!Ahlan wa Sahlan To Alefb Newsletter
As our colleague Samar, from Alefb - Paris says, wherever we are in this world we do carry our language with us either consciously or not, as it is a fundamental part of us.
We are looking to move forward into 2015 with renewed energy and confidence about our commitment to the Arabic language and culture.
لُغتي في غربتي
في تجلّيها تُسوِّغني
تحكيني حين أحكيها
أأكونُ كًونَها أم كوني
ما هي حروفٌ
من نواميس القواعدْ
هي وقْع الروح
على أعتاب الفرائدْ
أنشودتي في غربتي
ومهجتي رسالة مفروشة على المدى
ملاذي في غربتي
هوية حملتها في حِلّيّ وترحالي....
مرارة غربتي عن أميّ
أحمل أمي في قلبي
وأحملكِ وعي أنت ولاوعيّ
مقطوعة مهداة إلى لسان حال مَن يحملون لغة الضاد في حقائب سفرهم...هَوّية قرأتها في عيونهم كما اقرؤها في عيون تلامذتي الذين يبحثون أيضاً عن انتمائهم في هذه اللغة القريبة البعيدة. أبثها أيضاً إلى الذين التقيتم اليوم، في اليوم العالمي للّغة العربية الذي أُقيم في مقر منظمة الاونيسكو في باريس.
Like every year since 2012, the world celebrated World Arabic Language Day this December 18, in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris France, Dr.Samar Saad reports.
NEWS from Alefb:
Since the launch of our website in June 2014, we are proud to count more than 10,000 visitors! Thank you!
Three months into our Alefb school year, we are thrilled to let you know that our students have accomplished great progress.You can read all about our weekly lessons and see pictures here.
By popular demand, we worked hard to add more features to our website so that our teachers provide timely information about our classes, online. Please make sure you check our website every week for updates.
Now is the time to enroll or re-enroll your kids for our second session. Deadline is January 2, 2015.
We will be opening new classes in Millbrae-CA, and we are looking for dedicated teachers. Our training program is available to our potential candidates on an ongoing basis. This program is meant to equip our team members with the tools and methodology to become successful teachers of Arabic as a Foreign Language, using the unique Alefb curriculum.
We are recruiting and would like to hear from you.
Teachers are our core asset, however we also need to be able to rely on volunteers and interns to activate our social media strategy, and build on the momentum created by the endorsement granted to Alefb by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon. Please contact us now.
Finally, we are looking for board members who share our vision, and would like to be part of a rewarding mission. If you feel you have the drive, the interest and the time, please drop us a line.
Together with a strong team and a solid curriculum, we believe that culture is inherent to the learning of a foreign language. In that regard, Alefb, partnered with the Arab Film Festival to organize the San Francisco premiere screening of Lebanese movie Heritages/Mirath in the presence of film maker Philippe Aractingi. Close to 300 spectators were present for this one evening only event, at the San Francisco French School on December 4, 2014.
We also plan on organizing our first field trip to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Road to Arabia exhibit is closing on January 18, 2015. Please send us your name and contacts, if you would like to join a guided Alefb trip in Arabic, here, before January 5 .
ALEFB HINT TO REINFORCE YOUR CHILDREN'S ARABIC LANGUAGE AND CULTURE:
Take time during this holiday season to cook with your children in Arabic. You can get some inspiration here.
Did you know that it is part of the Lebanese tradition to prepare Meghli at Christmas, in Lebanon? Learn how right here. Send us a picture of your preparation and we will post it in our next Newsletter.
FROM AROUND THE WEB:
WHAT YOU CAN DO to motivate your kids to learn the Arabic language and culture?
Arabic is classified as a Less Commonly Taught Language in the US, and it is one of the most taught foreign languages in France. However, Arabic does not enjoy the appeal of other foreign languages and more often than not, is related to pejorative ideas.
I'm sure you all heard this before:
"I want my son to be proud! When he was 12, my son , Mike, walked into our living room and said to me , "Dad, I hate Arabs." I was shocked. My parents' background is Lebanese. I though I'd taught Mike to be proud of his Arab heritage. Of course, like most kids born here, he thought of himself as American, period.
I asked why he hated Arabs."
Here's how Casey Kasem, famed American Top 40 countdown DJ speaks about how to fight stereotypes: here.
Three ways to motivate our children to learn Arabic:
- Immerse in an Arabic speaking environment, once a year
- Read to them in Arabic, watch movies and youtube videos in Arabic with them but always be careful to screen those before.
