Arabic is a semitic language that is spoken by over 250 million people in 22 Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Although Arabs have different dialects, "Al-Fos'ha", or Classical Arabic, is the language used in the media. Arabic is also known as "The Language of 'Dhad'", a letter that only exist in Arabic.
Contrary to many other languages that have changed over the years, the Arabic language has been preserved, mainly due to the fact that it is the language of the Quran, the holy book for Muslims. In Islam, prayers have to be performed in Arabic, and therefore Muslims, who constitute over 1.1 billion of the World's population, learn Arabic in order to practice their religion.
Arabic is considered one of the hardest languages to learn and master. It is often difficult for Arabs themselves. After September 11, there has been a heightened interest in Arabic, and it has become common to see non-Muslims registering for Arabic classes.
Arabic Students tasting various Arabic Foods in the MLTC
Common Words in Arabic
"Peace be with you - Salam alaykum Hello - Marhaba Goodbye - Ma salaama How are you? - Kayf halak? My name is - Ismi What is your name? - Shu-ismak? I am American - Ana amriki. Do you speak English? - Tatakalam inglesi? Yes - Na'amm Please - Mindfadlak Thank you - Shukran You are welcome - Afwan Market - Souq How much money? - Kam fulus? God willing - Inshallah" (St. Petersburg Times).
Susan T. Martin. All Arabic, all the time - in Vermont (2004). St. Petersburg Times Online World & Nation, 2004. 29 Oct. 2004. http://www.sptimes.com/2003/07/07/Worldandnation/All_Arabic__all_the_t.shtml"