A Journey Through My Neighborhood: Discovering the Local Dekken and More

In this video, I take you on a sunny adventure back to my neighborhood, revisiting some of my favorite local shops, or as we call them, ‘dekken.’ I’ll be showing you around, introducing you to the owners, and even making a few purchases along the way. From buying eggs at the first dekken and exploring the variety of goods they offer, to searching for Bulgarian cheese at the second dekken, it’s a journey filled with local charm and everyday interactions. I’ll also share some Arabic vocabulary related to shopping, helping you get a feel of the language in a real-life context. Join me as I navigate through these familiar streets, share stories from my childhood, and enjoy the simple pleasures of neighborhood life.


Hiba: Hello guys.

(Aside to viewers): So today it’s sunny, and I told you that I will re-visit my neighborhood to show you around. I’m going to visit the dekken, and the second dekken, and the one where we buy vegetables, and it’s called Khadarjeh.

Hiba: -Hi
Person: -Goodbye, mn shoufkoun ba3den

(Aside to viewers): Ok, so let’s visit the dekken. From the first dekken, I’m going to buy eggs. Eggs mean bayd. And by the way, I’m sure that you have a lot of dekken, and the plural of dekken is dkekeen, but I’m showing you the Lebanese version of dekken. So let’s go.

(Narrating): Since I was a little kid, like her, I used to come to this dekken.
Hiba: -Hi
Tante Najat: -Ahla ahla
Hiba: -I introduce you to Tante Najat. Tante Najat is the owner of the dekken. Kifik?
Tante Najat: -Mni7a

(Aside to viewers): So in the dekken, you see the chocolates, the biscuits, the berrad. Berrad means fridge. So today I’m going to buy eggs.

(Back to conversation):
Hiba: -Fineh ekhoud mn 3endik bayd. Kif betbi3eh l bayd?
Tante Najat: -Bl alf. 4. 4 bayd bl alf
Hiba: -Alfein
Tante Najat: -B alfein, tekrameh

(Aside to viewers): For two thousand liras, you get 8 eggs. That’s how she sells them. 4 eggs per 1000 liras.

(Back to conversation):
Hiba: -I bought 8 eggs for two thousand liras. Merci
Tante Najat: -Ahla w sahla
Hiba: -Bye bye
Tante Najat: -Bye bye. Shtero ba3ed shi
Hiba: -Shou badna neshtereh?
Tante Najat: -Nshallah badkoun traj3ouwoun hala2?
Hiba: -La2 ma badna nrajje3oun, badna yehoun
Tante Najat: -Bas tekhlaso toswir badkoun traj3ouwoun?
Hiba: -La2 badna yehoun
Tante Najat: -Bye, merci
Hiba: -Ahla w sahla

(Aside to viewers): And now I need the cheese. I’m going to the second dekken because it has delicious Bulgarian cheese, and we call it jebneh belghareh. And bulghareh means the nationality, Bulgarian.

(Narrating): Oh, you can see the different version of Khedarjeh, the one who sells vegetables, and it’s in his car. So I’m waiting for her because she is buying vegetables maybe to resell them in her shop, I don’t know.

Vegetable Seller: -Arb3a, khamse… tleteh w sabe3miyeh w khamseen, arnabeet

(Aside to viewers): Ok, so I’m still waiting. So Jebneh means cheese. Cheese means jebneh. I’m coming here to buy Bulgarian cheese, or jebneh belghareh. It’s from Bulgaria the country.

