The Arabic Language is Now Classed as ‘a Critical Need’!

The Arabic Language is Now Classed as ‘a Critical Need’!

The Arabic language is now classed as ‘a critical need’!

The U.S. government is urging students to incorporate learning Arabic into their study program as a strategic move towards the future. Learning any new language is always beneficial however as the greatest developed country in the world and tragedies like 9/11 the U.S has placed learning the Arabic language to be top of the list.

There is a huge need for people with Arabic skills in all sectors including translators, interpreters, foreign organizations and companies that have merged with Middle Eastern corporations and business’s. Since 9/11 the number of positions within national security, NGO’s and US agencies rose dramatically and still is. The Arabic language is one of the six official languages spoken within the United Nations organizations alongside Mandarin Chinese, French, English, Spanish and Russian and is also in the top five languages spoken throughout the world today.

Another important fact to consider is that all these five languages are extremely important in the world of international trade, business and diplomacy. This proves how significant it is to learn Arabic especially where the correct dialect is required to maintain conducive prosperity and continue regard for the environment and world peace. Even though English is still the most influential language spoken in the International Arena, learning Arabic can only improve foreign affairs and relationships. By understanding the Arabic language you will also gain insight into Middle Eastern business ethics, life principles, culture and policies, which can only help towards building respectful associations.

At The Arabic Language Academy we have successfully taught students, employees, adults and children from all walks of life who were required to learn Arabic. We only have qualified native teachers who are totally committed to their students and their requirements. We also have associations with many universities in the U.S. and our founder Ms Somia Schell (language and culture educator) has recently been awarded a scholarship at Harvard University in the Middle Eastern Studies Department, on a program to promote the critical understanding of the diversity of the Middle East region for educators and the general public through professional development programs, online resources and public events.

! كل تفاعل يحمل فرصة

(Every interaction holds an opportunity!)

The Stars Come Out For The Dubai International Film Festival!

The Stars Come Out For The Dubai International Film Festival!

The Dubai International film festival opened with the latest Mission Impossible movie ‘Ghost Protocol’ on the 7th of December accompanied by its director Brad Bird and stars, Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg and Paula Patton. Parts of this latest MI film were shot in Dubai, and Dubai also helped finance the film which cost $140 million dollars, so it seemed apt to premiere in this Emirate City.

Brad Bird, Tom Cruise, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg!

This 4th MI movie is based around the Kremlin, where the team are instructed to retrieve documents from inside that contain nuclear codes that could start a world war. The film promises lots of high-end action with a thrilling sandstorm scene that shows Cruise climbing up the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.

The film festival this year featured 171 films including 78 Middle Eastern premieres, 25 International premieres and 48 world premieres from 56 nations. Competing this year for the Muhr Awards and the $600,000 prize money are 89 of these films. The film headlining the world section this year was the long awaited comedy ‘The Descendents’ starring George Clooney and produced by Alexander Payne.

Most Arab countries were featured in this years Middle Eastern section with the Lebanon representing the lion’s share which involved various narrative documentaries and feature films. Among the premieres were Daniel Joseph’s debut feature ‘Taxi Ballad’, Danielle Arbid’s drama ‘Beirut Hotel’ and  a war drama called ‘Tannoura Maxi’ (Heels of War) by Youcef Joe Bou Eid’s.

Palestine made a comeback after being absent for a year with quite a few, but the most talked about were Arab Language films, ‘Qays and Layla’  a fiction movie based in Gaza, the first in more than 15 years, and a modern twist to a traditional Arab fable ‘Habibi’ by Susan Youssef.

Two films were shown about the Arab Spring, ‘No More Fear’ about the Jasmine revolution by Mourad Ben Cheikh, and ‘The Sun’s Incubator’ by Ammar Al-Beik about the Syrian uprising.

A host of stars from around the world will be gracing Dubai’s red carpet in the next few days. Owen Wilson will be awarded Variety’s International Star of the Year, German film director Werner Herzog will be given the Lifetime Achievement prize alongside A. R. Rahman, Indian composer of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and huge Egyptian acting star Gamil Rateb.

