Why the Arabic Language Matters!

Why the Arabic Language Matters!

 

My goal as an Arabic teacher is to help to prepare American students for the future, as getting by in Arabic is simply not enough. My distance learning methods are proven and enable my students to learn at their own pace and convenience. The world is changing rapidly and connections with the Middle East are becoming essential to the economy. So, it is imperative that students are introduced to the language from an early age.

 

10 Reasons to Learn Arabic:

 

1. Do you ever travel to Arabic countries?

Arabs feel very honoured when people try to speak their lingo, and find it extremely polite. They are that impressed that anyone making the effort will be treated as a very special guest. Learning the language will also help you understand the locals and their culture much better.

2. Do you have to contact Arab people because of your job?

Imagine how learning the language will help you establish good relationships and improve business.

3. Are you going to work in a cultural or diplomatic organization?

If this is the case then you have to really consider how learning Arabic will be essential to your role as more and more Arab countries are involved in world wide relations and affairs.

4.  Do you do business with in the Middle East?

Just look at the massive economic boom in Dubai and imagine how learning this language will improve career opportunities. You only have to look at the massive investments that have been put into the Middle East like tourism, communications, building and finance. It’s a fact that the economy has risen a whopping 120% from 2003 through to 2008.

My lessons will give you great learning opportunities at your convenience and also a look into the culture. Take a free trial lesson here!

 5.  Do you live in the Middle East?

It is impossible to live in a foreign country with out some understanding of the language. Not to mention how frustrating daily life would be. Immersion is the best way to learn any language and culture.

6. Is any area of your life related to Islam?

As we all know this language is the core of Islam and the language of the holy Quran.

The Arabic version of the Quran is the only one accepted in many parts of the world and the Middle East. It has been stated that you cannot translate the meanings.

This language can help to bring mixed religious communities together and a way for Non-Muslims to learn about Islam.

7. Are their any Arab people in your social circles or family?

This is a great opportunity to practice and also make learning more fun. Your relationships would reach a totally different level of understanding which can only be a good thing.

Arabs love socializing over a colorful array of their cuizine!

8. Are you simply interested in the Middle Eastern culture?

Getting to understand any culture is best done through language.

9. Do you wish to work in the Middle East?

As I have already mentioned it will make your life a lot easier if you learn at least the general every day aspects of the language. You will also be better accepted locally.

10. Do you just enjoy learning languages?

As much of a challenge it may be learning this language will give you a joyous experience, and one you can be proud of.

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Arabic Cuisine

Arabic Cuisine

The essential ingredient included in the Arabic cuisine is hospitality! If you have the opportunity to be invited to an Arabs home for lunch or dinner then you will be expected take the host a gift, usually flowers or chocolates are the norm. If you are hosting an Arabic dinner then you must learn to say ‘tasathalo’ meaning ‘do me the honor’ when you wish to invite them to be seated at the table. It may be a nice gesture to learn some basic phrases of the Arab language.

Formal meals special celebratory dinners usually consist of generous quantities of chicken, veal, or lamb with rice dishes, boiled vegetable in a tomato salsa seasoned with typical Arabic aromatic spices and herbs. Lots of salad dishes and a variety of smaller side dishes will also be served. Arabic cuisine can take a long time to prepare such as stuffed zucchini, green peppers, stuffed grape leaves and cabbage. Muslim Arabs do not eat pork and never touch alcohol, tea is the desired drink alongside sometimes coffee. However some Arabic countries like Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria do sell alcohol and pork as some of their populations include Christian Arabs who still enjoy these. The Arabic diet includes a variety of ingredients not normally used in the Western kitchen, like fava beans. dates, sesame seed oil, feta cheese, olives, and olive oils.
Spices are important ingredients in Arabic cuisine with the most common being, allspice, nutmeg, cardamon, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, saffron and sumac. The Arabic spice trade goes back centuries! Vegetables like cauliflower, okra, spinach, beans, zucchini and eggplant are the most popular either cooked or raw. Fresh peas and legumes, hummus, filo pastry, dried beans and lentils are also often included in Arabic cuisine.

The Mezzah are a variety of smaller dishes that compliment the main course, and usually include, vegetables, a variety of pulses, grains and salad.

In any Arab country many famous traditions and religious celebrations are celebrated with food. The Middle Eastern people use any excuse to use food for social interactions and also mark Muslim and Christian holidays with special food dishes.
Many of you will have seen the word ‘HALAL’ on signs above Middle Eastern style butchers, this means ‘allowed’ and ensures the animals have been slaughtered by a ritual, not dissimilar to ‘kosher meat. the Jewish tradition.

