Campbell Students Learn Arabic, Global Leadership
James Campbell High School Arabic language students took the cultural exchange trip of a lifetime March 15-22, thanks to Qatar Foundation International and its annual Aber 2015 exchange.
The students, currently learning the Arabic language through One World Now! and its after-school program, took part in the exchange to strengthen their Arabic language skills and learn about Islamic art and Arab culture, and to participate in service learning activities.
Why do students think it is so important to learn Arabic? Well, not only do Arabic countries have rich cultures but their economy is growing rapidly with countries like United Arab Emirates and Bahrain seeing huge growth in recent years. This means the number of business deals being done with Arabic countries, the number of businesses looking for arabic document translation services, and the job opportunities are also increasing. This means that if the students learn the language now, they will have double the number of job prospects than those who don’t.
One World Now! launched at Campbell in 2010 through a partnership with Qatar Foundation International and Pacific Asian Affairs Council. It is the only organization that offers Arabic language studies to students in Hawaii. Led by the state’s only Arabic teacher, Adly Mirza, who also teaches Arabic at University of Hawaii at Manoa, Campbell High’s students were selected to attend QFI’s Aber exchange program three years in a row.
One World Now! has made a huge difference in the lives of students, and strives to perpetuate its mission of developing the next generation of global leaders through language classes, leadership workshops, community mindedness and scholarships. Mirza and his class celebrated the Arabic culture again on the final day of the school year (May 19).
He cooked sayadiya, a southern Yemen dish made with fish, rice and a spicy tomato sauce, as well as dhal and baklawa.
“Besides teaching them how to speak, read and write Arabic, I also give the students an opportunity to learn about culture through music, movies and art,” explained Mirza.
According to Mirza, starting this fall, Arabic will be taught at Campbell High School as part of the regular curriculum – no longer as an after-school program.
For more information on One World Now!, visit oneworldnow.org.