Peter Wier (Oscar nominee) the Australian film director will authorize the Muhr Arab jury who include, Egyptian actor Amr Waked,  and German Film producer Emily Atef.

Egyptian actress Lebleba with famous Egyptian actor Jamil Rateb!

Other famous guests included, Egyptian actress Lebleba with famous Egyptian actor Jamil Rateb, Danish model Helena Christensen, Indian stars Priyanka Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan, and Alexander Payne (The Descendants).

The festival this year ends on December the 14th 2011!

Traditional Recipes From Egypt – Chicken Kofte!

Traditional Recipes From Egypt – Chicken Kofte!

If you are studying the Arab language or planning to visit then why not get in the mood and learn to cook some of Egypt’s gorgeous, mouth watering cuisine.

Chicken Kofte is a popular dish, and is so easy to make.


Boiled chicken or left over chicken

2 dessert spoons of fresh finely chopped parsley

A cup of thick white sauce or mashed potatoes

1 chopped onion

salt and pepper

a dessert spoon of  breadcrumbs (this is optional)

For the frying you will need 2 eggs, breadcrumbs and sun flower oil

For texture 2 beaten eggs ready for frying.

Step 1:

Place the ingredients into a bowl and shape into a dough ball with your hands, then begin making smaller balls and press them into your hands like burger size then put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes

Step 2;

For frying, beat the 2 eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper

Then place the Kofte Balls in the eggs until completely covered on all sides, then cover in breadcrumbs.

Then fry the Kofte in sunflower oil on each side until golden brown (about 5 mins)

For the white sauce:

2 cups of milk

4 dessert spoons of butter

2 dessert spoons of flour

Step 3:

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and blend in well with the butter, add the milk and simmer on a low heat and keep stirring to eliminate any lumps. Boil it for 10 minutes then it is ready, if you prefer you can place in a food processor for extra smoothness.

Pour the sauce in a bowl and pour on a plate and place the Kofte around it with sprinklings of fresh parsley, and serve with fresh salad.  For a more spicy version add a pinch of coriander and chili to the Kofte mixture. Many Middle Eastern countries also use minted natural yogurt as an alternative to the white sauce.


The Arabic Language and Business!

The Arabic Language and Business!

The imp0rtance of the Arabic language in the international business arena has evolved over the last century, and is now 5th on the list of widely spoken languages in the world. Many new phrases and words have been incorporated to keep up with the ever changing business world and technological terminology. Also, influenced by western media, the Arab world has adapted to journalistic writing methods especially for broadcasting and advertising purposes.

Learning Arabic opens up a whole new world of international business opportunities: professionally, culturally, socially, and economically. We live in a world today that relies on others to give us certain services, supply us with their goods, find solutions to political and national problems,  and manage international security. The importance of understanding each other in the world today is more important than ever.

The Arab nations and Middle Eastern markets are booming in various sectors of business and industry, and some are turning into very influential world wide economies. Some of those sectors are real estate, banking, International Compliance Training, tourism, gas and oil. It is essential to understand and speak Arabic if you do business or are employed in any of these sectors.

The Arab world comprises of 22 states and territories formerly known as the Arab League!

There is a very high demand for westerners who speak Arabic, but unfortunately a low supply. There are so many opportunities in various industries to have a career at an international level. Some of those opportunities lie in education, foreign services, Journalism, finance, security and various units of the UN. As the population of Arabs living in Western countries is rising the U.S. government is encouraging people to learn the language for career enhancement and financial rewards.

By promoting intercultural understanding and building solid relationships with Arabic people we could help towards avoiding any future conflicts and instead help each others economies.

By learning the Arabic language you will gain a deeper understanding of there lifestyle, enjoy traveling more in these countries, while helping to increase trade and industry.

