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The recent events in the Middle East are excellent reasons for individuals to get inspired to learn the Arabic language. The State Department and other government agencies are hiring personnel with excellent salaries and benefits to go the Middle East and to report back on the current events. An Arabic language speaker will be able to do that job well and report back accurately to help our country and our citizens. This is, yet, another reason to learn the Arabic language to advance and secure an excellent career that is currently needed, highly paid and very much respected.

The ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is no surprise to me. Like many Americans, I too was enthralled by the demonstrations in Cairo and elsewhere. Because I am an Arabic language linguist and tutor, I could tell from reading the protestors’ signs, banners, and placards that the Muslim Brotherhood is popular with the people. It is yet another example of how knowing the Arabic language will help anyone who wants to understand the Middle East and is interested in knowing its real issues. If you want to become an expert on Middle Eastern politics, culture and aspects of their daily life, then you must know the Arabic language…fluently. Many observers of Middle Eastern affairs quite often don’t know the Arabic language and so depend on news reports. News reporters don’t know the Arabic language and they, in turn, rely on what Arabs on the street could tell them in English. It is no wonder then that the news coming out of the Middle East is usually inaccurate.

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