is “peace be with you.” This is a common greeting among Muslims, sometimes it is accompanied by a hug. When I moved here in Bohol, I was surprised that Christians would greet me assalamu alaikum, even the jeepney drivers or the street vendors. It is a very comforting phrase and, also my favorite.

- Qapwa

Related Stories

My daughter has pneumonia while I have courage. I’ve been selling vegetables for over 18 years, and it’s been my source of income that gets us through every day. It’s difficult budgeting for . . . Read More

Meet Johana, a student at both Ramon Avanceña High School and Metro Manila Islamic Institute, an Islamic religious school or Madrasa. This future journalist lives in Quiapo "Napili ako ng teacher . . . Read More

The Underground River was the best tourist spot I visited here in Palawan. As a resident of Palawan, I got to see at a discounted rate! I went to the River without any prior knowledge on it. Lucky . . . Read More

Meet Sheryan, an environmental advocate and a graduate of Eco-tourism. For her, we can only sincerely assert our culture and identity if we learn to protect the environment that sustains . . . Read More

Meet Noraiza, a survivor of Zamboanga Siege and one of the countless displaced by the conflict. Being a widow, she and her only daughter depend on each other in their pursuit for a better . . . Read More

Everyone said that earning money here is fast and easy. Well, they were wrong. Every single day we need to persevere and endure all struggles just to earn and sustain our family. Despite all the . . . Read More