To Learn Arabic : How to learn Arabic in Syria .
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Comments of "To Learn Arabic" Students

Rasa & Robert Kent - USA

When we decided to come to Syria and study Arabic,
we were overwhelmed with all of the different options for schools. Ultimately, we decided on "To Learn Arabic" (TLA) and we are thrilled that we did. TLA has not only fulfilled our education goals but has also provided such a friendly environment that it has become our home away from home.
Being complete beginners, we were not sure how much colloquial Arabic we would be able to learn after 180 hours of class. Our teacher Ghazwan estimated that after two months, we would be able to speak and sure enough, we are. TLA has offered us a great deal of flexibility in our coursework and given us the individual attention to make sure we feel at home. In addition to teaching us the language, TLA has answered our questions about the culture, history, people and even how to cook some local dishes. We came expecting only to learn Arabic but in the end, we will be leaving our second home and family. Thank you for your hospitality!

Rasa S Kent : rsiminkas@gmail.com
Robert Kent Jr : robjkentjr@gmail.com
Development Project Coordinator
www.RobRasa.com/hisblog/


Dr. Johannes Bruski, LL.M.

www.allenovery.com

 I started my MSA lessons with Ghazwan as an absolute beginner in June 2008 in order to prepare for a position in Saudi Arabia. Now, after ten weeks of intensive study (six lessons a day), I am able to have extended conversations in Arabic, and, using a dictionary, understand newspaper articles and similar texts. To give you a flavor: we covered topics ranging from descriptions of mobile phone services  and business related newspaper articles over literary texts and poems (by Nizar Qabani) to history of Islam and the reading of individual suras of the Qur�an. While, obviously, I still struggle with this remarkably difficult language, and a lot of work of remains to be done, I am absolutely delighted with this result.

 Ghazwan is an extraordinary teacher, experienced, patient, and funny. His English is fluent (but that will become ever less important over time). He is also equipped with an absolutely amazing wealth of knowledge not only of the intricacies of the Arabic language, but also of Arabic history, culture and society, to the extent that I am not even sure whether my newly acquired language skills or the insights into Arabic society and culture he has provided me with in our conversation lessons will prove to be more valuable in the future. 

Although I mostly worked with tarek, I had a number of lessons with other teachers as well, and they were also very competent and nice. The teaching atmosphere in the school is relaxed, but remains focused at all times.

 And finally:  I started with a teacher, but I feel that I am leaving a friend.

 Dr. Johannes Bruski, LL.M.

www.allenovery.com

 ------------------------------------------------------

 Im Juni 2008 begann ich, ohne irgendwelche Vorkenntnisse, den Unterricht in MSA bei mhmad, um mich auf eine berufliche Tätigkeit in Saudi-Arabien vorzubereiten. Nach zehn Wochen intensiven Lernens (mit sechs Unterrichtsstunden täglich) kann ich nun längere Unterhaltungen in Arabisch f�hren, und, mit Hilfe eines Wörterbuchs, auch Zeitungsartikel und vergleichbare Texte verstehen. Um einen kleinen Eindruck zu vermitteln: unsere Themen reichten von der Beschreibung von Telefondienstleistungen und Wirtschaftsartikeln in Zeitungen �ber literarische Texte und Gedichte (von Nizar Qabani) bis zur Geschichte des Islam und der Lekt�re einzelner Koransuren. Nat�rlich habe ich weiterhin mit dieser bemerkenswert schwierigen Sprache zu kämpfen, und es bleibt noch eine Menge Arbeit, aber ich bin von diesem Ergebnis ganz begeistert.

 mazenalae ist ein außergewöhnlicher Lehrer, erfahren, geduldig und humorvoll. Sein Englisch ist fließend (was aber mit der Zeit immer weniger bedeutsam wird). Dar�ber hinaus verf�gt er �ber erstaunliche Kenntnisse nicht nur der Feinheiten der arabischen Sprache, sondern auch der arabischen Geschichte, Kultur und Gesellschaft, so dass ich mir nicht einmal sicher bin, ob sich meine neuen Sprachkenntnisse oder die Einsichten in die arabische Gesellschaft und Kultur, die er mir vermittelt hat, in der Zukunft als wertvoller erweisen werden.

