Bringing Arabic to U.S. / Canadian / U.K.  High Schools.


Growing Number of Organizations Seek to Introduce Arabic Curriculum.


By:  Akhtar H. Emon


Arabic Language Institute Foundation (ALIF)

Rancho Palos Verdes,  California, 90275-4601,  USA.





We must  make Arabic as prevalent in the United States as Spanish. Or at least as commonplace as French, and  German.  Therefore,  the Arabic Language Institute Foundation (ALIF),  a  Los Angeles-based organization is committed to introducing the teaching of the Arabic language into public high schools.


The necessity for a greater number of Arabic speakers is obvious, given the amount of trade the United States, Canada, and U.K do with countries in the Middle East and that region’s growing economic importance in world trade.   Many big companies have business over there, and all this requires knowledge of Arabic.


While many Arab nations have gone to great lengths to introduce English in their countries, the United States is still behind in following suit with Arabic. However, there are a growing number of colleges and universities that have included Arabic as part of their curriculum, including e.g,  UCLA, California State University, U.C. Berkeley and the University of California at Santa Barbara on the West Coast. There are also a few high schools that teach Arabic, but they are only in regions that have high concentrations of Arab-Americans such as Michigan and California. The main goal of ALIF is to have Arabic offered in high schools in the same manner that Spanish, German and French languages are normal parts of the high school curriculum.


While we clearly acknowledge  the importance of teaching Spanish, we must question why Arabic courses aren’t at least as prevalent as German and French, given the large number of countries where Arabic is the primary language. An estimated 1.2 billion people including  22 Arab countries revere Arabic, as opposed to roughly 100 million German speakers around the world.


The American educational system gives you an option of learning a language as a  high school requirement.  Students take two to four years of a foreign language in order to graduate.  We should take advantage of the system to include Arabic as part of that repertoire.




According to the United States census, there are about 10 million  people including Muslims (80%), interested in Arabic Language in the United States. Accordingly, the school systems should reflect that diversity in their curriculum.


As Arab nations gain more of a global presence, especially in non-oil related economic areas, knowing Arabic and understanding the Arab culture will be more valuable for American businesses seeking to tap that growing market.


In the Middle East a lot of jobs, especially in banks, require knowledge of Arabic.  Europeans are closer to the Middle East and have been ahead in terms of teaching Arabic.   While the U.S. has lagged in introducing Arabic and in recognizing its importance in future trade ties with the Middle East, European countries have not, partly a result of their proximity to the Middle East and also their shared history with the region resulting from Europe’s colonial past.


Europeans are more apt to learn new languages, since many European countries require their students to learn several languages. For example, schools in Switzerland teach German, English, French and Italian as part of normal curriculum.


Getting Arabic into American schools will be a more difficult task, but it could prove to be beneficial.   Knowledge of Arabic will promote investments here since there are a lot of revenues from oil.   The lack of knowledge has stagnated investments into this country.




The U.S. has also been slow to react because of the dominance of English in international finance. Additionally, bias against Arabs continues to permeate American media and other influential groups. But as the Internet in Arabic script becomes more prominent in Arab countries, the use of Arabic will be more necessary to do business in the Near East.


If you want to do business or work for a corporation that does business in Arab countries, then it is helpful.  Knowing another language puts you in a better position.  Beyond a potential economic benefit, a growing number of organizations are promoting Arabic education as a way to permeate Muslim traditions and Arab culture in second and third generation Arab-Americans.


"It is important to have our children identify with their culture”,  says Sakeena Mirza, the Research and Education Director for the Southern California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). “It will give them more self-confidence in their cultural heritage.”




At this point, ALIF is only a dream, but ALIF is steadily gaining support among a greater number of Arab-American organizations.  ALIF has already received support from Arabic and Muslim advocacy groups such as CAIR, the Arab American Business, Chambers of Commerce, and the Islamic Shura Councils of major cities.   ALIF has also received support from several public and private universities such as UCLA, USC, California State University at Fullerton, Universities of Wisconsin, and Michigan, as well as major Universities

in Canada  such as McGill, and various Universities in U.K.


To set up the ALIF program,  it is estimated to cost  between $3 to $4 million, depending on the project’s initial scope and reach.  The money will be used to secure a facility, develop educational software, buy textbooks and train Arabic-proficient people to teach the language. The software would be used on the Internet to make it easier for instructors to teach and give them additional resources to tap.


