Muscat – To celebrate World Arabic Language Day, which falls on December 18, Muscat Daily met with an Omani national who has established an institute to teach the Arabic language to non-native speakers.
Nasser al Jabri, founder of the Arabia Experience Institute, said: “We teach Arabic and the Gulf dialect to non-native speakers at the Arabia Experience Institute. We welcome anyone interested in learning the Arabic language, Gulf customs, traditions and culture. We pride ourselves on our excellence in teaching Omani dialect, customs and traditions, and we offer many programs. Many foreigners have come to the Sultanate to learn Arabic.
“We opened the institute on November 18, 2015. I was inspired by the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who cared very much about the Arabic language, supported and encouraged us to master and speak it. I follow his example.
“At the institute, the Omani dialect is taught individually and in groups as well. Our students also have the opportunity to discover the language and culture outside of school. We offer accommodation with Omani families and while learning the language, students can also enjoy Arabic and Omani cuisine during their stay at home.
“At the beginning, I faced many challenges in setting up the institution and I overcame them gradually. But I still have difficulty attracting students to live with Omani families.
Anetta Szabo, one of the foreign students studying at the institute, said: “A language is like a mountain, which you cannot move in a day. But you can move it slowly day after day with a spoon. When I started studying Arabic at the Arabia Experience Institute, I said to myself: even if it takes ten years, in ten years, looking back, I won’t regret having started. I will say it was worth it.
Anetta added: “Arabic is a Semitic language. It’s very different from other languages, it seems to have evolved from Indo-European languages - English, French… etc. So at first it’s very difficult because it’s so different from the languages that most Europeans study at school but later we realize that the spoken language Arabic has very few grammatical rules and this is not that difficult if you study at the Arabia Experience Institute in Oman.
“Learning a language takes courage because we regularly put ourselves in uncomfortable situations. You have to put into practice what little you know and use the rough language you have. But with continued practice you can go a long way. It is hard work and courage, but it is a good investment; it opens doors for you in the professional world and makes you feel more at ease in another country. My Omani friends have always been helpful. They gave me a chance to learn it.
Ministry of Education launches Al Farahidi Prize for Arabic language
Muscat – The Ministry of Education (MoE) on Tuesday launched the Al Farahidi Prize for the Arabic Language at an event to celebrate International Arabic Language Day, which falls on December 18 under the slogan “Arabic language and civilizational communication “.
The ceremony was held under the high patronage of HE Dr Madiha bint Ahmed bin Nasser al Shibaniyah, Minister of Education, in the presence of HE Dr Abdullah bin Khamis Ambusaidi, Under-Secretary for Education at the Ministry of Education .
The Al Farahidi Prize was launched with the aim of developing students’ skills in reading, writing, literary creativity and conversation in Arabic. It targets students from grades 1 to 12.
Al Khalil Ahmad al Farahidi was a leading Arabic philologist, lexicographer and grammarian.