When you arrive and walk through “customs,” you will enter another zone, where you’re surrounded by Arabic sounds, sights and flavors, and flooded with opportunities to learn and practice new language skills.
First, you’ll choose a new Arabic name and exchange your American dollars for danaaniir (Jordanian currency). Then you’ll find your cabin and meet your new friends. The entire time, the counselors will use an energetic combination of gestures, repetition and visual cues to help you learn the words and phrases you need to talk to your new cabin mates, ask them where they’re from, and figure out where to go next.
Try out acting by recreating an Arabic soap opera with other villagers. Or you might make bracelets, recreate ancient artifacts, do sand art or try out a new craft like wood-burning or embroidery.
At Al-Wāḥa, you’ll gain an appreciation for Arabic culture as we learn about, and celebrate, the month of Ramadan and Eid. We also recreate visits to colorful markets, cafes where you dine on heaping trays of dates and figs, and special meals served to you as you sit on authentic rugs.
With Al-Wāḥa sitting on the main site, we have been able to see how Arabic has interacted with other languages and societies. Previously, we learned about Lebanese refugees going to Sweden during the civil war and we foster conversation on the Maghrib (Northern Africa) with our counterparts at Lac du Bois each summer.
One of the popular activities Al-Wāḥa offers is hieroglyphics. The hieroglyphic symbols were a very important part of Egyptian culture. As a Villager, you can learn a few of the symbols.
Calligraphy الخط العربي
Calligraphy is a challenging activity at Al-Wāḥa, but a very fun one. Some villagers look at pictures of calligraphy and try to copy them, while others will attempt to create their own. On the first day of the activity, the villagers practice writing in Arabic with chalk on the blacktop, which helps you to learn to form calligraphic letters.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to choose from a wide variety of sports and games. You can try soccer, volleyball, canoeing, backgammon, chess and many more games.
Al-Wāḥa is truly a learning oasis complete with a swimming beach for hot summer days and plenty of cool shady forests for hikes with friends.