I’m driving Chloe back from school; she is in her car-seat behind me.

We are listening to Disney’s “Under the sea” while singing along when my phone rings and interrupts the song. I take the call in Arabic and it lasts less than 2 minutes, then the music resumes…

Chloe: Mommy, why were you speaking in عربي / Arabic?

Me: Because I am Egyptian, and in Egypt we speak Arabic. That was a friend of mine from Egypt on the phone.

Chloe: Yes, but we live in Dubai, and in Dubai people speak in English.


I was out of words. She outsmarted me and she was right, people in Dubai speak mostly in English. That’s a fact.

I’m sure there are many parents struggling to teach their kids other languages, and it doesn’t help that those kids can’t practice unless they’re around us.

Chloe understands me when I speak in Arabic but we can’t really have a proper conversation yet. I’m not giving up, even when it frustrates her that I insist on speaking in Arabic at home, and I hope it pays off soon.

To all the parents who relate, I’m sure you’re doing a great job and I hope our kids grow up to speak several languages fluently.

Good luck to us all 🙂

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Eiten Zeerban

Eiten Zeerban is an Egyptian Journalist with a serious passion for traveling and ice cream. In 2015 she began documenting her conversations with her daughter Chloe, she then started sharing them online under #ConversationsWithChloe.

Eiten is currently working on her debut children’s book – that is between answering Chloe’s curious questions of course.

More on Instagram @conversationswithchloe