Yullah, yullah!

Language. A powerful tool which when multiplied makes one's abilities more readily available. Whether in business or international relations, the more languages you know the more people you can communicate with. You'd be surprised how simply knowing how to say, "hello", in someone's native tongue can break the ice. Arabic is considered a crucial language in the global stage. From importing oil, to having peace talks, this language's importance is ever increasing, and that doesn't even scratch the surface of its common practicality. Beautiful women, Saudi, Jordanian, Libyan, Egyptian, and from elsewhere, are everywhere, whispering kind words, and to all of them I have one thing to say; mashallah. However, none of these things, the business, the negotiations, even the pretty faces, are my main reason for wanting to pick up a few Arabic words. A few times a week I have the pleasure of taking the pitch for a couple of hours of soccer. The weather is just right, a warming sun assisting us as we take the field to decide teams. Lovers of the game gather all with the purpose of seeing some good sport, and almost all are welcomed. There are students from my university, but then there are those that come from the English Language Center near campus. Many have come to learn my native language, but today, they come to play, and for several of them Arabic is their mother tongue. This isn't an issue until without fail, everytime we come to play, an argument begins and continues on and off throughout the time we're on the field. 15 minutes before picking teams, then 10 more while we select players. Perhaps another 10 are need to actually get the game started. Factor in the time it takes to warm up, and our playing time has been cut in half. My main reason for wanting to learn Arabic has become the desire to want to know what all the yelling and frustration is about. If we're going to talk for 45 minutes I would like to know what is going on. Is it important? Is everything ok? Maybe I can offer some advice. I don't know. Mashallah is certainly no good here. "Yullah Yullah!" someone says. Now, that's a phrase I know, and I completely agree with them. "Yes yes! Yullah yullah! I have class at 7 and we're wasting sunlight!". The great thing is that most of these guys have played football since childhood, so once the game actually begins it's a great sight to watch. Competitive, energetic, and I often find myself trying to pick up a few moves. There is a common understanding with football players. Where the ball needs to placed can be confirmed all with the contact of eyes and a firm nod of the head. There is a universal understanding. A language that anyone on the pitch understands, which goes without saying. All you need to know is how to play, and suddenly English nor Arabic is that important. But eventually, almost inevitably, someone tackles too hard, and the arguments continue. I pace back and forth wondering if this guy is really hurt. It doesn't seem like anyone touched him. I looked up and he was on the ground. I have class. I can't be late. I can't take it anymore. "Yullah, yullah!"