May 25 2011
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Arabic teaching methods need to be upgraded
Jinanne Tabra is promoting Arabic learning among children living outside the Arab region
Doha-May 25, 2011: It is time to upgrade Arabic learning approaches among children as the current ones are "outdated" and "lacking fun elements" which can attract children to learn the language, said Jinanne Tabra, entrepreneur and founder of ARABOH.com.
Tabra, who used to find learning Arabic an "awful burden" during her school days, has started an internationally acclaimed project to help make Arabic easier and more interesting for children, particularly those living outside the Arab region.
"I believe that we do need to look for more effective methods for Arabic teaching in which fun should be a key element," she said to students at her former school, Qatar Academy, a member of Qatar Foundation .
A graduate of business from Carnegie Mellon University's Qatar Foundation campus in 2008, CEO Middle East magazine named her as one of the "Top 30 under 30" and her company has become a vital resource for Arabs around the world.
"I believe there is a need for the very best Arabic educational tools to be made available for every family living in non-Arab countries. I believe our children should feel proud to be Arabs and promote the true message of Arab peace throughout the world. I believe this has never been as important as it is today," Tabra explained.
Araboh.com is now visiting schools in Qatar and UAE and hosting Arabic language festivals to promote the language among children.
"We have high standards for books we are selling. They must be fun and attractive," she said, describing the online bookstore that now delivers books to young Arabic learners in 50 countries around the world.
Tabra describes her constant surprise at the achievement her bookstore has become, especially considering her dislike of learning and Arabic.
Born in the UK to a Scottish mother and Iraqi father, Tabra had very few resources for Arabic learning while growing up. She spent ten years in Scotland before her family moved to the Gulf.
"During these years I was struggling to learn Arabic with other Arab children, but the books were very boring and difficult to understand. I hated Arabic so much. The text books were boring and I was a slow reader," Jinanne told the Qatar Academy grade five students.
Jinanne, who maintains that studying at Qatar Foundation has armed her with the attitude, knowledge and skills needed to achieve great things, stressed that she was not financially driven when she started her business.
"It was passion rather than business which led me to start this project. I was looking for a meaningful thing and seeking for a goal to pursue. And I found that Arabic was a worthwhile goal. I want to promote it to be the first language in the world," she said.
"Jinanne, the founder and CEO of ARABOH.COM, is now a success story for Qatar Foundation ," Dr. Gregory A. Hedger, director Qatar Academy commented. "She is really a role model for our students at Qatar Academy; especially as she is a former student of QA. During her senior year at CMU Qatar, it was both her desire to improve language education and her newfound business knowledge that encouraged Jinanne to start ARABOH.COM."
- Unlocking Human Potential
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development is a private, non-profit organization that is supporting Qatar on its journey from carbon economy to knowledge economy by unlocking human potential for the benefit of not only Qatar, but the world. Founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of Qatar, QF is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
QF carries out its mission through three strategic pillars: education, science and research, and community development. QF's education pillar brings world-class universities to Qatar to help create an education sector in which young people can develop the attitudes and skills required for a knowledge economy. Meanwhile, its science and research pillar builds Qatar's innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercialising solutions through key sciences. Finally, its community development pillar helps foster a progressive society while also enhancing cultural life, protecting Qatar's heritage and addressing immediate social needs in the community.
For a complete list of QF's initiatives and projects, visit http://www.qf.org.qa
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