About the Quran

About the Quran

The Quran is one of the most famous religious literary compilations ever written. It contains revelations from the Prophet Muhammad who was believed to be visited by the Angel Gabriel with messages from God. On his death in 632 C.E the original Quranic texts were created into a book by order of the first government in Islam known as the Caliph. It is a way of life for Muslims and has laid down the laws, social codes, moral behavior and commandments for all. The Quran is made up of 114 chapters known as suras, filled with verses (ayat) all in the original language of Arabic.

To all Muslims the Quran is the guidance for all mankind and is known as the Word of God.  A lot of the text is about man’s relationship with God and authoritative instruction for all. These instructions are made up of arguments about accepting Muhammad as a Prophet, accounts from historical Prophets bad warnings for those who don’t believe and good warnings for those that do. Every Muslim is expected to read and learn verses from the Quran!

The five main topics in the Quran are The Commandments, laws, ancient accounts, wisdom, the spiritual world and the Prophecies.
Every single verse and chapter in the Quran has remained exactly the same as the original for over the last 1400 years. There are millions of copies in the world today and all are totally identical down to the last full stop. It is no surprise that God Himself wrote in the Quran saying that he would ensure this book stays safe by guarding it himself.

Some verses from the Holy Quran:

Verily, this Quran guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the
believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward. (Al-Israa’
17:9)

This [Quran] is enlightenment for mankind and guidance and mercy for a people who are
certain [in faith]. (Al-Jaathiyah 45:20)

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your
parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of
disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. (Al-Israa’ 17:23)

 

Arabic Language Coaching

Many students who choose to study the Arabic language struggle with their university course programs which is why we are offering our coaching services. Here at TALA we specialize in assisting students and supporting teachers during  university courses in the Arabic language. Our teachers are highly qualified in teaching the Arabic language alongside the U.S curriculum and meeting ACTFL requirements. We have helped hundreds of university students learn Arabic and successfully pass their university course.

Our speciality within the Arabic language curriculum offered in most of the universities around the U.S.A is: Al-Kitaab at all the levels alongside Middle Eastern culture.

Our aim is not to replace university Arabic language courses, instead we want to help teachers by enabling the students to progress more efficiently. By working together we promise students will gain higher achievements, making the teachers job much easier and more enjoyable. After just a few extra lessons from us students will be more confident in class.

Our teaching methods are designed to compliment the university course by improving the students weak areas. We understand how difficult it is to learn the Arabic language which is why we offer this coaching service. Our teachers are native professionals from some of the most prestigious universities, they are all bilingual in writing and speaking English offering their excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Our Arabic language coaching includes real conversational learning, live and interactive lessons, which is proven over and over to be the most effective and fun way to learn Arabic efficiently and quickly. Our students enjoy learning using Skype and a variety of other cost-effective internet solutions to interact one-on-one with out teachers.

We will design a schedule that fits around the lifestyle of the student, and even when things change we’ll adjust when necessary. Our charges are per hour for university programs as we are working alongside the U.S.A curriculum and not teaching a tailor made course.

Students are not just paying for lessons but investing in results!

The Charlotte Arabic Language and Culture Enthusiasts!

The Charlotte Arabic Language and Culture Enthusiasts!

As the founder of The Charlotte Arabic Language and Culture Enthusiasts and The Arabic Language Academy I enjoy meeting so many people who are interested in learning and educating themselves in the Arabic culture and learning the Arab language with a deeper mental involvement. I am an Egyptian American who has been teaching Arabic to all age groups for 10 years. I am  a native Arabic speaker who is certified to teach Arabic as a foreign language from the American University in Cairo and Boston university.  My main focus is on colloquial, conversational Arabic and I integrate reading, writing and current events into my lessons. The aim of this group is to learn Arabic in fun and interesting ways so you will look forward to every meeting.

At the Arabic Language Academy our Arabic tuition process involves a fully integrated approach that exposes you not only to reading and writing but also to the culture and music immediately. We feel that for our students to fully learn Arabic they should have full exposure to the language from the beginning in a friendly and understanding environment.

We aim to offer a creative approach to your tuition to ensure you enjoy it at the same time as becoming proficient. This is the reason I set up this meeting group as I wanted people to immerse themselves in the Arab culture. Many of our meetings are spent at the Middle Eastern market where I encourage group members to practice their Arabic conversation and reading while experiencing the colors, smells, and atmosphere of this bustling environment.

Our group consists of  multi-cultured members from a wide range of social, economic, religious, and political backgrounds. We welcome anyone into our group who is respectful and courteous and wants to learn the Arabic language and culture. By joining this group you’ll have all the support and guidance you need to really understand the Arabic culture and language. A core element of these meet ups is to give you more confidence and enjoyment in your learning process.

Life in Modern Egypt!

Life in Modern Egypt!

