Arabic Language Village

Ahlan wa-sahlan! At Al-Wāḥa, you’ll experience an oasis of cultural richness and diversity with counselors and teachers who speak a variety of dialects from across the Middle East. Enjoy traditional camp activities while you live the language surrounded by Arabic sounds, sights and flavors of the world’s fifth most populous language—right here in the Midwest!

Arabic Language Village

Learn Arabic

Video courtesy of Qatar Foundation International.

Just imagine reading in a totally different alphabet—and from right to left! With more than 350 million speakers over five continents, Arabic is the world’s fifth most-spoken language, and has influenced and contributed many others—even English—with Arab cultures’ global and linguistic influences on astronomy, mathematics, medicine, art and philosophy. Since 2006, our “oasis” at Concordia Language Villages has allowed complete beginners and advanced students alike to tap into Middle Eastern cultures firsthand. Request more information.

Scholarships

Need-Based Scholarships Available

Arabic Language Village scholarships are supported by the generosity of individual donors, organizations and companies; we are especially grateful to our premier sponsor Qatar Foundation International.

Scholarships are based on a family’s adjusted gross income, number of dependents, and the length of the session. Need-based scholarships are available for Arabic summer youth immersion sessions through the Passport Fund.

Click here for more information on scholarships.

Authentic Cuisine

<p>With cooks trained in authentic Middle Eastern cuisine, villagers get a taste of the Middle East and North Africa.</p>

With cooks trained in authentic Middle Eastern cuisine, villagers get a taste of the Middle East and North Africa.

Authentic Cuisine

From famous Egyptian rice to delicious Lebanese tabbouleh, al-Wāḥa’s meals contain spices around the Arabic-speaking world and will have your mouth watering! Counselors sit with villagers at family-style tables and help jog your memory for mealtime vocabulary, names of foods and important Arabic phrases like “please pass the…”.

We take our time to enjoy the dining experience and eat in courses the Arab way, with the salad typically served with the main course.

Activities

<p>Kish maat!<i> Two villagers </i><i>play </i>shataranj<i>, or chess. Activities at Al-Waha are designed to allow </i><i>villagers to explore Arabic within their own interests, and include summer camp </i><i>staples as well as culturally-specific activities, like calligraphy or belly </i><i>dancing.</i></p>

<p>  <b></b></p>

Kish maat! Two villagers play shataranj, or chess. Activities at Al-Waha are designed to allow villagers to explore Arabic within their own interests, and include summer camp staples as well as culturally-specific activities, like calligraphy or belly dancing.

Activities

Every day you will learn something new—and in Arabic! Everyday activities and staples of the summer camp experience become opportunities to expand vocabulary: villagers don’t play soccer; it’s korat al-qaddam. They paddle out in a markab onto the buhayra, or simply lounge under the sun on the shata’. Each day is filled with a wide variety of sports and games, as well as opportunities to visit the beach, canoe and hike with friends, and even engage in some cultural activities unique to the Arabic village!

Music & Dance

<p><i>Helwa </i><i>awy!</i> Here, villagers practice belly dancing accompanied by the <i>tabla</i>, an Arab drum.</p>

Helwa awy! Here, villagers practice belly dancing accompanied by the tabla, an Arab drum.

Music & Dance

Swing your hips. Dance a dabka. The tabla’s playing! Got rhythm? The Middle East is a place of music and dance: from the ancient ardah sword-dancing of the Arabian Peninsula to maybe the more familiar belly dancing of the Levant
and Northern Africa, these traditions run deep, and we encourage our villagers to learn their language! Musical opportunities provide prompting for learning
the unique vocabulary of Arab music and its instruments—the oud (a double-stringed
predecessor to the lute), the tabla and the qanoon, and engage the villagers in their own interests—while giving them the opportunity to perform! Learn more about Arabic music at Al-Wāḥa.

Programs

Day Camps

Meet the Staff

The dean is the on-site director of the Language Village. Sara Shams Nimis is dean at Al-Wāḥa. Shams was introduced to the language villages as a villager at Lac du Bois Hackensack and Les Voyageurs, and has come back over the years as a counselor, as leadership staff and as a villager parent. Shams holds a PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Georgetown University’s Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, an MA in Political Science from Miami University, and a BA in International Studies from Macalester College. Learn more about Sara and the rest of our staff!