Reasons to start learning Arabic
1.The Arabic language is the cultural language of the Middle-East.
These speakers are largely concentrated in the Middle East, but there are minority groups of native speakers throughout the world. It has approximately 280 million native speakers along with about 250 million non-native speakers. Arabic is the official language of over 20 countries and there are well over 300 million native speakers of the language.
2. Arabic is the liturgical language of Islam.
In addition to the millions of native speakers, many more millions know Arabic as a foreign language, since as the language of the Qur’an, it is understood by Muslims throughout the world.
3. There is a high demand and low supply of Arabic-speakers in the Western world.
Relatively few Westerners ever venture to learn Arabic. With the growing importance of the Middle East in international affairs, there is thus an extreme shortage of workers in the West who are versed in Arabic language and culture. Those who study Arabic can find careers in a variety of fields: journalism, business and industry, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation, consulting, foreign service and intelligence, and many others.
4. There are financial incentives for learning Arabic.
The US government has designated Arabic as a language of strategic importance. The National Strategic Language Initiative instituted in 2006 promotes the learning of Arabic (and other languages deemed critical) among Americans through numerous scholarships and supported learning opportunities.
5. Arabic-speaking nations are a fast growing market for trade.
Initiatives to integrate the Arab world into the global economy are opening up numerous potential new business opportunities. The Arab region with its rapidly growing population provides a huge export market for goods and services. With a GDP of over 600 billion dollars annually, the region also has much to offer the world market.
6. The Arab-speaking world has a rich cultural heritage.
The Arab world has its own unique art, music, literature, cuisine, and way of life. Westerners know about belly dance, perhaps have read 1001 Nights, and may have tried some popular Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus or falafel, but Western exposure to the Arab way of life is generally limited. In exploring the Arabic world, you will learn to appreciate its distinct cultural products and practices and you will come to understand some of the values important to the Arabic people, such as honour, dignity, and hospitality.
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