KUWAIT (KUNA): The Al-Babtain Central Library of Arabic Poetry is gearing up to set up an Arabic Language Center in Eckerd College in Florida, Board Chairman Abdelaziz Saud Al-Babtain revealed Sunday. Al-Babtain said the center would offer Arabic language courses for different levels of competence and for learners of different age groups. It is expected to start with an annual 100 graduates, he said. Discussions had been ongoing between library officials and peers at American universities through which a deal was made to found the center in Florida, he said. He added the initiative was well received by the US side and the center is to launch soon. Al-Babtain also announced a new program undergoing planning to teach American students Arabic, but in Kuwait. The library is ready to receive 20 students between next Dec 15 and Jan 15, and the students are of different majors and there would also be some learners who are employed with the UN.
This program, he said, would offer a well-rounded cultural experience in cooperation with the language center in Florida and the Ministry of Information. "The program was weighed to offer a pleasant while educating experience to best represent the spirit of our true Arab culture and identity," the figure stressed. Once a foreigner masters Arabic, he would gain access to Arabic literature and culture without mediation or translation which often distorts facts and image and leads to confusion. The library had last year organized an Arabic language course for 10 students from Missouri in Jordan, and the success of the experience prompted a consideration for another such activity in Kuwait.