Arabic as a language elective in NTU

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To: Administrators of Language and Communication Centre

We, the students of NTU, will like the Language and Communication Centre to offer Arab language as a modern language elective. We are interested in taking Arabic during our course of study and consider it to be beneficial for business, career, cultural exposure and study of Arabic literature. These reasons are elaborated as followed:

1. Arabic is the 5th most commonly spoken native language in the world.
Arabic is the official language of over 20 countries and there are over 220 million native speakers of the language. These speakers are largely concentrated in the Middle East, but there are minority groups of native speakers around the world. Arabic is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

2. There is a high demand and low supply of Arabic-speakers in the Western world.
With the growing importance of the Middle East in international affairs, there is thus a shortage of workers in the West who are versed in Arabic language and culture. Those who study Arabic can find careers in a variety of fields: journalism, business, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation and many others.

3. Arabic-speaking nations are important markets for trade.
The Arab region provides a huge market for goods and services. The Arab Monetary Fund revealed that the combined market capitalisation of the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council was about $681.3 billion in 2009. In order to do business effectively, one should understand the language and culture of the people with whom one hopes to negotiate and conduct trade.

4. Knowing Arabic can promote intercultural understanding.
Those who learn Arabic gain deeper insights in the Arab cultural and political values. Arabic speakers can negotiate and assist in solving and avoiding intercultural conflicts, promote global understanding and tolerance.

5. Rich Arabic literature
In addition to being the liturgical language of Islam, Arabic language is rich in poetry and prose. A large proportion of Arabic literature before the 20th century is in the form of poetry, and even prose from this period is either filled with snippets of poetry or is in the form rhymed prose. They were written with the design that they would be spoken aloud and great care was taken to make them as mellifluous as possible.