Written by: Talat Okby
I think because it is directly fused to the Middle Eastern culture!
Among many important topics that are taking the world by storm nowadays is Middle Eastern politics and culture and no knowledge of either will be possible without thorough knowledge of Arabic in its two recognizable forms: the Modern Classical and the Colloquial.
Modern classical is gaining more importance as the language of the written word and the Koran!
People learn it to be able to read, write and talk in Classical Arabic..even though it is quite different from the Arabic people talk at home!
But where is Home?
Home for Arabs Could extend from South Africa all the way to North Africa, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and the tips of Spain!
Such homes will speak a wide variety of dialects that will sound sometimes as non-Arabic at all!
Foreigners who will dwell in these countries for extended periods of time, such as for work or permanent residence, would do well to study the dialect (the colloquial or slang) Arabic that citizens of these countries speak at home to be able to communicate warmly with them, while of course not alienating or overlooking the study of Modern Classical which is the common denominator among ALL Arab Countries besides ALL Islamic countries as well !
Talat Okby, is an Arabic and Online English teacher from New York.
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