“MA PARLO ARABO?”
Arabic language classes
By Stefania Lo Sardo with the collaboration of Giulia Spadoni
Language is one of the most effective tools to promote interaction between cultures and mutual knowledge. Through the language laboratory “Do I speak Arabic?”, the Association wants to contribute to the socialization of the different cultural communities present in the territory of Palermo, addressing the younger generation to create, within the Festival, an event that focuses attention on Arabic language. “Am I speaking Arabic?” is a question that usually comes up to the other speaker when she/he does not understand what we are saying. It means the total incomprehension. Actually, Arabic is a language closer than we believe. Expressions like mischino, or zotta of water (in Sicilian dialect) have Arabic roots; and in Italian, if we formulate sentences using the words bizzeffe, magazzino, caffè, carciofo, alchimia and algebra, basically we are speaking a bit Arabic! So, let’s go discover this language and take back our multicultural roots.
Assuming that to play resets cultural and linguistic differences, this laboratory offers activities, which focus on the ludic dimension. Bringing games into the context of teaching, young participants will explore the basics of the Arabic language while having fun. So, for example, they will learn the numbers playing scopa, a game also widespread in the Maghreb (scuba in Tunisia); they will venture to the grocery market in a suq reconstructed within the GAM, to discover that it is not so different from our traditional markets; based on the stories of Giufà (Juhà in Arabic), they will reflect on the fact that the Mediterranean Sea belongs to all of us, a sea that for centuries has had culture, science and knowledge circulating between its banks.