Why Study Arabic?
More Employment Opportunities
With knowledge of the Arabic language and culture comes many opportunities for your future. It is especially beneficial for those studying Political Science, Criminal Justice, Business, Education, Journalism, Law, Linguistics, Social Work, Religious Studies, African Studies, Comparative Literature and many more.
Those who study Arabic can find careers in a variety of fields, including Journalism, Business, Education, Finance and Banking, Translation and Interpretation, Consulting, Foreign Service and Intelligence, and many more. Arabic would especially provide an advantage if one decided to work for the FBI, as only 1% know any Arabic.
Get hired by international organizations
Many international organizations and NGOs such as the United Nations, World Bank, and USAID are in need of Arabic speakers and those with an understanding of the Arab Culture.
When it comes to trade, Arabic-speaking nations are a fast-growing market, and, because of this, initiatives to integrate the Arab world into the global economy are opening up many potential new business opportunities. Along with its rapidly growing population, the Arab region provides a large export market for goods and services.
Scholarships and grants
Since the U.S. has designated Arabic as a language of strategic importance, the financial incentives for learning Arabic are much greater than you would think. Many scholarships and learning opportunities are promoted by the National Strategic Language Initiative, for learning Arabic and other languages deemed critical. These can cover your expenses and support you for a range of courses from beginning to advanced, as well as study abroad programs, intensive instruction opportunities, teacher exchanges, and professional development. Some of these scholarships and grants are:
Not only can knowing Arabic help you financially, it can also help you achieve intercultural understanding. Many people in the Western world may have heard about belly dancing, read 1,001 Nights, and eaten Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus and falafel, but this limited exposure does not tell you everything there is to know about the Arabic way of life. When exploring the Arab world, you learn to appreciate the distinct culture and the values that are important to its people, including honor, dignity, and hospitality. This can help you better understand your Arab-Americans fellow citizens who constitute ~ 3.5 million of the residents in the United States.
Arabic is the main language of Islam, a religion that has around 1.5 billion followers. It is the language of the Quran that is read and studied by all Muslims. Muslims also need Arabic to perform prayers and other forms of worship.
Gain insights into the cultural, political, and religious values of other cultures
Due to recent political events, Arabic culture has been represented by the media, Hollywood, and other sources as a one-dimensional negative culture, which can lead to mistrust and miscommunication, an inability to cooperate, to negotiate, and compromise, and perhaps even military confrontation. Learning Arabic can help you gain insights into the cultural, political, and religious values of the people in those cultures. With the knowledge you gain, you will also be able to shrink the cultural and linguistic gap between nations, as well as assist in solving and avoiding intercultural conflict, and help businesses on an international stage. With a basic knowledge of the Arabic language, you will be able to better promote a more accurate and positive perception of Arabic culture.
Explore the influence of Arabs and Arabic on world civilizations
The beauty of Arabic is that it is not limited to just the Arab world. You can often see the influence that Arabic has had in your everyday life: Algebra, for instance, is something everyone has had to take at one point in their life, but did you know that it was invented by Arab mathematicians during medieval times? Moreover, everyday products like coffee, cotton, lemon, and Jasmine originate from the Arab world. We can even see its influence in our vocabulary, with words like henna, macramé, lute, mattress, gerbil, sorbet, safari, and Muslim. Additionally, languages that have been influenced by Arabic include Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, Spanish, Swahili, Urdu, Tigrinya, and others.
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