Why Study Arabic?
The study of Arabic is essential to gaining insights into the cultural, religious, and political contexts of the Middle East, which is ever-present in our daily lives. The United Nations adopted Arabic as one of its six official languages in 1974; the governments of twenty different countries list Arabic as their dominant language. It is the native language of over 300 million people within the Arab world, a region that stretches from Southwest Asia to Northwest Africa.The Middle East is the birthplace of civilization and filled with warm, hospitable people. In addition to informing your academic studies, a good knowledge of Arabic will greatly enhance your travels to the Middle East and your ability to work and interact effectively with Arabic-speaking people.
The study of Arabic and the Middle East can lead to an interesting career as a foreign correspondent, reporter, translator, international banker, international consultant, political risk analyst, manager of government relations for oil companies, market analyst for export companies, foreign service officer, development program officer, intelligence analyst, government relations specialist, interpreter, contractual and corporative consultant, or as an educator. The US government currently considers Arabic a critical language and many scholarships and study abroad opportunities are available.