Marhaba: NU MENA and QFI Partner to Support Local Arabic Educators

Qatar Foundation International (QFI) and Northwestern’s Middle East and North African Studies Programme (MENA) are partnering to expand the Chicago Arabic Teachers’ Council. Since 2012, QFI has supported Arabic Teachers’ Councils in major metropolitan areas such as Washington DC, Michigan, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. The councils aim to strengthen local Arabic programs by providing a forum for Arabic teachers to network, collaborate and share innovative approaches to teaching, as well as providing outreach and support to educators and their communities.

Northwestern has had Arabic programs since 1970, when it was offered on a regular but limited basis. In 2012, the teaching of Arabic moved to the then newly created MENA program, where it has since grown dramatically.

Northwestern’s MENA program now offers Modern Standard Arabic to the fifth year level, as well as dedicated courses in three regional dialects and media Arabic. The Arabic Teachers’ Councils further the shared goal of QFI and Northwestern MENA to strengthen and professionalize the field of Arabic language education by providing the needed support and opportunities for teachers of Arabic and their students.

QFI Executive Director Maggie Mitchell Salem said, “We are delighted to continue supporting the Chicago-area Arabic Teachers’ Council with a new partner, Northwestern University’s MENA Program.  The Council has been active since 2013, and our nationwide network has reached over 1100 members.

“We’re proud of the existing ties to Northwestern University’s Doha, Qatar campus in Education City and look forward to extending our partnership to include Northwestern’s MENA programme in Chicago. We look forward to collaborating with Northwestern University and to continuing the active teacher participation of the past three years with community-driven programs.”

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