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A frustrated right-hander free at last! *

Arabic written from left-to-right with the right hand

Ghada is from Lebanon and is right-handed. Her native language is Arabic, which is written from right-to-left. Like most of her fellow countrymen and women, she is a frustrated right-hander when it comes to writing from right-to-left.

When she was a child, Ghada studied French, a source of satisfaction for the left hemisphere of her brain and a chance to use the left-to-right dominant opening direction corresponding to the right hand and eye, in phase with normal brain functioning for right-handers. Ghada eventually moved to France to complete her studies.

As part of the Vittoz method training program, I offer a day-long course in Paris designed to sensitize participants to laterapedagogy. One evening, after teaching my course, I received Ghada’s testimonial by email:

“The connection between my left hand and my right-brain plugs directly into an emotional space. I also associate it with my migraines, a source of a lot of suffering – physically in my right brain, and also psychologically speaking. The flexibility it provides in terms of my right-brain functioning is already incredible.”

Three months later, Ghada gives me the following update on her progress:

“I wanted to tell you how delighted I am by my new discovery: I’m absolutely fine – it’s just because of where I come from that I’m a frustrated right-hander! Through doing the “two opening directions” exercise, I discovered a special and personal aspect that I identified with. This is why it’s easier for me to write in French, not just because I’ve b been a good writer in French for a long time, but because now I realize that it is written in my dominant opening direction.

Now I’ll tell you about experience writing in Arabic with my right hand from left-to-right on tracing paper. First of all, it provides a very pleasant opening feeling. I didn’t feel at all empty or lost. Writing was easy, light and comfortable. When I turned the tracing paper over, I was stunned! The result was flowing, clear and immediately legible writing – really amazing, and this was even the case when I hadn’t written in Arabic in ages! It’s clear that one needs a little time to get used to it – it’s important to slow down the pace of writing at the beginning so that spontaneity can emerge. It’s a way for me to be able to enjoy the sensation and that helps restore a sense of order in myself. I’ll definitely be sure to do it again. What a wonderful thing to discover!

Finally, Ghada concludes:

“Now, both sides are OK for me:

The left hemisphere of my brain controls movement, especially of my hand, and activates my right brain, which is my identity, roots, pleasure, my bright and creative side where there is desire, passion and emotion. In sum, it’s the place where my ‘most desired actions’ come from, deep inside myself.

When I move my right hand, the right hemisphere of my brain activates my left brain, which represents my will, which triggers my decision-making capabilities, and though they are sincere, they do not involve as much emotion. This is the side that generates my ‘intentional actions’, providing the ‘I’ in ‘what I want’, ‘what I choose’, and ‘what I decide and do’.

Hats off to both you, and to my own abilities! I’m becoming increasingly autonomous in terms of dealing with my migraines, which are more and more manageable.”

This testimonial also appears in the book : "Gauchers en difficulté, la latérapédagogie, une richesse inexploitée" (Editions Pierre Téqui) by Joëlle Morice Mugnier

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