Al-Waha offers a fun-filled, one-of-a-kind opportunity for people who are interested in exploring the diversity of Arabic language and culture. As an Al-Waha villager, you won’t be stuck sitting in a classroom learning grammar and memorizing vocabulary. You’ll be actively engaged in living the diverse Arabic language through its culture and lifestyle.
At Al -Waha, we endeavor to celebrate the diversity of spoken Arabic around the globe. Villagers learn Modern Standard Arabic grammar and vocabulary in their small language learning groups, but get exposure to dialects from all over the Arabic-speaking world by doing cultural activities and interacting with our counselors. Al -Waha has hosted counselors from Arabic speaking countries such as Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Morocco who are eager to share their dialect and culture with our villagers.
When you arrive, you’ll walk through “customs,” and enter a zone surrounded by Arabic sounds, sights and flavors, where you’ll be flooded with opportunities to learn and practice new language skills in a supportive environment. You’ll choose a new Arabic name, exchange your dollars for dinars (the currency used in Jordan) find your cabin (bayt) and meet new friends (isdiqa’). 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 go in search of the dining hall or games and get ready to live the language!
Our immersion programs feature instruction in reading, writing, speaking and listening at all levels in an immersion environment. Villagers will spend a few hours of each day in dedicated language learning small groups, called "adventures." Our curriculum incorporates experiential and project-based learning, games and activities to help our villagers start using the language as quickly and as much as possible. Each villager's language level will be assessed when they go through "customs" upon arrival in order to ensure that each villager is matched with the perfect adventure group for his or her level. The introductory adventures generally start by learning the alphabet and common vocabulary, while the villagers with more Arabic experience will delve into grammar, reading and writing longer texts, and expanding their vocabulary. Villagers of all levels will use the language they learn every day during meal times, activities, camp-wide games and times in their cabins.
The Middle East continues to be an important region in international affairs, and there is shortage of fluent Arabic speakers, and those who understand the culture, in the Western hemisphere. The National Security Language Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, even identifies Arabic as a language of strategic importance. Those who study Arabic gain a competitive advantage pursuing careers in a variety of fields.
Arabic is the fifth most spoken language in the world and it is the official language of 22 countries. Countries in which Arabic is the official language include Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, just to name a few. There are more than 300 million Arabic speakers worldwide.