Students Learn Arabic Culture and Language After School (PHOTOS)

Every Thursday after school, several students gather for an Arabic language and culture class at College Gardens Elementary School in Rockville. Organized by Kalimah LLC, an organization that aims to educate children about Arabic culture, the class provides an outlet for young children to learn a new language or brush up on their Arabic language skills.Kalimah Arabic Class

The Kalimah Arabic After School Program currently has two classes in Montgomery County. McNair Elementary School in Germantown and College Gardens Elementary School in Rockville host the program on Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively. Students learn to count, read and speak in Arabic.

Layali Eshqaidef is the founder of the Kalimah Arabic After School Program and she hopes to offer the classes to more students in the near future.

“I founded the program based on the need that people in the community have expressed,” Eshqaidef said. “Very few Arabic programs exist in Maryland as a whole so I looked into the different options and I [started] at this school to provide an after school club where it’s not just strict language, but also learning through arts and crafts, and games.”

Eshqaidef added that since the classes started in September of 2015, she has seen enrollment rise for both sessions. She hopes to gain the support of local PTAs to further grow the program.

Hamzah Aburagheb recently enrolled his son in the program. Aburagheb relocated from Jordan five years ago and wanted his son to learn more about Arabic language and culture.

“I speak with him in Arabic at home but we felt like he needed a little bit of extra space to hear the language more and hopefully practice it,” Aburaghed said. “He does understand Arabic but I think because everybody around he mostly speaks English, he feels more comfortable with English so we wanted that extra space for him to use [Arabic].

To learn more, visit the Kalimah Arabic Language After School Program website.

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Willie James Inman

About Willie James Inman

Willie James Inman is a Community Engagement Specialist and Multimedia Journalist at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach him on Twitter @imwilljames.


One Response to “Students Learn Arabic Culture and Language After School (PHOTOS)”

  1. Avatar
    On April 23, 2016 at 12:03 am responded with... #

    What a great initiative!

    Using a play-based approach to teach Arabic (or any language) to children is very effective as it makes them enjoy the language while acquiring it!

    I also appreciate the name of the organization as “kalimah” in Arabic means “word” in English.

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