(Back to conversation):
Hiba: -Bonjour
Second Dekken Owner: -Atayto?
Hiba: -Atayna?
Second Dekken Owner: -3am tsawrineh 3am beshtereh banadoura?
Hiba: -Baddeh mn 3endik jebneh belghareh
Second Dekken Owner: -Haydeh l soura shou? Mnshein shou?
Hiba: -Haydeh ta n3allim l neis 3an l dkekeen b lebnein
Second Dekken Owner: -3emleh mousalsal tekhmeen?
Hiba: -Hek shi?
Second Dekken Owner: -Ma nkoun badna notla3 ne7na bl mousalsal?
Hiba: -Eh baddik totla3eh!
Second Dekken Owner: -3anjadd?
Hiba: -Ma baddik? Hala2 bfarjikeh yeh ba3dein lamma yokhlas. Bfarjikeh yeh bas yokhlas
Second Dekken Owner: -Shou baddik? Jebneh? Walla…?
Hiba: -Belghareh. La walla baddeh jebneh! Haydeh Feta ma hek?
Second Dekken Owner: -Eh
Hiba: -Ma 3endik belghareh?
Second Dekken Owner: -Mbala, bas 3titik feta
Hiba: -Bas ana baddeh belghareh
Second Dekken Owner: -Fi hayda belghareh
Hiba: -Eh ok
Second Dekken Owner: -Merci! Addeh?
Hiba: -Tekrameh! Hala2 mn zeeno
Second Dekken Owner: -Ah ok!
Hiba: -Sawwarteh 3end l arman?
Second Dekken Owner: -Hala2 ray7a? Lal khodra
Hiba: -Ma sawwarteh 3end tante Najat?
Second Dekken Owner: -Mbala sawwaret. Jebet bayd. Mn 3end kell 7ada 3am jib shi.
Hiba: -Telt-aleif
Second Dekken Owner: -Yalla. Alef, tnein, tleiteh. Merci!
Hiba: -Tekrameh!
Second Dekken Owner: -Baddik farjikeh l video ba3dein?
Hiba: -Ahla w sahla, metel ma baddik
Second Dekken Owner: -Tayyib yalla bye, merci
Hiba: -Bye, ma3 el salemeh

(Aside to viewers): Ok, and final step, the apples maybe. So here we come to the Armenian street, like I told you last time, or 7ayy l arman we say. 7ayy means neighborhood. And the place where I will buy the vegetables is from there.

(Narrating): Oh! Tante Louisa, this is my lovely lovely neighbor.

Hiba: -Tante Louisa! Kifik?
Tante Louisa: -Shou 3am tsawrineh?
Hiba: -Eh 3am sawrik, ma baddik? Kifik?
Tante Louisa: -3al?
Hiba: -Mni7a?
Tante Louisa: -Kifik ente?
Hiba: -This is Tante Louisa my best friend.
Tante Louisa: -Shou, 3am tekhdeh l ghrad?
Hiba: -Eh 3am sawwir video.
Tante Louisa: -Eh masheh yalla sawrineh 3am bekhoud khodra.
Hiba: -Eh yalla ta3eh. Kifik waynik?
Tante Louisa: -Baddik tna22eh khodra ba3dein?
Hiba: -Shou badde jib? Teffe7?
Tante Louisa: -Ente shou baddik tjibeh?
Hiba: -Ma ba3rif
Tante Louisa: -Hek ray7a ye3ne?
Hiba: -Kif hek?
Tante Louisa: -Hek, mesh 3arfeh shou baddik tjibeh?
Hiba: -Ah eh 7ayalla shi. Shou badde jib? Teffe7 barke.

(Aside to viewers): Ok, so apples are called teffe7.

(Back to conversation):
Hiba: -What do you want? Green or red?
Tante Louisa: -Green
Hiba: -Christelle my friend wants green apples.
Tante Louisa: -3al add?
Hiba: -Idik mizein
Tante Louisa: -Addeh?
Hiba: -Telt-aleif
Tante Louisa: -Tlet-aleif?
Hiba: -Tfaddaleh
Tante Louisa: -Merci
Hiba: -With those apples, I’m going to make an apple cake. Ok, so teffe7, bayd, and jebneh. And back home.

(Aside to viewers): So, my dear friends, if you want to say I went to my neighborhood and bought some stuff, you will say re7et 3al 7ayy w shtreet kam gharad, ok? 7ayy means neighborhood. I went: ana re7et, re7et. I bought: shtareit. A few things: kamm shaghleh. Yalla, the great thing is I still have money.

Oh, before I tell you bye, I will tell you that here, my old neighbor Mischa, my friend, used to live here, and I spent almost half, or more, of my childhood here in this home. Hi Mischa! I love when the buildings have those red abajour, the red windows. Window means shebbeik. I don’t like when they have those aluminum windows. Those are much better.

Bye, I arrived home. Bye-bye!

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1 thought on “A Journey Through My Neighborhood: Discovering the Local Dekken and More”

  1. Hello!
    I'm moving to Lebanon at the end of January for work. I came across your youtube video site and have been watching your videos. They're very helpful! I wondered if you also give one-on-one lessons. I'd be very interested. I have a foundational knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic, but none of Levantine Arabic…and watching the videos, I see it's very different!
    Thanks in advance!

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