Once funding is in place, we hope to enlist thousands of Arabic-speaking “weekend” teachers to make the program active. There are about 3,000 Islamic centers in the U.S and another 1,000 in Canada that have people who teach Arabic in the centers on the weekends.  We are hoping to retrain this group to get them accredited and ready to teach in classrooms.  We can also draw upon the strength of 300 Islamic organizations in U.K.


ALIF is already working with several Southern California high schools to get the program installed, though no classes are yet being taught.  ALIF is encouraged by the initial interest in the program at some high schools, although a measurable demand by students will be necessary before the program can move forward.  While this may be easy to achieve in areas where there are large concentrations of Arab-Americans such as Los Angeles and Detroit, it will be more difficult in other parts of the country.


"To get this going, community support is needed,” says CAIR’s Sakeena Mirza. “Not by an outside organization but by the community and the students”.   It’s been a dilemma as we kick-off ALIF program.  It’s like the chicken and the egg. You need the class for students to sign up, but you need students to sign up in order to get the class.


To foster this support, ALIF has launched a recruitment drive in which a mosque will “adopt” a high school, funding and providing an Arabic teacher. The retraining will be done by local universities that are interested in growing their Islamic studies programs.


Most of the universities we contacted, including UCLA, Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, U of Michigan, UTA, USC and other schools, are excited about having students taught the Arabic language in high school.   Once we get going, the program will be self-sufficient, due to potential revenues that will be generated by ALIF’s production of teaching materials, online education programs and by software sales.





Already, there has been some success, although it has not been at the high school level.  In Southern California, Arabic is recently being taught at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and at Coastline Community College.  At high schools   the Arabic program does not have the proper resources to teach the classes at the moment.   We have excellent  instruction material available, but it is meant for colleges. 


ALIF proposal can be viewed at the web-site .  IslamiCity's Shakeel Syed is working with ALIF,  and  and negotiating to offer the Arabic teaching at all levels (Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced) via downloading lessons through the internet.  This approach will enable teaching of Arabic as a Distance Learning for students at High Schools, Colleges, and even individuals at home.  Electronic teaching will be used as a supplement to live Arabic teachers and professors, to mitigate the shortage of Arabic teachers.   The present cost is only $ 12  per month for all Arabic courses offered by .


Initially Arabic Distance Learning  services  will be offered free or at a minimum cost in working with .   The drinking of Coffee became popular  in U.S and Canada since it was offered for Free in the beginning when the Tea-drinking Europeans migrated here.   Spanish as second language is more popular today as many youngsters  e.g, can learn Spanish free from their Spanish nanny.    How about Arabic ?  You have to make Arabic much easier to learn by offering all sorts of options at a minimum or zero cost. 




Similarly, about 30 years ago soccer was hardly known or played at public schools in North America.  Today, soccer moms get to choose who will be the next U.S. President.   The big automakers are competing to design cars in order to please the soccer moms.  The AYSO organization deserves the credit.   ALIF has a similar role to play for popularity of Arabic language  like AYSO did the job for soccer in North America.  We can do it in 30 years.


Very Sincerely,


Akhtar H. Emon



Arabic Language Institute Foundation (ALIF),

Rancho Palos Verdes, California, 90275-4601, USA.


Note:  Arabic Language Institute Foundation (ALIF) is committed to promoting the

        teaching of Arabic as a second language in all Public High Schools, similar to

       the teaching of other languages such as Spanish, French, German, etc. being

        currently taught in the U.S, U.K, and Canada.  Please visit  Web-site: www.IslamiCity.Com/Education

For ALIF Proposal in PowerPoint:



------------       AYSO =  American Youth Soccer Organization.

                      ALIF   = Arabic Language Institute Foundation 


                                                         APPENDIX – A


                                  Introducing Partners in ALIF’s Objectives:



1.  Arab Academy - General Information



The Arab Academy, which is a privately owned non-religious institution, offers online Arabic language courses for all age groups (children and adults) and all language levels (beginners to advanced).  General Arabic courses as well as Arabic for Special purpose courses are available.  General Arabic courses include courses in Modern Standard Arabic & Colloquial Arabic.  Arabic for Special purpose courses include courses in Islamic Arabic (Quran, Sirah, Hadith & Stories of Prophets) as well as Business Arabic courses.  Business Arabic courses are under construction.


