Living Arabic – Arabic Studies Institute

"Living Arabic" is part of the "Jewish-Arab Center for Peace" at Givat Haviva.

Here at the center, we have been at the forefront of teaching Arabic as a second language for Hebrew speakers for over 50 years, providing curriculum development, teacher training, and language instruction for students, teachers, and adults. Since Arabic language is a mandatory subject in Israeli schools, we have had a huge teaching laboratory in which to build up a body of expertise teaching Arabic as a second language unequalled anywhere in the world. In 2008, we decided to open programs for students from all over the world as well, using our vast experience to teach Arabic as a foreign language.

Givat Haviva is located in Israel's Wadi Ara region, home to the country's highest concentration of Arabic speakers. The area is diverse; 100,000 native speakers live in a variety of villages and small cities, each with its own flavor and particular dialectical features.

We believe that language is a bridge between people and cultures. It is from this basis that we work to facilitate intercultural meetings, intended for people from diverse backgrounds to get to know each other and their respective languages. Our teachers go beyond the academic, often opening their homes and introducing students to their families and day to day activities.


Living in Givat Haviva's campus with students from the Arabic Studies Institute |  Franziska Dickmanns 

"When I first came to Israel to start an internship, I had no idea what to expect, I was just curious how it will be. I did not have time to look for an apartment, so I just took what I was offered.

I thought it might be fun to live with other people in a shared flat on campus. ...

Interesting about the Group itself was, that they could not have been more different from each other, in their character, preferences and manners. Still, what seemed to connect them all was a general interest in the things they do not know yet. They were all curious and wanted to know and understand new things. I think that's why they all took this course. They all had an interest in the Arabic language but also in the Arab culture, the attitude and mind-set of people and their history. I found it very impressive how ambitious and serious they were about it. I think every one of the group has the wish for change. They all want to take a step towards the other group of people. Some of them were very interested and active in politics and discussed a lot. They write, discuss and communicate their ideas to the public. Then there were others who were less interested in politics. They tend to be quieter, do not talk much about their opinions, but are equally interested in change. They create changes in a small circle.

I was very impressed by this group. Every one of them has shown me that in order to require change, you need to be active. Therefore, have to face reality but also keep the hope that things can change and be better in order to become active. …"