Questions & Answers
Why learn Arabic?
Arabic is the official language of over 20 countries and there are well over 300 million native speakers of the language. These speakers are largely concentrated in the Middle East, but there are minority groups of native speakers throughout the world. It is also an official language of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the African Union..
There is a high demand and low supply of Arabic-speakers?
Relatively few Westerners ever venture to learn Arabic. With the growing importance of the Middle East in international affairs, there is thus an extreme shortage of workers in the West who are versed in Arabic language and culture. Those who study Arabic can find careers in a variety of fields: journalism, business and industry, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation, consulting, foreign service and intelligence, and many others.
Arabic-speaking nations are a fast growing market for trade?
Initiatives to integrate the Arab world into the global economy are opening up numerous potential nw business opportunities. The Arab region with its rapidly growing population provides a huge export market for goods and services. With a GDP of over 600 billion dollars annually, the region also has much to offer the world market. In order to do business effectively, one must understand the language and culture of the people with whom one hopes to negotiate and conduct trade.
Arabic-speaking peoples have made significant contributions to world civilization
While Europe was experiencing the relative intellectual stagnation of the Middle Ages, the Arab-Islamic civilization was at its zenith. Arabs contributed a great deal to the advancement of science, medicine, and philosophy. Much learning from the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine cultures was preserved for the world through the Arab libraries. Arabs have also made significant contributions in such areas as literature, mathematics, navigation, astrology, and architecture. A knowledge of Arabic enables the exploration of this vast body of knowledge in their original language.
The Arab-speaking world has a rich cultural heritage
The Arab world has its own unique art, music, literature, cuisine, and way of life. Westerners know about belly dance, perhaps have read 1001 Nights, and may have tried some some popular Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus or falafel, but Western exposure to the Arab way of life is generally limited. In exploring the Arabic world, you will learn to appreciate its distinct cultural products and practices and you will come to understand some of the values important to the Arabic people, such as honor, dignity, and hospitality.
Gain critical language skills useful in over 20 countries
Languages like Spanish and French allow you to work and travel in dozens of countries around the world, but they are also widely spoken among your peers. Other languages, like Chinese, are in high demand but require spending your entire career focused on one or two countries.