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SUMMER 2009 INTENSIVE ARABIC IMMERSION PROGRAM TESTIMONIALS
I was extremely happy with the Al-Ameen Arabic Summer Program. The program was organized with great care, and we felt like we were part of a big, raucous family under the loving guidance of Dr. Jones, Sister Matiniah, and Rosemary. We were encouraged to take initiative in organizing trips outside of Cairo and seeing more of Egypt. Many of us, however, stayed home to study! Don’t be fooled – because of its shorter duration, the program is very intensive (I experienced this at the advanced Arabic level, which was where I was placed) and you will need some of the weekends to catch up on homework, or to review.
Each class had only three to five students, which allowed for great personal attention from the teacher and helped develop supportive relationships between students. I was also able to get one-on-one tutoring with another teacher (during class time) for some of my weakest areas; that is to say, the program was flexible enough to accommodate my personal needs. The afternoon tajwid class was extremely helpful in perfecting pronunciation, and introduced an element of deep spirituality into our daily endeavors. We were also given the opportunity to continue study in the evenings with private tutors from al-Azhar, at an extremely reasonable hourly rate (for summer 2009, about $5 per hour).
In five weeks, my Arabic comprehension increased tremendously, while my speaking skills also improved. I also regained my confidence in reading Arabic texts, and reviewed much of the grammar that I’d let slide for the past few years. Through living together, supporting each other intellectually and spiritually, and traveling together, I made wonderful friends whom I know I will remain in touch with. This was truly a wonderful, love-filled, dynamic community and I look forward to returning next year! - Homayra Summer 2009
This was a very great program. The housing was well situated to fit our needs. The school/classes were close by and having transportation to and from the school and the shopping center was a relief. A great amount of the instructors were very knowledgeable and well respected. The program is designed for all levels of Arabic which was great because we were all placed in the level of Arabic we were fitted for. The Arabic and Tajweed in this program was very beneficial. This was a very well put-together program mashaAllah, May Allah reward all who were involved. All of the Al-Ameen staff were so unbelievably helpful and so kind. Before going on the trip I was worried about being in a different country without any family, but I felt like the staff made it so easy to adjust and I felt like I could go to them for anything. Overall, this was an amazing program. - Tasnim M. Summer 2009
I found the program to be extremely fruitful not only in the cultivation of knowledge of the Arabic language and Qur'an, but also in the construction of fruitful spiritual space in which one is afforded an environment in which Islamic values can be learned and spiritual growth can be facilitated. - Danny Summer 2009
My striving and persevering to complete this program as a 65 year old Muslim woman, who moves a little slower and processes a little slower; the abundance of knowledge I acquired; the lives I was blessed to encounter; and a great opportunity to peek into a world that came 4 to 5,000 years before me; made this experience truly amazing and fulfilling. Whatever small inconveniences or discomforts I may have crossed, surely, the positives, the new discoveries and the great benefits overshadowed them and I am so grateful.Thank you for helping to make this once in a lifetime experience safe, enjoyable and beneficial. - Tasnim A. Summer 2009
I had hoped to gain a more solid foundation for future advancement through personal study and got everything that I had hoped for from this program and then some. The teachers that I had were excellent and my Arabic instructor was especially suited for teaching beginners vocabulary and grammar. The students in my classes were serious and had a good natured competitiveness about them which made me work harder. Dr. Jones and sister Matiniah are the perfect people for directing this program and I am grateful for the both of them and their staff. I will keep you and everyone from this summer's class in the special places in my heart. - Bilal Summer 2009
The Intensive Arabic program was intense and worth every penny. When gearing up for this program be prepared to put in plenty of time for homework and study. The Arabic course is great for beginners and for people who have Arabic knowledge. The Tajweed course was magnificent. I came in with very few Suras memorized and know I have memorized at least a dozen. Also, you develop deeper appreciation for the Quran and how it is recited in the Arabic language. Although the program is only one month, the knowledge acquired from the courses is absolutely beneficial to one who wants to learn the language and the Quran. The program is well organized and well prepared and I would recommend it to anyone ready for an intense educational experience and a great cultural experience in historic Egypt. Jazak Allahu Khayrun to the people who have prepared the program and who put in time and effort for a great educational experience. - Amer Summer 2009
If you are serious about learning Arabic and you have the discipline for an intensive immersion course, then this program is for you. The program not only teaches you Arabic but immerses you in an Arabic speaking environment (Egypt) so you make use of that which you learn in class. The Tajweed Quran class also offered alongside the Arabic course is also of great benefit to those seeking to expand their knowledge of the Quran. The teaching staff at Al-Azhar was excellent. I highly recommend the Al-Ameen Associates’ trip to Cairo for those seeking to expand their classical Arabic knowledge base. - Imran Summer 2009
Despite all of my complaining about all the hard work, I’m so thankful that Allah allowed me to participate in this program. it was a great experience and I’ll never forget it. i loved the group of people that made this program so enjoyable. l really loved my classmates; we all bonded so well; the young and the not so young; the teachers were great and well-versed in the subject matter. Last but not least, i really appreciated Dr Jones, Matiniah, and Rosemary. They ran a well organized program and showed genuine concern for all of us. i learned things that, inshaAllah, will help me to continue my Arabic and Quran studies at home. - Nadirah Summer 2009
The staff went above and beyond the call of duty to meet all my needs and to satisfy many requests I've made.This trip was not my first experience participating in a study abroad intensive course program. However, it was the easiest to plan as Al-Ameen took care of booking the fights to Egypt, our housing in Cairo and our transportation to and from school as well as bi-weekly trips to the grocery store in addition to the continued flow of information from the minute we signed up for the program to our departure for Cairo and beyond. As a mother and a teacher, I've always enjoyed my role as the caretaker; it was nice to be taken care of for a change :-) and for that I will always be grateful. I would also like to add that my speaking in Fusha Arabic has improved (my goal when I signed up for the program) thanks to the many discussions and conversation I've had with my Arabic teacher and classmates, and now I get complimented on it by my Egyptian friends and Moroccan family who tease me often about using "fancy language" when I speak to them in Aamia. My biggest gain and most precious gift from the program was my experience in Tajweed class. I am planning on pursuing my studies in Tajweed and Tafsir Quran once I return to the States, Inshallah. - Fatima Summer 2009