TAC – A for Aarambham, Ahlan wa sahlan and a bonus!

I am so excited to be penning this first post for The Alphabet Club (TAC). Starting today, on the first Saturday of every month we TAC’ers will be putting up a monthly post corresponding to a letter of the alphabet. So that’s a post related to the letter A for the first Saturday in August, B for September, C for October and so on until we reach Z in September 2017. Yeah! It’s going to be that long. Let it never be said that yours truly shuns commitment.

Since I am not a very fast (or even active stitcher) these days, my initial thoughts were that I cannot commit to a stitchy update for every post. I am ahem! committed to working on the Quiltbatross so I simply cannot afford to take on a new WIP. But I did manage to find a perfect alphabet pattern in my archives. It is small enough that I can manage a finish in time for the monthly posts and yet it will not keep me away from the Quiltbatross for too long.

The focus of my TAC posts will be eclectic to say the least. I would like to give you a peek into life in the UAE, a country renowned for its diversity. I will try and walk you through some of the things I have learnt or experienced during my travels. And of course we’ll try and pick up a word or two in a few different languages.

So let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

A for...


India is a buzzing hive of languages with anywhere between 122 to over a 1000 languages depending on the source of your information. Of these, Malayalam is my mother tongue, a language spoken in the state of Kerala in southern India. With 55 letters, it is a notoriously difficult language to learn even for a native like me.

Fittingly our word of the day is Aarambam (pronounced aa-rum-bum) which means ‘beginning’ or ‘start’. The word is also used in other Indian languages like Tamil (another south Indian language) or in Hindi as Aarambh.


Our second word, or phrase rather, is from the Arabic language. Again perfectly apt because it is the official language of the UAE where I now live. The phrase Ahlan Wa Sahlan is a welcome greeting. It literally means Family (Ahlan) and Easy (Sahlan). It is a warm and rich greeting which loosely translated means ‘May you arrive as part of the family and may your path be wide and easy’. Doesn’t that just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? Imagine being made welcome to the point where you are treated like a member of the family! There really is something to be said for UAE hospitality.

Bonus Malayalam word

This is not something I was planning to include but it just fit so perfectly I simply had to tag it onto the post. See that little cross stitch motif with the elephant? Well A is also for Aana which in Malayalam means elephant! What a lucky coincidence that you managed to pick up another word. Because after all… everyone needs to know how to say elephant in Malayalam! 😉

Until next time… stay blessed!


13 thoughts on “TAC – A for Aarambham, Ahlan wa sahlan and a bonus!

  1. What a lovely post 🙂
    I love the Arabic greeting… I won’t try to pronounce it as I suspect it would come out all wrong… I’m hopeless at pronouncing words from other languages 🙂
    I am so looking forward to your posts each month and learning more from you… Hopefully we will see more of the baby quilt too :0)
    Hugs xx


    1. Thank you Noni for your very kind words 🙂

      I’m struggle with pronunciations too. It helps to break down the words into syllables i.e. Ah-Lan Wa Sah-Lan:
      Ah – as in Ahmed with emphasis on the H sound
      Lan – as in Lend
      Wa – as in Wow
      Sah – S + Ah as in Ahmed
      Lan – as in Lend

      Now string it all together and you’ve learnt your first Arabic phrase! 🙂

      Lol… oddly enough these are the easier letters to pronounce. Maybe I will introduce the ‘Kh’ sounds in a future post. That should be a riot! 😉


  2. This is what happens when two people have similar tastes. Girl, Aarambh was the word I was going to write about. Now I’m scratching my head for a new word 😉
    Great post. The Arabic greeting is new for me .


  3. oh this is a super duper post! thank you!
    I LOVED reading your entries, they’re all very interesting, and how beautiful is that Arabic greeting! I’m trying to memorise them (and say them as correctly as possible.. 😉), I’ll add them to my notebook so that I can refresh my memory from time to time. ❤️ grazie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You could still join. Like Chiara said the stitchy part, while much appreciated, is not entirely necessary. Just find a sneaky way to tie your posts to the alphabet 😉 And the TAC is very forgiving with deadlines too 🙂


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