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Our Story


Alefb, multicultural center for children, was founded in Paris-France on July 16, 1996 by Michelle El-Khoury Tager, Dima Salam-Daouk, Marie de Bremond d'Ars and Suzanne Haddad.

Our common concern as mothers and professionals was to preserve our unique cultural and language heritage. The way to achieve that was to transfer this to our children as well as to all children of Arabic descent living abroad.The teachers soon joined us and in particular, Rola El-Homsi, who is graduated from Lebanon as an early education specialist.

Rola and Michelle put together one of the first curriculum, custom designed for teaching Arabic as a foreign language to children age 3 to 12 years old. Finally, on the first Saturday of October 1996, the first Alefb workshop was held with 30 children divided in 4 groups, at 32, rue de la source, Paris 75016. A fun place for kids to learn the Arabic language and culture was created. As of today, it has benefited more than 900 children.

In France, Alefb is non-profit Association loi 1901. Our management is done on a total volunteering basis. As of 2013, the board of directors in France is composed of Joelle Toutounji-Wolff, Michèle Bou Abboud, Marie de Bremond d'Ars and Michelle El-Khoury Tager.

Alefb, multicultural center for children, is also incorporated in the state of Virginia as a non-profit 501c 3 entity and is licensed to do business in the states of Maryland and California. As of 2007, the board of directors in the USA is composed of Vicky Berberi-Doumar, Nada Gaspard, Katherine Hopps-Telhami, Laura Raney and Michelle El-Khoury Tager.

We strive to reach out to all the children regardless of their origin, disseminating one of the most advanced culture and a language used by more than 10% of the world population.


Achievements

Besides our regular workshop activity, Alefb has been involved in several projects such as:


Alefb is always looking into opportunities to serve its purpose. If you have an idea or a project, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be delighted to help you fulfill your goal to educate children in the Arabic language and culture in a playful way.


Testimonials from our educators and volunteers

Rola El Homsi

I am proud to have been associated with the creation of Alefb. I was and still am driven by my desire to create an identity for the Arab children born abroad. My background as an early education specialist, graduating from the Lebanese University, was of great help to me. When I see the children at Alefb so happy to learn about their origins and so proud to show their knowledge of the Arabic language, I am fulfilled. I have been teaching at Alefb since its inception in 1996! It is still as exciting and challenging and I really feel we make a difference in those children's life.

Rafah Helal

I work with Alefb as an educator and consultant. I have a bachelor degree in Special Education (Saint Joseph University -Lebanon) and a Master in Sciences of Education (Sorbonne University - Paris). The way we are teaching our kids is extremely captivating, through games, songs, plays and stories. They learn how to speak, read, and write Arabic as a second language. Not only we teach Arabic as a language but we also emphasize on our cultural values as we expose them to the customs and traditions of the region.

Dominique (mother and volunteer with Alefb in Washington D.C.)

I like volunteering for Alefb. I help the teacher and I get to know better how to speak Arabic since I left Lebanon 25 years ago. I also help create some educational arts and crafts. It is fun and I ask my children to help with it at home. That's how I keep them busy with Arabic during the week too! They did improve a lot and, so did I.


Testimonials from our students

Raya (10 years old, 4th level at Alefb Washington D.C.)

I learned how to write and read in one year only at Alefb. I was 8 years old, I was so proud! Now it's harder, I don't like going every Saturday but once I am there I don't want to leave...

Marc (5 years old, 2nd level at Alefb Courbevoie, France)
My mother takes me every Saturday, I meet new friends, we do projects. I like singing in Arabic.

 

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