Tariq – My first Mandarin-proficient Arab friend…

Tariq As-Sabbah (طارق الصباح) is my close friend and brother of Palestinian origin. He finished his Master’s Degree in IT from USM in 2005. I met his parents in September last year when they came to Malaysia for a week vacation.
Tariq, who is now proficient in spoken and written Chinese (Mandarin), will be leaving Malaysia today to pursue his business dream in China.
Tariq picked up his Chinese language skills when he came back to Malaysia somewhere middle last year. I never thought he’s that serious, but he was. What impressed me was he’s a native Arab speaker, and I couldn’t find any connection between Arabic and Mandarin, as far as these two languages are concern. I myself am not able to speak Mandarin or other Chinese dialects, even though I have Chinese blood in me and live in surrounding Chinese community.
Tariq, thanks for driving my Kancil back to Taiping. Driving in heavy rain with dysfunctional aircond probably one of your worse experiences, but you passed the test. So i do believe you will sail through the upcoming challenges. InshaAllah.
You know Tariq, I’m really proud of you. What I can see is that you have a clear vision and optimistic. I pray for your success. Do keep in touch…

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