MIT Students in Jordan. Photo courtesy of MIT-Arab World.

احتفل بيوم اللغة العربية

The UN has designated December 18 as World Arabic Language Day.

Arabic is estimated to be the fifth most-spoken language in the world, by roughly 422 million speakers. Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations, making it an important global language along with English, French, Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Spanish. Classical Arabic is one of the world’s most important literary languages, with a rich history of poetry, song and narrative.

Global Languages announced this month that students would be able to study the Arabic language at MIT beginning with IAP January 2022. The new pilot program is the result of several years of discussion among faculty across MIT, with support from the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT-Arab World program. The Arabic Alumni Association also played an important role in spreading the word and garnering support from MIT alums.

MIT offers a Middle Eastern Studies Concentration and a Minor with a range of interdisciplinary classes across SHASS. MISTI’s MIT-Arab World Program offers opportunities for MIT students and faculty to engage and collaborate with peers in the region. The MIT-Arab World Program matches MIT students with internship and research opportunities at leading companies, research labs and universities in Jordan and, in collaboration with the MIT-Africa program, Morocco. MISTI Global Teaching Labs offers a unique opportunity for MIT students to teach STEM subjects during IAP in Jordon and Morocco (with target launch in Egypt, Jan. 2022). The MIT-Arab World Program also conducts the MIT Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow (MEET) program.