The Arab Academy serves individuals and institutions.  Individuals may subscribe to our courses and have the credit hours transferred to their schools or universities.  Institutions are welcome to use our courses and start offering online Arabic courses to their students. Schools and universities with ongoing Arabic language programs may subscribe to our library, which is a resource center with online interactive activities.


The different plans offered by the Arab Academy's school, university and library are found at:


The university's list of course offerings and fees is available from:


The school's list of course offerings and fees is available from:


The library's list of activities is available from:


Our course requirements are available from:


Our minimum system requirements are found at:


Our list of services is available from:


To get general information on the Arab Academy visit:



To guide you to the following page which is a message from the founder to Educators:

From that page, you will be able to download documents with detailed information on our programs.



For a list of FAQ go to:


Information about the Academy is found at:


Feedback of our students is found at:


Evaluation forms filled by our students is found at:
Professional Evaluations is found at:


Please take a trial visit from:


To get information on how to be affiliated with us go to:


Please contact Mrs. Sanaa Ghanem if  you  need further information:


Mrs. Sanaa Ghanem,


President, Edumagic

3, Alif El Nabataat Street

Garden City, Cairo, Egypt.
Cell: + 2 012 218 0305



Arab Academy - To Educators:

The following documents are for educators who are interested in the Arab Academy's interactive curriculum and are wondering how and in what ways to incorporate them into their programs:


I: Courses for adults:

1. Proposal:
2. Curriculum of Standard Arabic Courses:
3. Curriculum of Islamic Arabic Courses:
4. User's Guide:


II: Courses for children:

1. Proposal:
2. Curriculum:
3. User's Guide:

Subject: Arab Academy - Learn Arabic Online

By: Sanaa Ghanem


E-Learning is a new type of business that is booming like no other industry.  According to John Chambers Cisco, the next big killer application for the internet is going to be education (EuroBusiness: July 2001).  Without a doubt, E-learning has opened up new investment opportunities as a new type of consumer has emerged - a busy individual who needs to acquire new skills while maintaining a busy schedule. 


Learning Languages online has been the new 'in' thing.  English, Spanish, French, Korean, Chinese and Japanese sites have emerged.  According to Dr. Nabil Ali, a renown Arabic language specialist "The language that does not have a presence on the Internet is one that is going to be obsolete in the next century".  Arabic was not left out.  EduMagic, a software company in Egypt, has developed the Arab Academy, which is a web site that specializes in teaching Arabic language and culture.  "The Arab Academy is superior to most other web sites that teach foreign languages", said Indrani Ibrahim, a Spanish language teacher in Pennsylvania. 


Arabic is a language that is of interest to at least 25% of the 7 million American Muslims in the US.  It is an important major language in the whole world and is one of the UN's five languages.  It is a language that is spoken by over 200 million Arabs living in 21 Arab countries.  In spite of that, only 5,000 students study Arabic at American universities whereas three times as many students study Latin - not a living language!  How could this be explained?


"I believe that the grassroots of the problem lie in Arabic not being easily accessible to  students at school.  It is not available as an option to satisfy Foreign Language Requirements at high school, whereas a large number of other languages are.  Hence, students who study German or Spanish, continue with the same language at the college level.  In order to promote the study of Arabic, we need to spread Arabic at high schools.  The Arab Academy's online program could be the solution." Ghanem said.  "The Arab Academy makes it possible for school children to be supervised by professionals in the field of teaching Arabic from Cairo, Egypt.  It offers an interactive curriculum within a sophisticated online school system that allows student tracking and interaction between teachers and students." 


"What is needed is to develop an awareness of the importance of Arabic as a language.  As Arabic spreads in the US, this will promote tolerance and understanding between East and West", Ghanem said.  This is a step that we hope Arab Americans would take.  We need to have Arab families subscribe their children at the Arab Academy and ask their schools to accept the transfer of the credit hours.  In response to the need to develop more respectability for Arabic, Akhtar Emon of Los Angeles has established ALIF, an organization that aims at spreading Arabic at high schools.   "We need to have institutional support from Arab American organizations in the form of sponsorships of needy students", Emon said.  The Internet has provided Arab Americans with the tools needed to promote Arabic, so will we be able to stand together and make our requests heard?