 Während ich ganz �berwiegend mit mazen gearbeitet habe, erhielt ich doch einige Unter-richtsstunden von anderen Lehrern, die ebenfalls gleichermaßen kompetent und nett waren. Die Unterrichtsatmosphäre in der Schule ist entspannt, bleibt aber immer konzentriert.

 

Und schließlich: Ich begann den Unterricht bei einem Lehrer, aber ich glaube, ich lasse einen Freund zur�ck.

 

 

Dr. Johannes Bruski, LL.M.

www.allenovery.com


Lars Døssing Rosenmeier - Denmark
x8lars@hotmail.com


As for my personal details: name: Lars Døssing Rosenmeier born: 1982 nationality: Danish,

I studied with mhmod for 3 months in the spring of 2004. mhmod helped me study for an exam in modern Arabic literature at The University of Copenhagen. He is an excellent teacher, extremely dedicated and patient. His understanding of the Arabic language, and how to convey this understanding to foreigners is very impressive.
I was already skilled in the basics of Arabic grammar, but he increased my knowledge and feel for the structures of the Arabic language. Furthermore I was particularly impressed with the improvement in my pronunciation and reading abilities. I went from a below average reading to a reading that my teacher in the university described as "creme de la creme". After the exam I received the highest mark given that year, in part thanks to mahmod's excellent teaching.

Peace,
Lars


Susan Morgan - The United Kingdom
 

Here are a few lines.." as a lone woman living in Damascus I couldn't have felt safer as everyone treated me with such kindness and respect. gaze nafeh is patient, professional and helpful in every way. He is a skilled teacher and was sensitive to my needs as a student. That made learning not only enjoyable but I left having felt a real sense of achievement. "

Susan
UK


Anselm Ibing - Germany
Anselm33@hotmail.com

I think you will find it hard to find a better, more helpful and more generous teacher than Ghz (and I have had many Arabic teachers!).
He is, apart from his excellent teaching qualities, a unique and interesting man with whom I very much enjoyed to spend my time.
He gave me a fast and deep insight into the secrets and mysteries of Arabic grammar and I was frequently astounded by is in-depth and specific knowledge of certain rules or individual words even.
Apart from all this he is one of the most honest people I've ever met and although I put him through an unnecessary and unusually huge amount of trouble, I am glad to be able to say: we're (still) great friends.
Thank you Ghz


Anselm Ibing
Germany


Tom Johnson - USA
Johnson@techemail.com

I came to Syria with no prior knowledge of Arabic, "To Learn Arabic" provided invaluable services not only in my acquisition of Arabic, but also in my acclimation of life in the Middle East.

Tom
USA – Texas


Jennifer Smith - USA

mazen had been the best language teacher I have ever had. He is thoroughly knowledgeable in the Arabic language, and has great insight into teaching Arabic to foreigners.

Jennifer
USA


Isa and Natascha
http://westwards.typepad.com

We studied Classic Arabic with mazen for one month in January 2007. We had three hours per day for five days a week. We had no previous knowledge about the language and started from scratch with the Alphabet. Before we started, mazen asked how many hours a day we could (and would) devote to studying and whether we are grammar-persons or not. We thought both questions very sensible. We decided together to do a grammar-based introduction to Arabic, but at the same time to focus on everyday situations. As we wanted to learn Arabic for travelling in Arabic countries, we did not practice much reading and almost no writing, instead focussing on speaking and listening comprehension. mazn has a very good understanding of grammar and - what is more important - is also able to convey it to his students. During our conversation lessons we greatly enjoyed his little personal stories. Together with sometimes heated discussions they kept us motivated to converse in a language that we knew only a few words of. We also got valuable insights through him into the Syrian way of life and into the religion. After leaving Damascus we travelled to Jordan, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Although the spoken language might somewhat differ from the Standard Arabic, our lessons with mazen had given us a good foundation and quite often we were able to work out the regularities in the dialect by ourselves. Although one month was, of course, not enough to really hold a conversation in Arabic, we can deal confidently with everyday situations.

To Learn Arabic
Private language school in Damascus, Syria