Life in modern Egypt today especially in the capital Cairo has a hectic atmosphere among the modern buildings, the subway, and the connecting highways and a great culture steeped in ancient history through its small narrow streets. If you loose yourself in Egypt’s capital and wander through the narrow streets you will see a contradiction of ancient buildings, ruins, street sellers, kids playing, western adverts and people dressed in western fashion. With car horns blasting away there will be odors of cattle, donkeys and camels very often seen on a main avenue passing through the city.

Cairo is enchanting, full of museums with ancient artefact’s, beautiful churches, magnificent monuments and of course the famous Pyramids on the edge of the city. The small cafes are cozy and ooze smells of delicious sweet pastries and fresh coffee over the gaggle of locals gossiping or debating. The nightlife is varied and the shopping ranges from modern fashion outlets to local bazaars.

The official religion in Egypt is Islam, however Christians and Jews are accepted but the national holidays all represent Islam, and the official language is Arabic. Life has changed in Egypt’s modern cities like Cairo as they become more  liberal thanks to music, art, television, a public transport system, theaters, cinema, sports and restaurants now selling American influenced cuisine. The economy after the uprising is stabilizing and there appears to be a positive outlook to the future of Egypt. Education is important to Egyptians and is still free with choices of private or public universities, and many opportunities for foreigners to learn Arabic.

Outside Cairo the villagers and farmers known as the fellahin live similarly to their ancient ancestors. Some live by the Nile which still resembles the past with its mud brick houses, tents, farmers at work using ancient tools, and the small plots of land housing livestock. The men are seen wearing the same galabiyah robes from ancient Egypt and the women in their veils and gold and silver jewelery from the dowry of their husbands. The electricity towers and roads are the only things to remind us of modern living.

Egyptians are renowned for being welcoming and friendly and as long as you respect their customs and behave accordingly you will remember their hospitality for ever. Tourism has become a main source of the economy in Egypt and the natives want you to have the desire to return. Your appreciation, and knowledge of their country will be highly rewarded so prepare yourself beforehand by learning some phrases of the Arabic language and their lifestyle and customs. This way you will get the most out of your stay in this unique country while gaining some education.

Dubai, the Leading City of the UAE!

Dubai, the Leading City of the UAE!

Dubai is the major leading city in the UAE because of what it offers in location, business opportunities, lifestyle, tourism and the fact it has adapted to a cosmopolitan culture. There are two areas to Dubai, the more traditional area of  Bur Dubai in the south and the more bustling area of Deira in the north.

The major dynamic area of Dubai is the Hults Campus that is home to 94% of the 150 different nationalities that reside and work here. There is a diverse student population here as well as the hub of some international organizations, and corporate business’s.

Foreign nationals from America, the UK and India have flocked here over the last decade for career benefits and to enjoy the life style. These people have made a difference to the religious side of things by bringing Christianity, Hinduism and more diverse religions outside Islam.

The real natives of Dubai are still very traditional and respect their culture despite what is going on around them. The wonderful thing about Dubai is its hospitality however the locals still celebrate their customs and ceremonial occasions out of high respect.

This amazing city is the core of trade and business thanks to its massive success in securing deals with emerging markets and expansion in many corporate areas.  Most of those that contribute to this bustling business community are of MBA age and extremely ambitious. The Business area and shopping mall are the largest in the world and continues to grow, and the airport is one of the busiest and a leader in aerospace division.

There is a variety of international and local cuisine on offer with Chinese being one of the most popular even though the natives are opposed to it. To buy alcohol you still need a permit but in all the many hotels it is served as normal to westerners. The music scene is great out here with stars like Elton John and Kylie holding concerts and each year there is a huge event called Dessert Rocks that invites international rock stars to perform.

Sport is a really popular activity in Dubai especially cricket, football, tennis, golf and the most famous horse race in the world is held here aptly named the Dubai Cup. Tourism is booming in this city and there are many well know stars buying holiday homes or holidaying.

The best way to experience Dubai is to learn some of the Arabic language and mix with the natives who will not only show you respect but will give you an insight into their real lifestyle. So put the International lifestyle aside and get under their skin and experience its heritage and culture as it truly is even though whatever nationality you are you will be made welcome.

Houston Extends Valuable Links With Arab Culture!

Houston Extends Valuable Links With Arab Culture!

Arab culture is coming to Houston. Over the last few decades Houston, Texas has become renowned for its success in technological sectors like medicine, energy and space. Houston as now to become a culture capital stemmed from its flourishing multi-cultural communities, variety of top restaurants, and diverse museums.

Back in 1901 a discovery of oil was found in Texas that brought prosperity to the city of Houston and by 1950 the oil industry was foremost in the US, and Texaco was born. The oil rich Arab states of Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi heavily depended on Texaco to help them explore and develop their own rich oil fields.