- Enroll them in a once a week Arabic activity -- Alefb would be a good choice :)
Children learn a language when they have either an emotional interest or a value related interest. Emotional often comes from the desire to please a loved one (in the case of heritage kids, it would be the parents, it could also be the teacher). On the other hand, some kids would like to see what value there is for them to learn this language, be it to communicate in order to be understood, or just a material reward.
Finally, check out a kid's guide to Arab American history as a resource to help you motivate your children.
Use this fun website to create art with Arabic words. Ask your child for his favorite word in Arabic, or English (you will translate it for her in Arabic), type it in Arabic using a visual Arabic keyboard (learn how to add Arabic to your Microsoft office suite, here) and copy paste the word in the appropriate box. Pick your style and your font and let the magic work... Send us a picture of you masterpiece, and we will post it in our next Newsletter.
Cultural and Community resources:
We can't but pay tribute in this newsletter to the great poet, writer, playwright and language reformer Said Akl, who passed away at 102 years old. Said Akl promoted the use of the Lebanese dialect written in a modified Latin alphabet rather than the Arabic one. More here.
ردني إلى بلادي مع نسائم الغوادي
مع شعاعة تغاوت عند شاطئ و وادي
ردني إلى بلادى
Take me back to my country...with the ongoing breeze...with the light dancing on a coast and a valley... Take me to my country...
Watch Song Video performed by Feyrouz on Said Akl's poem here.
Fun Fact: Did you know that all the "Rindala" and "Yara" owe their original names to Said Akl who created them?
Another giant of the Lebanese and Arabic culture passed away this month: Singer and actress Jeanette Feghali, also known as Shahroura or Sabah, died at age 87. Read more here. Listen and watch Sabah singing a Dabke song (traditional dance) with your children here.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Sabah's career spanned 60 years and she created more than 90 films and thousands of songs?
Choose the best gift for the holidays from this collection of good reads and good views for children and adults, about the Middle East.
You can also choose from up to five games to enhance your children's Arabic skills.
"Dourak" is an online shop specializing in language games for Arabic speakers and learners.
Share with your children our Arabic culture, go out to the museum, to the movies. Here are some ideas and events coming your way:
If you would like to share an event please let us know at email@example.com
- Newseum's exhibit on ethnic media tells The Arab American News’ story. More here.
- Wendell Phillips Collection:Through a selection of unearthed objects as well as film and photography shot by the exhibition team, the collection highlights Phillips’s key finds in South Arabia (present-day Yemen), and recreates his adventures and conveys the thrill of discovery on the last great archaeological frontier. October 11 through June 7. Sackler Gallery,Washington, D.C. More here
- Nasta’liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy. through February 22. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. More here.
- Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: October 24 through January 18. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco More here.
- Pearls on a String: Art and Biography in the Islamic World (San Francisco). June 21 Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. More here.
STORIES FROM OUR ALEFB ALUMNI:
If you once took part in the Alefb adventure, as a parent or a teacher, please share your story at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's celebrate... Alefb Teachers of Arabic as a Foreign Language.
Kan ya ma kan, once upon a time, there was... Rafah….
Rafah is a mom, a friend, and a teacher like no other...
She came to Alefb in its Washington DC early days, bringing her enthusiasm, rigor and special education degree. She was eventually interested in teaching her son the Arabic language and culture. Rafah has a special education background but she never taught Arabic as a foreign language to children before joining Alefb. Yet, she rolled up her sleeves and got on the job.
About 6 school years of teaching part-time, developing two levels of curricula and nurturing more than 50 children, Rafah is now working full-time, managing grants for teachers of foreign languages all over the world.
Today,Rafah gives back to the community by training Alefb's teachers on our curriculum, either here in the US or in Paris, France. She enjoys it as much as her first days of teaching.
From an educated mom to a fulfilled professional and role model, Rafah was able to raise her son in the Arabic language and culture as well as contribute to Alefb's non-profit educational mission.
In the same manner, every Alefb teacher, in Paris-France, Washington DC or San Francisco is contributing to preserving our Arabic heritage.
Dedication and commitment are key.
Whether we are parents or teachers. How many of us are willing to do this for the sake of our children and the future generation?
How many of us can claim to have made a difference in a child's life?
How many of us do not want to hear this much too often heard blame from older teen-agers: Mom, Dad, why didn't you teach us Arabic?
Shouldn't we all be teachers, educators, nurturers in what we know best?....
We are looking to hear from you on this topic at email@example.com.
Share your experience and join our team of parents/educators.
WE NEED YOU:
Our Team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Linguistically- Culturally Wonderful 2015!