The Clock’s Last Chime

Today is the last day of BBC Arabic Radio. This is quite sad for me. The chimes of Big Ben that they play at the top of each hour remind me of hearing the news in the background as a child, at the old house of my grandparents, sitting by the black transistor radio of my grandmother. The sound takes me back to a simpler time, a perpetual constant in a world of constant change.

Perhaps this is a sign of the times, although I wish there was a way for the old ways to continue. In recent years, I have come to rely on it to strengthen my Arabic. My English and Math skills remain sharp because of the nature of my job, but my Arabic needs regular “maintenance” to remain where I need it to be.

I hence keep it on in the background when I drop my kids to school, to allow me to strengthen my Arabic skills, and to perhaps rub off on my kids as well, dare they lose completely the Arabic roots that I, through circumstance, have eroded. The chimes will stop for good tonight, and with them the nostalgia that has taken me back in time daily, if ever so briefly, to a world that was.

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