This has developed a great relationship between the Arab states and the US over the years which has gradually deepened. The petroleum company Saudi Aramco has their HQ in Houston and sends around 50 of their workers over to Texas A&M University each year to earn degrees in petroleum engineering and other relative studies.

The university also offers Arabic programs in Islamic culture and learning the Arabic language, and the University of Texas at Austin has a stimulating study program of the Middle East with over 300 different programs. Great partnerships have developed between Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Texas A&M as with many other Arab and American educational institutions.

The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is one of the top ten most renowned art museums in the US today. More than one million visitors per year enjoy the range of 63,000 contemporary and ancient art pieces and collections  brought together from six different continents.

Back in 2007 the museum brought together a permanent educational and interesting Islamic exhibit from the Far East,  Africa and Iberia and called it ‘Arts of the Islamic World’. Presently the museum has a unique collection from 40 world wide institutions called the ‘Gifts of Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts.’ that contains over 250 items that date from the eighth through to the 20th centuries.

The exhibit explores a look at Islamic gift giving that contains gifts that were offered as historic pieces or were manufactured as gifts. This unusual collection shows that giving a gift is a timeless tradition between humans and that some mark a place in history as the receiver and giver and promote feelings of expectation for the future.

 

The TCLP and Their Critical Language Program!

The TCLP and Their Critical Language Program!

The TCLP (Teachers of Critical Language Program) is a multi-cultural language learning program managed by the American councils for international education and funded by the ECA (Education and Cultural Affairs) of the US State Department. This important program aims to promote awareness and increase the amount of Americans studying and teaching Arabic and Mandarin Chinese, the top two languages on the critical list.

The main goals:

A. To promote the teaching of these critical foreign languages throughout schools and improve the education and futures of young American students. These languages will play a huge role in the world in future years so it is imperative to start learning as young as possible.

B. To educate the foreign language teachers about the United States lifestyle and culture while improving their language ability and introducing them to US teaching procedures. The Egyptian and Chinese teachers will be able to expand their knowledge to their students back home resulting in higher proficiency levels and greater understanding of cultures.

C. To gain education an insight into each others culture and increase understanding in communities through schools and international teachers. As more knowledge is learned understanding between cultures will increase through communication.

D. To offer US schools and other participants the opportunities to increase their prospects and develop new relationships while sharing language learning methods.

This program will create a huge positive impact to the education of American students, the teachers will improve their language and teaching proficiency levels and all will develop a greater understanding of each others society and customs.

Schools in the US will have the capacity to develop relationships with Arabic and Chinese schools that will ultimately create an appreciation of these major international cultures.

Learning Arabic or Mandarin Chinese not only improves education and understanding all round but will also open up a whole new world, personally, professionally, socially and economically.

 

The U.S and Egypt Perform a Delightful Musical Collaboration!

The U.S and Egypt Perform a Delightful Musical Collaboration!

Last Thursday the  US Embassy showed a special concert in the Dome of Al-Ghouri in Islamic Cairo. This wonderful event featured a collaboration between Nubian Drums and the U.S. blues/rock band The Bombie Trio. This unusual collaboration produced a repertoire of music that was received happily by the number of Americans and Egyptians in the audience who were seen clapping enthusiastically along to the unusual infusion of blues and drums.

The embassy’s cultural program produced this event in the pursuit of  encouraging diplomacy and awareness between Egyptian and American culture. The beautiful dome was packed full and the combination of the traditional drums along with the Bombies input produced a similar sound to shaabi music. The Bombies all participated enthusiastically, and tapped their feet and nodded their heads to the new beat.

The infusion of these two totally different music styles turned out to be a pleasant surprise as both bands enjoyed new ways to play each others music.  When the Bombies covered a track by Stevie Wonder the drummers quickly got into the groove, tapping away at their traditional Nubian drums and added  a powerful mix to the Nubian drums in return. As the Nubian drummers played a chugging beat of Marvin Gaye’s while the Bombies sang ‘How sweet is to be loved by you’ political issues were forgotten proving goodwill can over rule such things.

This unusual twist in bringing these two different cultures together was a delightful musical adventure. The Bombies proved to be the perfect ambassadors for the US embassy as Americans love this style of music, and so now do Egyptians. Lets hope relationships between these two cultures can become strong on a political and business level in the future. John Kerry the American Senator was in Egypt to meet with the Muslim Brotherhood SCAF

Last week, American Senator John Kerry visited Egypt to meet with SCAF and the Muslim Brotherhood to discuss the sensitive issues of diplomacy which are still a sensitive issue in the minds of some Americans. However things seem positive for the future!

 

 

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