The Arab states have a lot to offer in terms of lifestyle and culture also. They are rich in music, art, literature, cuisine, and offer a unique way of living.







Luxor’s Winter Palace Hotel 1907!

Luxor’s Winter Palace Hotel 1907!

If you are in the process of learning the Arabic language and wish to travel to Egypt to gain experience of its culture, its people and everyday life then a visit to Luxor is a must! Luxor is steeped in ancient history and has been described as a huge open air museum.

One of the attractions of the Winter Palace Hotel is its rather unusual gift shop that was set up by a Mr Gaddis in 1902. He hung a sign up in the shop that says ‘You are requested to feel at home here. The staff will serve you cheerfully but it is strictly forbidden to importune you to buy’

The shop originally offered photo developing for guests along with trinkets, books, historical gifts and traveling items. Although the sign is a little amusing, it does actually say a lot about the hotel and its spirit. The staff are extremely charming and all guests are requested to explore the hotel grounds and empty rooms of over one hundred years old.

The Winter Palace was built back in 1886 and looks across the Nile at the Valley of the Kings and the Theban necropolis. The hotel is also very close to Luxor’s famous temple. The French company Sofitel manage the hotel with a delightful infusion of Egyptian hospitality, heritage and French savoir faire resulting in a charming place to stay.

The Winter Palace is a magical travel experience in itself, with the bellboys in their colorful embroidered jackets and red fezzes, the stunning grand staircase that takes your breath away, and an interior that takes you back to the 19th century. The concierge staff are friendly yet sincere, and the ambiance is full of refinement.

Many famous guests and Royalty have stayed in the Winter Palace such as Agatha Christie, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, and King Farouk used the hotel as his residence when visiting Luxor. On the steps of this hotel Patron Lord Carnarvon along with Howard Crater officially announced the findings of the tomb of King Tutankhamun

Recently the hotel underwent a refurbishment project which will soon be completed. The hotel offers 92 rooms and seven suites that are all very generous in size in comparison to others in Egypt. Many have grand windows with lovely views of the hotel’s  tropical gardens which are are vast and full of exotic plants and flowers.


Egyptian Team Gains an Award for Hepatitis C Detection!

Egyptian Team Gains an Award for Hepatitis C Detection!

An Egyptian scientific team received an award of $10,000 for their innovation in detecting Hepatitis C. at the yearly Intel Global Challenge. The entrepreneurs named NanoDiagX developed a test of the virus by using gold nanoparticles that can detect the disease in less than an hour saving a huge tenth of the usual costs.

Dr. Hassan M.E. Azzazy is the coordinator of the team which includes Sherif Mohamed Shawky, Ahmed H. Tolba, Tamer M. Samir and Mai M.H. Mansour. This is the seventh Technology Business Plan Competition for the Arab states that is organized by partners of Intel Corporation, the Arab Science Technology Foundation, and also in collaboration with UNIDO, United Nations for Industrial Development.

Over 200 million people all over the world are infected by the virus, so it is a great honor for the team to achieve this and be recognized.

It is critical to determine the virus as early as possible to reduce transmissions, and at the moment there are two tests required. NonoDiagX has future plans to use this amazing new technology to help towards tuberculosis and some bio markers of cancer.

The president of the Intel Foundation stated that through these programs she is amazed at how these dedicated entrepreneurs will make such a positive impact into communities, the economy and individuals.

The Intel Global Challenge was developed to encourage students to take part with their innovative ideas, and receive the rewards to continue in there research and development that will effect the society.

This year 22 countries took part including Yemen, Russia, Turkey,Poland, Portugal, Israel, Denmark, Lebanon, Jordan, China and of course Egypt. China came first with an image sharing service, that can transform photo’s into products or art. Russia came second with an innovative inexpensive DNA testing system that can identify thousands of infectious diseases, genetic problems and conditions that are hereditary thanks to its portable ability.

