In 2008, Or Amar, a 21-year-old soldier, got off the train in Beer Sheva. There was a white jeep waiting for him, in which Drigat's Mukhtar (head of the village) was waiting for him. Or got into the jeep and the two began driving to the village - a one-hour ride that changed Or's life forever, bringing him to establish El-Masdar Academy of Arabic Studies.
I was tired and still tensed. All this dissipated when I first experienced the hospitality that so many people talk about! ”Or recalls and smiles”.
"At his house, Ishak introduced me to his wife and children, as the guest of honor. Really made me feel important, that I was the center of the event! His wife served us a light but invested meal: fruits, baked goods, sweet tea ... During the meal we continued what we started on the journey - Ishak taught me Arabic words, but this time in the context of the foods that were on the table: “This is an omelette, fruit, tea with sage... "I couldn't fall asleep, "Or says," I lay awake trying to understand what I was experiencing right now. I realized it was the highest level of authenticity, it's something real At that moment I decided to stay in the village until I was learning Arabic".
Speaking Arabic within a week: El-Masdar’s first student; Or devoted himself to learn the language. In addition to his role as head of the village, Ishak also served as the only school principal in the village. He introduced Or to classes from kindergarten through middle school, and introduced him to all oh his teachers. In addition, he continued teaching Or at home with notebooks, books, and lots of phrases.
Within a week I could handle conversations in Arabic. I was deeply connected to the wonderful people of the village, especially to Ishak and his family.
In fact, a few years later, his daughter called her son by my name - 'Noor', which is light in Arabic... Or was surprised that in just 3 weeks, he had already reached an advanced level in Arabic (reading and writing). He attributes this to staying in the village, and to the strong connection between the Arabic language and culture and customs. "A week in the village does what a year in class won't do," he says.
After 3 weeks in the village, Or had returned to the center of the country. "I realized that I had experienced something extraordinary and real. I decided I wanted to share it with others" Or smiles. "This is how El-Masadar began, the center I established for Arabic studies ,based on my authentic experience.the process of Learning takes place through visits to villages, full accommodation with hosting families, and an everyday absorption of the culture”.
A language for life, straight from the source: a week with El-Masdar. The name El-Masdar is the source. This is exactly how Or designed his center: Arabic language and cultural studies, straight from the original.
"In El-Masdar, we provide an authentic learning experience, focused on immersion programs in Arab villages for several days (depending on the program). Most of the day is devoted to learning and practicing Arabic in class. At the other part of the day, the real learning begins -during meals, tours, experiential workshops, and other cultural experiences”.
Or and El-Masdar Academy are able to offer these unique services thanks to the strong infrastructure that Amar has built for years. "We have developed personal and business relationships with village leaders and local communities of Arab Fallahin, Bedouin or Druze villages - in the north, center and south of the country, all within the Green Line".
"Me and my team are always present, and there's a strong sense of security and mutual gathering”. "We host pensioners, tourists from abroad, students... We will soon also open special programs with schools and municipalities. Everyone gets the most appropriate accommodation: with friends, couples, groups, and any other combinations. The highest level of hospitality, with plenty of privacy and comfort. The view is breathtaking. The food is amazing, and in some villages upon request, we also bring kosher catering. "
El-Masdar courses take place all year long, in a variety of locations, lengths and levels of Arabic. (By: IsraVibe 24/02/2019)