The study of language and culture can bring the youth of nations together—especially given today’s technology and mobility—in a way that nothing else can. In light of the many deep misconceptions and barriers that lie between the United States and Arab peoples and cultures, it is extremely important that youth get as much encouragement and opportunity as possible to communicate across cultures.
QFI is taking the lead and attracting a range of partners to introduce Arabic language and culture into mainstream education through its ALC School Programs. QFI receives guidance in this effort from its Arabic Language and Culture Advisory Group, comprising a number of leading American and Qatari experts. We seek to improve the teaching and learning of Arabic language through improved teacher training, access to new curricula and materials, and in some cases direct support to school districts.
Dual Immersion in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
With support from QFI, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) launched a dual-language Arabic program at PS/IS 30 in September, 2013. The Mary White Ovington School is home to one of the city's largest populations of Arabic students and the fifth-largest concentration of Arabic-speaking English-language learners. The program, funded by a grant from QFI, begins in PS/IS 30’s kindergarten this fall, providing a rich curriculum for English-speakers learning Arabic and Arabic-speakers learning English. It will be the first of its kind in New York City.
The DOE recognizes the educational, social, and economic importance of bilingualism in our global society—particularly in a city with such a unique cultural fabric. Students in New York schools represent over 160 different language groups and a plethora of national, ethnic, and religious identities. The DOE has pursued dual-language education in a number of different languages to foster bilingual and multilingual development. QFI joins the DOE in its commitment to language learning at the K to 12 level.
Starting this fall, PS/IS 30 will serve Kindergarten in its first year in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhood. The majority of families in this area are immigrants from Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria. The Dual Language Arabic program will serve as many as 25 students in its first year.
To date, we have made mid-term commitments to the following public and public charter schools in the United States:
- Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas
Empowerment Academy/New Tech at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, California
- Boston Arts Academy in Boston, Massachusetts
Ewa Beach, Hawaii
Schools in Portland, Seattle
New York, New York
We also support Arabic programs for public school students in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in collaboration with the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Secretariat of Education.
In addition to the school programs, QFI has facilitated visits to Qatari schools for students studying Arabic in public and public charter schools in the U.S. The visits allow the opportunity for Qatar and American students to connect, participate in cross-disciplinary learnings, and learn more about each other's cultures. Moreover, it lays the foundations for long-term school partnerships between principals, teachers and students. Learn about their experiences first-hand at The QFI Blog, where participants share their stories on cultural exchange, forging new relationships, learning Arabic, and more.
Students from the following U.S. schools have thus far participated in these QFI-facilitated trips:
- Bell High School (Los Angeles, CA)
- Boston (Mass.) Arts Academy
- Boston (Mass.) Latin School
- James Campbell High School (Ewa Beach, Hawaii)
- Charlestown High School (Boston, Mass.)
- Chief Sealth International High School (Seattle, Wash.)
- Cleveland High School (Seattle, Wash.)
- Dover-Sherborn High School (Dover, Mass.)
- Franklin High School (Seattle, Wash.)
- Granada Hills Charter School (Los Angeles, CA)
- Hingham (Mass.) High School
- Ingraham High School (Seattle, Wash.)
- International High School of New Orleans (LA)
- Lincoln Park High School (Chicago, Ill.)
- Lincoln High School (Portland, OR)
- Lindblom Math & Science Academy (Chicago, Ill.)
- Milton (Mass.) High School
- New Tech High School (Los Angeles, CA)
- Washington Latin Public Charter School (Washington, D.C.)
Profiles in Courage: United For Syria
17-year-old QFI Community Service Grantee, Abdulhassib Al-Jandali, sheds light on the humanitarian crisis in Syria through his campaign United For Syria. For more information about the campaign: fb.com/united4syria | @unitedf0rsyria
Profiles in Courage: An Interview with UNHCR
While visiting refugee camps in the Beqaa Valley, QFI spoke to Lisa Abu Khaled, Public Information Assistant at UNHCR Lebanon. Lisa spoke about the challenges and hardships of being displaced and everyday life in the camps.
The Road to Doha
QFI's Road to Doha program helped train and bring together youth from Qatar, the U.S., Brazil and Argentina to better understand and develop solutions to critical global issues and to more effectively raise environmental awareness.
The Future We Want
In June 2012, Youth Ambassadors for Science and the Environment traveled to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Caravelas and Abrohlos National Marine Park before heading to Rio+20 Earth Summit.
YALLAH: Commit to Action, Minnesota
QFI selected 36 students from Brazil, Qatar and the U.S. to participate in the National Service-Learning Conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Madeleine Albright Visits Lindblom
On April 10, 2012, Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited QFI's partner school, Lindblom Math and Science Academy.
Concordia Language Villages
In summer of 2011, QFI established a partnership with Concordia Language Villages. 31 youth from 20 different schools attended 2 or 4-week sessions at Al Waha, the Arabic Language Village.
QFI / WeVideo Behind the Scenes
The video that launched SXSW Film, highlighting QFI student filmmakers who collaborated on short water films.
QFI Celebrates Foreign Language Week
QFI's Executive Director speaks about the importance of learning another language.
BtoQ Compilation Video
Check out all five "Brazil to Qatar" National Geographic student videos in one compilation.
"Women" during the BtoQ Exchange
Brazilian and Qatari students worked with National Geographic instructors during the Brazil to Qatar exchange to create a short piece on women.
"People and Nature" during the BtoQ Exchange
Brazilian and Qatari students worked with National Geographic instructors during the Brazil to Qatar exchange to create a short piece on people and nature.
Behind the Scenes at Brazil to Qatar: One World, Many Stories
A behind the scenes look at the #BtoQ exchange program that brought 22 high school students from Brazil to meet their counterparts in Qatar.
From Chicago to Doha: Connecting Cultures, Exploring Science
Learn about students from Chicago's Lindblom Math and Science Academy who went on QFI's exchange trip to Qatar.
Chicago2Doha Media Projects
39 students from 3 schools in Chicago and Qatar came together for the Connecting Cultures, Exploring Science trip. Students told their reflections of the trip through images, video and sound.
Glass Blowing at Chihuly's Studio: YALLAH 2011
QFI students in Seattle as part of the YALLAH cultural exchange trip in 2011 were invited to world-renowned glass blower Dale Chihuly's studio.
Sir Richard Branson speaks to Earth Day Qatar 2011
Earth Day Qatar 2011 was the premier event in the region, featuring speakers, discussions, workshops, and a special video message by Sir Richard Branson.
Meet our Brazilian students
Arabic Language and Culture in Sao Paolo - meet the Brazilian students and administrators of this program.
Crossing the divide
Watch as students from QFI partner schools in Washington DC and Boston tell their story of language learning and cultural exchange.
Our mission and the astrolabe
With its rich and varied history, the Astrolabe represents education, science, innovation and diversity. Highlighted in this video, these values underscore QFI's vision and programs.
Video: ALCI in Brazil
QFI has partnered with BibliASPA to deliver ALCI in Sao Paolo, Brazil. In this video, you will meet the students of the program and the founder and director of BibliASPA.Watch Video
Blog: BtoQ, One World, Many Stories
QFI has partnered with BibliASPA to deliver ALCI in Sao Paolo, Brazil. In this video, you will meet the students of the program and the founder and director of BibliASPA.Read Post
Video: Crossing the Divide
Learning languages and exploring cultures in Washington DC and Boston.Watch Video