The entrepreneurs were asked to present their ideas in various fields of disaster management, health care, energy conservation and technology. Some of the plans included advanced detection and protection of fire, a packaging system that contained coconut and ultraviolet radiation detection. This a brilliant way to try and solve some of our worlds challenges.

The total in cash awards from The Intel Foundation was $100,000!



Marwah AlMujait Celebrates Gulf Female Dress!

Marwah AlMujait Celebrates Gulf Female Dress!

Renowned for her love of light and black and white photographs of street life and live portraits,  Marwah who grew up in Saudi Arabia has extended her gift to both the inside and outside. Her most recent shoot ‘Avant Garde Arabia’ captures the original costumes of Gulf female dress in traditional and contemporary style which made headlines in various media publications in her own kingdom and elsewhere.

Marwah was originally born in Alzhobar but mostly grew up in Ridah. She was inspired by the artistic side of natural street life and first started shooting black and white photo’s 11 years ago when she took a sudden interest in innocent everyday people. She attended the King Saudi University where she studied a degree in business, but then went on to London to study her Masters Degree in photo journalism because of their particular practice and theory combination. This also included the understanding of photo journalism on a contemporary level to add to her skills. She told Arab News “To me traveling is a source of knowledge that gave me a strong base in my career as a photographer. Buildings, colors and languages have been a major inspiration to me. I fully believe the more I share the more I gain.

Her greatest moment was last month when she was invited to cover the London Film Festival Premieres. Her focus was mainly on the crowd of fans waiting for a glimpse of their favorite stars, capturing the anticipation in their faces and the delight when they arrive. Thanks to the encouragement of her parents who gave her the freedom to explore with them their passion for travel and the arts, the Arab world has a new shining star.

Egyptian Theater Show Travels to London

Egyptian Theater Show Travels to London

The Arabian Dance Theater Company has a new show called ‘Under the Sun’ and debuted it at the Jacksons Lane Art Center in London last month. The show is about a real Bedouin character who for goes her usual lifestyle to pursue her dreams of becoming a dancer in Cairo. The show includes a mix of contemporary culture and traditions in Egypt today.

The presentation was full of  displays of  different styles of Egyptian dance, contemporary dance moves, with beautiful costumes, lots of energy and spiritually elevating music from the typical Arabic culture.

The shows producer, Tara Oakley and the director, Shafee Ibrahim visited the South Sinai to study the Bedouin culture and their way of life. Each day they spent time with tribal leaders, families, medicine men, and attended traditional Bedouin weddings to learn and be inspired by their local dance forms.

They also learned about how the changes in today’s modern life has brought different elements to their usual lifestyle, and traditional culture. The show was inspired by a particular Bedouin girl aged 18, called Aisha with whom they stayed with. She was so ambitious about becoming a dancer even if it meant she would be excluded from her family and frowned upon amongst her tribe.

Each day she became more adamant about her dream and continued to ask people about their opinions on her plans to fulfill it. Ibrahim said this was a particularly tough achievement for any Bedouin female.

Aisha is very proud to be a Bedouin but has constantly contradicted her culture by working, studying, learning English, mixing with foreigners, using a handbag and even wearing trousers. Oakley and Ibriham were inspired by her strength and determination.

The story behind ‘Under The Sun is all about self discovery, achieving dreams, and going against a culture with sheer ambition.

The Arabian Dance Theater was formed to bring to attention the importance of Arabic music and dance. Since 2008 they have continually worked on representing modern and traditional Arab dance movements. The aim of the theater is to bring presence and awareness of Arabic culture through the arts.

Experiencing the Arabic culture through dance and music is a wonderful addition to your Arabic language study program.


Alexandria – The Pearl of The Mediterranean!

Alexandria – The Pearl of The Mediterranean!

It’s quite hard to believe that this wonderful city started out as a small fishing village. It was founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great and became the capital of the Greco-Roman Egypt. From the late 19th century it became one of the major international shipping ports and trading centers of the world because of its easy access by land between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and of course the very lucrative business of Egyptian cotton.