To support the Arab Academy's efforts, contact:


Sanaa Ghanem

Director, Arab Academy

3, Alif El Nabataat Street

Garden City,

Cairo,  Egypt.

Cell: + 2 012 218 0305










Attention:  EDUCATORS:


The following documents have been prepared for educators who are interested in the Arab Academy's interactive curriculum and are wondering how, and in what ways to incorporate them into their programs:


To:  Chairs, Directors, Coordinators, and Faculty of Arabic Language

        Departments (College/University Level)


1.  Proposal:



2.  Curriculum of Standard Arabic Courses:



3.  Curriculum of Islamic Arabic Courses:



4.  User's Guide:





Arab Academy - the new wave in online Arabic Language Learning



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Arabic and Quran, offers affordable online courses with the click of your

computer mouse. The Arab Academy can help you maximize your Arabic language

competence -- quickly, affordably, and in the privacy of your home.


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Learn Islamic Arabic: Quran, Hadith and Sirah

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Online Testing

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Mutli-lingual: mirror site in English, French, German & Indonesian







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University: 2 year intensive study program



Islamic School: Arabic language courses for all school years



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Arab Academy Affiliate Packages


Link your site to the Arab Academy and you will earn commission on 25%

commission on every purchase from students registered through you.  If you

do not have a web site, you can still enroll as a partner/affiliate and sell

courses to your students through a special page that we will create for you.


To get information on how to be affiliated with us go to:



Support Arabic Language Education


Link our website to yours.



Join ArabAcaemyNet

Stay informed through our read-only listserv announcing Arab Academy events,

special news items, chat forums with famous scholars and discounts.



Arab Academy - A Web Based Distance Learning School & University


Arab Academy

3 El-Bergas Street,

Garden City, Cairo


TEL: +2 012 218 0305







Arabic Programs in the U.S. and Around the World



Programs (outside the Middle East)






Alabama, U of, at Tuscaloosa


Samford U


U of South Alabama


Arkansas St. Univ.


U of Arkansas, Fayettville


American Grad Sch of Intl Management


Arizona SU (Tempe)


Arizona, U of


Mesa Comm. C.


California SU, Fullerton


California, Berkeley, U of


California, L.A, U of


California, Santa Barbara


Defense Language Institute


Grossmont C


Monterey Institute of International Studies


Monterey Peninsula C



Riverside Comm C


San Diego City C


San Francisco St. Univ.


San Joaquin Delta C


Southern California, U of


Stanford U


University of the Pacific


Aurora, Comm C of



Colorado Sch of Mines


Denver, U of


US Air Force Academy


Connecticut, U of


Hartford Seminary


Trinity College


Yale U


American University


Catholic U of America


George Washington U


Georgetown U


Howard U


Johns Hopkins (SAIS)


Daytona Beach CC


Florida St. Univ.


Florida, U of


Miami, U of


South Florida, U of


U of Central Florida


Emory U


U of Georgia


Chicago, U of


DePaul U


Illinois (Urbana), U of


Loyola U, Chicago


Northwestern U


Illinois (Chicago), U of


Indiana U (Bloomington)


Indiana U, Purdue U at Indianapolis


Notre Dame, U of


Purdue U, West Lafayette


Kansas SU


U Kansas


U of Kentucky, Lexington


Grambling St. Univ.


Louisiana SU & A&M


NE Louisiana U


Tulane U


Amherst College


Boston College


Boston U


Brandeis U


Harvard U


Massachusetts (Amherst), U of


Mount Holyoke


Simon's Rock College of Bard


Smith C


Tufts U


Wellesley College


Johns Hopkins U


Maryland, College Park, U of


Charles S Mott Comm C


Henry Ford CC


Michigan (Ann Arbor), U of


Michigan SU


Michigan (Flint), U of


Wayne Comm C


Wayne SU


Western Michigan U


Luther Seminary


Minnesota, Twin Cities, U of


St. Louis Comm C (Forest Park)


Washington U


Montana SU - Bozeman


Davidson C




NC, U of, at Chapel Hill


Shaw U


U of North Dakota, Grand Forks


Darmouth College


County C of Morris


Princeton U


Rutgers U Newark



New Mexico, U of


Nevada (Las Vegas), U of


Bard College


Barnard C


Columbia U


Cornell U


CUNY, City College


CUNY, Queens College


Hamilton College


Hofstra U


Long Island U (C W Post CPS)


