Back to School

Last night I started a non-credit Arabic class at the community college. Including me, there are nine people in the class. We all had to give our reason to take the class when we introduced ourselves. I found it interesting to hear their reasons: two of the younger people thought it might help their job prospects in the future; two of them were vaguely "just interested" in Arabic; one of them had just taken a class on Islam and thought it would be a good compliment; one majored in tourism and wanted to learn yet another language/culture; one is Pakistani and can read Arabic in the Koran but doesn't understand a word of it; and one has always had a dream to learn Arabic, but couldn't find a cheap, non-professional program until now.

I said that I had lived already in an Arabic speaking country and now that I am returning, I felt that I didn't want to be hindered any longer by not knowing the language. I was actually pleased during the course of the two hour session that I already knew two words!

We learned six consonants and three vowel sounds--writing them in Arabic and then forming little words with them, much like "cat, hat, sat, tad, sad, cad, had" in beginner English. We had to go around the room sounding them out, and it was hard for some of the class to remember which squiggly line was which letter sound as we added more and more to the words.

I was most impressed with one gentlemen in the class who is well into his 80's. He was sharp as a tack, and I have to admire that kind of interest and determination on his part to try something so challenging as Arabic.
Ariel Rainey