Arabic Language students in Morocco had an action-packed month! They hiked in the Atlas Mountains with host siblings and explored various art forms, from calligraphy to aoud playing. Students are looking forward to the coming weeks, which will be filled with volunteer opportunities, cultural festivities and a trip to the Sahara Desert.

Arabic Language students in Morocco practice playing the aoud

The Arabic Language Institute Program has a two-fold purpose: one linguistic, and the other cultural and is part of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y).

NSLI-Y students in Morocco are finding unique places to practice their Arabic, including in taxis with drivers when traveling in the city.

“The second time I got in a taxi in which the driver recognized me I actually had absolutely no recollection of him, but he definitely remembered me.

He knew the center I was studying at and knew that I was studying Arabic. Like a typical Moroccan he made sure I was ok and asked me if my Arabic was coming along. I told him that I was currently focusing on Arabic grammar, which was turning out to be quite difficult. This launched him into a full on lesson of both grammar in Modern Standard Arabic and Darija.

In the end what I gleaned from his lesson was that there are several aspects to grammar and it would be hard for me to learn it, but that in my time in Morocco I could manage to learn a good deal of Arabic.” –NSLI-Y student Stephanie Davidson on practicing her Arabic outside of the classroom

The program is a cultural and linguistic immersion in the Arabic-speaking world, including home stays, site visits, student roundtables, and lectures. Legacy has provided this program to US high school youth since 2006