Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Year in the Mother of the World

Assalamu 3aleikum! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I'll introduce myself briefly: I'm Nicholas Borbely. I usually go by Nico, a nickname I've had my entire life. I'm 15 years old, I'm half Italian and half American, and I'm from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I speak Italian and Spanish in addition to English, and I'm working on Arabic. I'm passionate about many different things, such as birds, foreign languages/cultures, traveling, skiing, skating, swimming, photography, writing/reading, poetry, and the like.
I'm fascinated by the world around me, and I love visiting places I've never been to before. I want to travel all over the world and learn an astronomical amount of languages, including Finnish, Portuguese, German, Turkish, Farsi, Swedish, Hungarian, Hebrew, Icelandic, and so forth. ^_^
Ever since I was twelve, one of my greatest dreams has been to go on an AFS year to Egypt. One reason I want to go is because AFS is in my blood. My mother, who was born and raised in a small town in northern Italy, first came to the USA as an exchange student with AFS. She has volunteered for AFS for many years, so every year I've had the opportunity to befriend the new exchange students that come to our area. Also, my family hosted an Italian AFSer from Sicily a few years back, who I love like a brother. I've even gone to visit him in his home town while in Italy! He introduced me to many of his exchange student friends, and seeing how great an experience it was, I decided I wanted to go too. 
So, why Egypt? Partly because I've been fascinated by ancient Egypt ever since I was little. I find the monumental history of the pharoahs and all they left behind beautiful and intriguing. Additionally, for a few years now, I've been very interested in Arab and Islamic culture in general, and I find Arabic to be a beautiful, alluring language with a rich literature built around it. It is also very useful, given the large amount of countries where it is spoken and people who speak it. Therefore, I combined these various elements into the incredible modern country of Egypt. :D
I will go next year to Egypt on an AFS year program for eleven months, inshallah.
After years of hope and imagining, finally having the experience within my grasp is nothing less than intoxicating. I can't wait to go immerse myself at last in that beautiful country and all that it has to offer. 
Starting with a (former) AFS student, I've had some exposure to the beautiful Arabic language. Now, three years later, I can finally read and write decently, and although I have a long way to go before I'll be fluent, I've made considerable spoken progress as well. If I could just stop mixing up Standard Arabic and Egyptian dialect (I'm learning both; they're pretty different)....:)
Thank you so much for taking an interest in my upcoming experience!!
Ma' assalemah,
My two countries :)

the flag of my country of choice, courtesy of Google Images :3

some calligraphy showing the Arabic word for Arabic, "Al-3arabiyyah"
some pretty Arabic calligraphy!


Nico :)

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