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Arabic school in Brazil promotes Arab culture

São Paulo – Established in 2012 to be a cultural promotion hub of various topics, the Brazilian Lebanese International Education Society (Sielbra) teaches Arabic through the culture of Arab countries with a Palestinian teacher. Besides the language, students at Sielbra can attend seminars and exhibitions that present Brazilians with the culture of North Africa and Middle East countries. For the second half of the year, shows and a lecture series are planned. (Pictured, Arabic books in a mosque.)

The purpose of the school, says one of its founders, Mohamad Said Mourad, is promoting a culture of peace and spreading the Arabic. “We established [Sielbra] for free postgraduate courses,” recalls Mourada. He says that the institution’s higher education courses are under analysis by Brazil’s Ministry of Education.

“It is not just about offering the course. Our job is to make more Arabic and Arab culture courses available, too,” he says. “We were about to start the course on March 17, 2020. But on March 16, Governor Doria put the São Paulo state in lockdown due to the pandemic, so the course was postponed.”

Since classes restarted in 2022, they are taught both online and in person, but, Mourad says, students prefer them online. Most students that seek Sielbra classes are non-Arab Brazilians that are interested in the language and culture. Classes are divided into three 45-hour modules. A calligraphy module is also planned. The course costs BRL 750, divided into six installments of BRL 125 each.

“We will hold seminars, we have a bazaar, art, folklore, even politics classes to better understand Middle East issues,” says Mourad. Sielbra offers other courses on various topics, too. An exhibition is planned for the second half of the year.

Source: Anba