On Thursday, Aug. 11, at Cal State San Bernardino, the Summer Language Intensive Arabic Program (SLIP) celebrated 10 years of instruction with a banquet. The gala featured class presentations in Arabic languages and cultural dances. A video of the students that have travelled abroad was also shown.
Dr. Dany Doueiri, one of the Arabic Program co-directors, provided a backdrop of how the program came to be and how it has flourished over the last decade.
"It is the largest federal initiative that has been funded over the last 10 years," said Doueiri. "We had a student that attended San Bernardino High School in our program. She was the first person in the nation to ever receive a Bachelors of Arts in Arabic, and for that we are very proud.
"We do this program for our students, their families, and their friends. We appreciate their commitment to our program. They (the students) give us all of their energy.
"Recently, we were chosen out of 145 summer programs in the nation. Thankfully, we are most rigorous and the best. We serve the communities in Southern California, the United States, and around the world. We're very happy that this is an affordable program. Not only do our students earn college units, they learn about a different culture. They learn that humanity has so much more in common than people want to realize. Our program is a type of United nations in San Bernardino, with six countries in Latin America and almost a dozen Arabic countries represented."
"I studied an Arabic culture class in the mornings at Cal State." said Highland resident Kristina Shahatit, a student at Citrus Valley High School. "I initially heard about the program from my brother. Being Jordanian, I wanted to learn the language of my family. I wanted to expand my knowledge about the Arabic culture."
"I grew up hearing Arabic around the house," added the varsity basketball player. "I would like to be back in the (SLIP) program next year and go to Amman, Jordan. I would get to visit my dad's side of the family. It would be cool to be surrounded by people that spoke proper Arabic as well as street Arabic. Just to be immersed in the Arabic culture would be nice."
"Professor Dany's energy was amazing! He is so passionate about what he teaches and how we learn. He puts his all in the Arabic program. Dany always made sure that the students had everything they needed. I appreciate his hard work and dedication to the program and to us."