Neill Public Library will soon offer Arabic classes in addition to its other language courses.
For Naglla Aly, the Arabic instructor, it's an opportunity to share her culture with others.
"I feel that I should offer something to this community," she said. "It took me almost a year to think about this Arabic class. For me the Arabic class will help me to integrate into the community while helping other people." Aly noticed a demand for learning Arabic after traveling to several European countries and New Zealand.
"I came from a rich culture and when I arrived to Pullman, I came cross some people who do not have much knowledge about our culture, art, music, etc.," she said. "This class may help me in introducing my culture to other people." Library employee Jim Belcher said the classes have not yet started because of a lack of publicity.
"Once we get the word out, more people will register and we can begin the classes," he said.
The classes, scheduled for 4 to 5 p.m. every Monday and Thursday, will coincide with the college school year to make it easier for students to join.
Neill Library is not the only facility in Pullman offering Arabic classes. WSU began offering Arabic 101 in the summer of 2007 and has since been slowly expanding with more classes.
"Last semester Arabic 102 had an almost full enrollment with 21 students," said Eloy Gonzalez, professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures.
There are three different Arabic courses: 101, 102 and 105, which is a conversation class.
"We are hoping to offer the classes again next year," Gonzalez said.
Arabic instructor Saad Alshahrani said enrollment numbers have been high.
"Last summer the 101 class had a full enrollment of 25 students and in the fall semester both 101 and 105 had a full enrollment plus a waiting list," he said. "As far as this semester, 102 had an almost full enrollment with 25 students." This semester there are two more sections of Arabic 105 and more Arabic classes will be offered for the summer sessions.
"I am hoping to open 25 seats for next fall and have full enrollment again," Alshahrani said.