CAIRO– Offering US Muslim children an easy access to learn the Arabic language, a Muslim teacher in North Carolina has published an educational book to teach children Arabic, filling an important void in the United States.
“We have to read in Arabic,” Hanadi Rashad, a teacher at the Annoor Islamic Center, and the publisher of the Arabic learning book, told Winston-Salem Journal on Wednesday, December 25.
Living in the US, Rashad noticed that American children, and Muslims in particular, were denied a right to learn Arabic in schools.
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The problem maximized for children who live in neighborhoods with no nearby mosques or Islamic schools.
Countering these obstacles, teacher Rashad, of a Sudanese origin, decided to devote herself to teach Arabic to US Muslim children.
Since 2010, Rashad has been compiling the Arabic weekly lessons that she taught in the Islamic centre.
By December 2013, Rashad has released her first self- published book titled "Little Reader 3 Steps Towards Reading Qur`an: From Alif to Alif Laam Meem”.
Rashad says that reading Qur’an in English is not enough, Muslims have to recite Qur’an phrases in Arabic while praying.
The United States is home to a Muslim minority of between six to eight million.
A recent survey found that American Muslims are the most moderate around the world.
It also showed that US Muslims generally express strong commitment to their faith and tend not to see an inherent conflict between being devout and living in a modern society.
An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.
Rashad's effort was praised by her Muslim community who consider her book a reference for parents and teachers wishing to teach Arabic.
“If you don’t pronounce correctly, you have different meanings for the verses (from the Quran),” said Habib Bendaas, the principal of the Al Hedaya school at the Annoor Islamic Center who underscores the importance of correct pronunciation.
Preserving her kids' Arab identity, Rashad has taught her 17-year-old daughter the Arabic language since she was five, when she turned eleven she was able to read the Qur`an in Arabic.
Yet, she stresses that this would not be easy for newly reverted Muslims or for second and third generation American Muslims.
For more advanced levels in Arabic, Rashad is planning to publish two more books.
Aiming that the book spread throughout the US, Rashad said that: “I hope people can find it.”
“This is the start.”
A survey by the Modern Language Association found that after 9/11, Arabic enrollments in American colleges have grown faster than any other language except American Sign Language.
Arabic is the language of the Noble Qur'an and the official language of 22 countries in north Africa and Asia.
Spoken by millions of Arabs living in the United States and Canada, Arabic is one of the six official languages of the United States.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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