Bowling Green High Offers First Arabic Class in State

By: Fida Georges Email
By: Fida Georges Email

Bowling Green High School now offers an Arabic class. It's the first Arabic class offered at the high school level in the state of Kentucky.

Writing from right to left in letters that look more like symbols might seem strange to some, but not to these students taking Level One Arabic.

"I found out you could get well paying jobs in government. People need translators with war in Iraq," Ben Loiacono said.

Loiacono, who goes by the Arabic name "Khalid" in class, said this isn't the only reason why he's so interested in this language.

"Once you learn the language, you learn the culture and its like you just want to learn more and a lot of people don't see it that way," Loiacono said.

Arabic is the fourth most spoken language in the world and the United Nations has adopted it as the sixth official language.

Arabic professor Touria Myers has taught French and Spanish for the last 20 years and said after 9-11 she decided to teach Arabic.

"I thought if I start teaching Arabic, more people will realize it has nothing to do with terrorism," Myers said.

Myers said now a lot of her students aspire to achieve careers that include speaking Arabic.

Principal Gary Fields said he's received overwhelming support for this program.

Myers said her students have progressed incredibly and hopes this will be a stepping stone for greater things to come, not only for this community, but for this state.

The school has already purchased ten keyboards that are Arabic compatible and the class plans on publishing an Arabic section in the Bowling Green Daily News on May 24, 2007.

For more information, contact Touria Myers at touria.myers@bgreen.kyschools.us or call 270-746-2300.


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