- Honey, I'm home!
- Hello there ! Why the big smile?
- Well, you'll be smiling too when I tell you what I've got!
- What is this? Car keys? Don't tell me you've got a new car!
- I have! A brand-new BMW!
- What? Have you completely lost your mind?
- I haven't! Listen...
- This is insane! We can't afford a new car! We have bills to pay! We
have a mortgage! We have three young children!
- Just listen, will you? I'll explain!
- You’d better explain!
- I’ve been promoted! And they've given me a huge pay rise! And a
company car! We can even afford a bigger house now!
Listening. Karen in Beirut.
Interviewer So, how long have you been living here?
Karen For about six months now.
I. Why did you choose Beirut?
K. Because Mike - my husband - and I have always loved Arab culture
and the language, Mike's an English teacher and he got a job here in a
I. Why did you want to take a year off?
K. Basically I wanted a break from teaching. I love teaching children
but I needed a change. Also I've been drawing and painting since I was
little but I've never really had the chance to study drawing. So this
seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a change and learn to draw
I. What have you been doing here since you arrived?
K. Well, I found a fantastic art teacher, called Omayma, and I've been
having classes with her since October. She's great and she speaks
English, which is lucky because I don't know much Arabic yet. But I am
learning the language as quickly as I can.
I. Is Arabic a difficult language to learn?
K. Incredibly difficult! Especially the pronunciation. You have to
learn to make a lot of new sounds. Also it takes a long time to learn
to read and write in Arabic.
I. You also teach belly dancing here.
K. That's right.
I. How did that happen?
K. Well, I've been teaching belly dancing for about six years, and I
love it, so I wanted to continue doing it here. A lot of Lebanese
women don't know how to belly dance and they want to learn, I give
classes here, in my living room. We have a lot of fun!
I. Are your students surprised that an English person is teaching them
K. Yes, very, but they're also really happy to find that a foreigner
loves Arabic music and understands something from their culture.
I. What's the best thing about living to Lebanon so far?
K. The people. The hospitality of the people here is absolutely amazing.