Alexandria today is Egypt’s largest sea port and popular tourist destination. The atmosphere is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern and offers the visitor a cultural rich past as well as a modern vibe.  Its beauty and culture has attracted many great writers and has also been the feature of many television travel programs.  It is a vibrant city with a variety of hotels, international restaurants as well as local cafes, and the night life is varied from clubs to live music.

If you want to just relax and soak up the sun there are plenty of options. Maamoura beach is the most popular place to sunbathe,  swim in the warm water of the Mediterranean or have a go at the water sports on offer.

The famous Montaza Complex is located at the Eastern edge of the city of Alexandria. The complex, which covers around 360 acre, looks over a gulf that used to be called Al Montaza Gulf.

The complex contains five beaches aptly named Cleopatra, Vanessa, Semiramis, Aida and the private beach of Helnan Palestine Hotel.

All sorts of sea activity can be done in Montaza. One can ride a sea boat and take a ride around the complex or you can go water skiing as well, diving, snorkeling, or even just chill out in front of the sea.

Also in the complex is the Montaza Palace buildings that were built by Abbas 11 of Egypt in 1892. One of the palace buildings called the Haramlek now houses a museum and a casino on the lower level, and the Salamlek is now a luxury hotel that also has a top class restaurant. The buildings themselves are unique pieces of architecture containing elements of both Islam and Europe.

Just wandering around Alexandria is a delight and if it’s more culture you want to see and historic sites then there are plenty.

The Attarine souk is a charming maze of small streets with hundreds of boutiques and antique shops with a buzzing ambiance, but if you prefer modern fashion as the local youngsters do then there are plenty of shopping malls to explore. Close to the souk you will also find the Attarine mosque.

The Corniche is a glorious 15km boardwalk along the harbour with an abundance of restaurants, market stalls and historic sights.

Alexandria is proud of its huge international library project costing millions of Dollars that will house over 8 million books in hard and electronic copies.

The famous Pharo’s Light House was built between 280 and 247 BC on island of Pharos. Its job was to guide the sailors through the harbour safely. It’s one of the highest structures in the world and is also one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the world.

If you love mixing culture, with rich heritage and some relaxation then Alexandria has so much to offer and more.

It is the perfect place to practice your Arabic language skills, and soak up the Arab culture while learning about her steep history.



Hike For A Cause – Hike for Cancer!

Hike For A Cause – Hike for Cancer!

On October 20th 135 people gathered at ‘Desert Rock’  in Jeddah, on the coast of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. An unusual place to start a hike in the sweltering afternoon heat, but they were ready to hike the mountains for cancer. In this instance the hike was to raise funds for pediatric cancer patients. The activity was organized by Jeddah’s Back Pack group initially formed by two ambitious young people.

The Back Pack group attempts to organize an event every month for a cause in need of funds in any activity where you can use a back pack, like running, hiking, climbing or cycling.

This hike was aimed at raising funds for two very ill children, an Iraqi 10 year old girl called Huda and Ahmed a 4 year old Palestinian boy. Huda has Neuroblastoma, cancer of the tissues, nerves and adrenal gland. She has already had several chemotherapy sessions but needs a further $42,000 to continue. Ahmed suffers from Leukemia and needs at least $70,000 for his treatment which will take 3 years.

The spirit among the hikers was incredible and some people had flown from other parts of the world to take part. Afterwards they all enjoyed a well deserved BBQ provided by Juicy Burger the main sponsor.

The next activity is still in the planning stages, but will hopefully take place in December and will be for, poor families in South Jeddah, kids scholarships in Palestine and impoverished widows. Many of the hikers are said to be keen to participate in the next activity.

The two young people who initiated the ‘Back Pack Group’ are Ammer Mohammed and Dania Al-Masri, who’s aim is to conquer causes by attracting people from all over the world to join them in their quests!

For students learning the Arabic language these activities would be the ideal opportunity to immerse yourself with Arabic people, while helping towards the causes.