If you haven’t heard yet, I’ve started learning Arabic this past week. I am now able to write all the letters (all millions of them) and we are starting to form words and sentences now. I honestly thought Hebrew was difficult, but it seems to be a piece of cake compared to this crazy language. The beauty of it though, is that they have many similarities, and knowing Hebrew first has helped me tremendously.
Anyways, today at Food Distribution, our little translator came to help out so I was showing her my Arabic workbook and what I was learning. It was then that I discovered she does not know how to read or write in Arabic, only Hebrew.
Arabic is her mother tongue… her first language…. the one she speaks with her family; YET, she does not know how to read or write. She reads/writes only Hebrew. And this is true for many of the Sudanese we work with.
It made me think.
Therefore, I decided that a part of the after school program at the youth center will be dedicated to teach these kids how to read and write their own language.
Imagine a foreign American… teaching written Arabic to kids who speak it fluently… in a country that none of us belong to… in Hebrew.
Now if that isn’t just crazy awesome, then I don’t know what is!!!