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Learning Arabic

2013 International Student Travel Video Contest Entry
Learning Arabic from International Student on Vimeo.

Learning Arabic

  • Kimberly Davidson
  • 2013
  • 4:20

This video briefly outlines how I came to learn Arabic, and why I want to continue to do so. After studying Hebrew and going to Israel this past year, I have been heavily influenced by two Semitic languages. I am inspired by not only the language, but the culture and sentiment of the people. Being a Fine Art and Art History major, I am currently researching topics having to do with Edward Said's Orientalism and relating the artists Shadi Ghadirian, Mona Hatoum and Janine Al-Ani to these historical and modern concepts. After September 11, 2001, the perception of the Middle east, to a large portion of American society has drastically changed. I cannot go without saying, that I have an extreme interest in this subject, and am considering both Contemporary Art of the Middle East and Education as avenues for my graduate study.

As of now, I consider myself to be a beginner Arabic speaker. Although I have a good ground for Palestinian Arabic, I have little knowledge of writing, reading and understanding Modern Standard Arabic (Farsi). Although an arts major, I would consider language to relate to my artwork, studies and everyday life. I have been wanting to attend the three month intensive Arabic study at the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan. By studying in this country, I would be able to speak the same dialect, while learning Modern Standard. I find any new language necessary to study within an academic setting to learn the grammar and formal technique. Also considering the Critical Language Scholarship, I found myself stuck, as I have never taken a foreign language class. Without this scholarship, I do not have the funds to study otherwise, and hope you consider my proposal.

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