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As the year 2015 comes to an end, we are looking forward to starting the year 2016 with innovative projects and renewed confidence about our 20-year long commitment to the Arabic language and culture for children.
Mayssoun Olabi, a parent from our Washington D.C. location, acknowledges the difficult times we are going through, and reminds us of the importance of keeping our language alive, as the vehicle that defines our cultural identity.
عام جديد يقف على الأبواب، تاركا وراءه عام ملئ بالتطورات والأحداث. عام شهد هجرة أعداد كبيرة من العرب إلى الغرب، إما لظروف سياسية أو اجتماعية أو مالية.. ومع زيادة هذه الهجرة عاد السؤال الأزلي المقلق للمهاجرين يظهر على السطح:
كيف نتواصل مع جذورنا وهويتنا الثقافية؟
ولعل هذا السؤال يكون أكثر إلحاحا عندما يتعلق الأمر بأطفالنا الذين أبصر كثير منهم النور في المهجر..
ولا شك أن اللغة هي الوسيلة المثلى لربط الناس بجذورها وأصولها الثقافية..
واللغة العربية بالإضافة إلى غناها اللغوي والبلاغي هي منبع ثقافة وعلوم استهل منه الغرب قرونا طويلة عندما كان العرب في أوجهم الحضاري.. وتعليم أطفالنا تلك اللغة يتيح أمامهم فرصة التعرف على ذلك التراث الغني من مصادره الأصلية..
ولعل العام المقبل يكون فرصة لتجديد العهد مع اللغة العربية وتعليمها لأطفالنا عبر أساليب جديدة مبتكرة تساعدنا على تجاوز صعوبات تعلمها.. وبذلك نهدي أطفالنا هدية تبقى معهم طوال العمر وتشعرهم بالتميز والفخر والاعتزاز
وكل عام وانتم بخير !Mayssoun Olabi - Alefb parent, journalist, producer and interpreter.
REINFORCE YOUR CHILDREN'S ARABIC:
Natakallam: This holiday give the gift of Arabic ConversationNatakallam pairs Arabic natives from the Middle East with students learning Arabic for conversation-focused classes over the internet.This platform caters to a specific need within the Arabic learning community interested in the spoken Levantine dialect.
Lamsa: Choose the best gift for the holidays from this collection of games, e-books and videos to enhance your children's Arabic skills through this online platform specializing in Arabic edutainment for Arabic speakers and learners.
QFI: Watch this video to learn more about why other children are excited to learn Arabic.
Madar El Huruf: Check out this free mobile app with your children to explore the secrets of the Arabic alphabet. Ask your child for his favorite word in Arabic, and help them type it in Arabic.
CULTURAL AND COMMUNITY RESOURCES:
Share our Arabic culture with your children. Here are some ideas and events coming your way:
STORIES FROM OUR ALEFB ALUMNI:
Please meet 18 year-old Randy - Alefb Alumni, Washington D.C.
Randy was born to Lebanese parents in Washington D.C. Despite understanding the language, and although Arabic was primarily spoken in his household, Randy, like most heritage kids, preferred to answer in English. His parents traveled to Lebanon with him and his sister almost every summer. While Randy and Nadine would come back to the United States excited to continue practicing their parents' native language, a couple of months attending a public American school was enough to re-immerse them in this new environment, in which it was easier to forget about Arabic. Until one day, they discovered Alefb!
When Randy first enrolled in Alefb, he did not know how to write his name in Arabic. Merely three years later, he started studying for the International Baccalaureate at Jeb Stuart High School, with Arabic as his first language! His teacher was afraid he would not be able to succeed: she thought that Arabic was too difficult, and she did not want to risk a failure for the school. With Alefb's help, and with the support of his parents at home, Randy is now on the path to success: he writes IB level essays, speaks, and presents with total confidence. He will be one of the first students to obtain an International Baccalaureate with Arabic as a primary language in Fairfax County.
More than that, Randy has founded an Arabic Club at his school, in which he is joined by fifteen other students from different nationalities interested in the Arabic language and culture.
Today, Nadine is following in his footsteps, as well as are many students who are eager to embrace the Arabic language and culture.
Indeed, Randy, Nadine, and all of their peers in the Arabic club have an unusual superpower: they can all speak Arabic!
Hopefully, Randy's story will inspire many more students and their parents. Together, we can empower our children to become the role models of tomorrow...
We are looking to hear from you on this topic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Team wishes you a very Merry Christmas
|Alefb... The playful way to learn Arabic language and culture