Nassau Comm C


New School University



New York U


New York, SU of, at Binghamton


New York, SU of, at Buffalo


New York, SU of, at Cortland


Rochester Inst of Tech


Skidmore College


U of Rochester


US Military Academy NY


Vassar College


Yeshiva U


Cincinnati, U of


Kent SU


Ohio SU (Columbus)


Ohio University




Toledo, U of



Tulsa Comm C



U of Oklahoma


University of Oregon


Portland SU


Bryn Mawr College


Haverford C


Indiana U of Pennsylvania


Lincoln U


Penn State U (main campus)


Pennsylvania, U of


Phildelphia, Comm C of


Pittsburgh (main campus), U of


Temple U


Villanova U


Brown U


Rhode Island College



Charleston, C of


SC, Columbia campus, U of


South Dakota SU


Rhodes C


U of Memphis


Tennessee (Knoxville), U of



Baylor U


Rice U


Texas, U of, at Austin


Brigham Young U


Utah, U of


C of William and Mary


Northern VA Comm C


Old Dominion U


VA Military Inst


Virginia, U of


Washington, U of


U Wisconsin Milwaukee


Wisconsin-Madison, U of



Escuela Oficial de IdiomasMadrid, Spain

Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences – VA, USA

Islamic Saudi Academy – VA, USA

McGill UniversityMontreal, Canada

The Middle East InstituteWashington, DC

Tennessee Foreign Language Institute – TN, USA

University of LeedsUnited Kingdom

University of Southern Denmark

United States Military Academy, West Point – NY, US


What??? Your Arabic program isn't on the list? Drop us a line at:



Programs (in the Middle East)


Alexandria University

American University in Beirut

American University in Cairo

An-Najah National University

Arabic Language Center in Cairo

Arabic Language Institute in Morocco

Arabic Language Institute in Saudi Arabia

Birzeit University

Bourguiba Institute

Center for Arabic Language and Eastern Studies (Yemen)

Gulf Arabic Program

Hedayet Institute for Arabic Studies

International Language Institute (Egypt)

King Abdulaziz University

Kuwait University


Levinsky Teacher’s College

Maadi School For Teaching Arabic

Modern American Language Institute (Yemen)

Sultan Qaboos University

Tel Aviv University

University Language Center (UAE)

University of Haifa

University of Khartoum


Yarmouk University

Yemen Language Center



Summer/Intensive Programs


Language Centre, School of Oriental and African Studies University of London

Monterey Institute of International Studies

AIMS Tangier Summer Intensive Arabic Studies Program

The State University of New York – Al-Akhawayan Univerwsity - Morocco

Georgetown Arabic Language Institute

University of Virginia-Yarmouk Summer Program

The School of Arabic at Middlebury College

Yale Summer Foreign Language Institute

University of Chicago Summer Arabic Program

CAMES Summer Arabic Program - American University of Beirut

University of Pennsylvania Summer Program

Columbia Arabic Summer Program

George Mason University Maan, Jordan

The Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA)

The Summer Institute for Intensive Arabic and Culture (Sinarc 2001)

Univeristy of Michigan

Intensive Courses in Arabic Language-Tunis

Brigham Young University - 2002

University of Bergen (Norway)

Blue Beach Club Sinai Peninsula

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

University of California Los Angeles

New School University New York, NY

Arabic Language Institute in Fez - Morocco

Hedayet Institute for Arabic Studies Cairo, Egypt

CMES University of California, Santa Barbara

University of Balamand - Lebanon

Modern American Language Institute Arabic Program - Sanaa, Yemen

Arabic Language Institute, American University in Cairo



Try this link for more summer programs!


Online Learning


Arab Academy


The Arabic Cyberclassroom

AMIR University


*Pre-college / Private Instruction*

(This is a new section that we’re trying to expand based on numerous requests for information that we just don’t have. Please let us know about any pre-college (elementary, secondary, etc.) Arabic programs that you know about so we can add them to our links. Email us at


UPenn Middle East Center (grades 4-8)

The Arabic Center of Education (Houston, TX)

Arab Cultural Center (San Franscisco, CA)