On March 27th, NSLI-Y Interactive hosted the virtual event “Arabic Classroom Connections.” Four current NSLI-Y Academic Year students in Morocco gave presentations to two Arabic language classrooms in the U.S. (Bell Magnet High School and Eagle Rock High School in Los Angeles, CA) The NSLI-Y students shared about the NSLI-Y program, learning Arabic, and Moroccan food, among other topics. After the presentations, the students in the U.S. asked the NSLI-Y students questions about their time in Morocco so far. Please support these impressive young scholars by watching their presentations and by sharing this story or leaving a comment below.

Speaker Bios:

LillianLillian is a high school senior from Winston-Salem North Carolina who will be graduating from Salem Academy in June 2019. Previous to participating in NSLI-Y, she attended STARTALK for Arabic as well as the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Institute for developing ideas on international diplomacy. She loves to read books about culture and politics, go on long runs, and organize social justice activities. In the fall, Lillian plans to attend a four-year university.

MagdalenOriginally from Rochester, New York, Magdalen decided to study Arabic when she became interested in Middle Eastern culture and politics, specifically in the Levant. She is a self-proclaimed language lover and travel addict who believes that language is the foundation of cross cultural understanding, and has knowledge of French, Polish, and Arabic, with hopes to learn more in the future. In August, Magdalen will begin studying international development and public health at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
CarleonHi, my name is Carleon and I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I choice to study Arabic two years ago on the NSLI-Y 2017 Arabic summer program and now Academic Year because I wanted to be able to speak to people of the MENA region. With immigration and refugee policy in America being what it is I became motivated to work with people of the region to help with educational, social and financial advisory and opportunities when I am in college next year in Atlanta, Georgia (Morehouse College). Speaking Arabic enables me to work with incredible people in their first language making it easier for them to relate, feel more welcomed and comfortable through the process of adjustment. I am forever grateful for NSLI-Y and the person they have helped shaped me to become.

I'm Daniel and I came to Rabat from the city of Chicago. I first decided to study Arabic due simply to the starkness with which it contrasted against my other high school language options, those being French and Spanish. As a Venezuelan-American and Spanish heritage speaker, I saw little point in learning another romance language when I could expose myself to an entirely different linguistic tree. The political unrest that gradually unfolded in my parents' home country only seemed to validated this pivotal decision as I saw what initially appeared to be parallels between Venezuela and Arab nations – Egypt in particular – that have similarly experienced diminished faith in their political institutions.

One of the classrooms kicked off the event with a song in Arabic: