Q is for Qasab

I decided to post this sugar cane photo under it’s Arabic name, but that wasn’t as easy as I’d thought! Sugar cane in Arabic is قصب السكر , literally “cane of sugar”. The Arabic letter /ق/ is usually transliterated as /q/ in English…but that does not help with pronunciation, does it? In Egyptian Arabic, the /ق/ is pronounced as a glottal stop, so sugar cane would sound something like /‘asab/. In Sinai Bedouin Arabic, the /ق/ is pronounced more like /g/, so sugar cane is /gasab/.

Maybe I should I simply have categorized this under S is for Sugar Cane!

Whatever you call it, my young Bedouin neighbors and I enjoyed munching on several stalks the other day. We bought them from a vendor who was selling them from his truck, in other words – not something we get on a regular basis so it was a treat! I believe we paid LE 1 per stalk.

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