New Arabic school program approved

By Vivian Chu | Web Editor

During the FUSD Board meeting on Sept. 9, members of the local Islamic community, including a few Irvington students, announced the creation of a new Arabic language program that will be held at a the Zakaryah mosque.

The idea for the program originally came about when the The Families of Alameda for Multicultural/Multilingual Education Public Charter School, or FAME, shut down due to insufficient funds and conflicts with management. Former FAME teachers, parents, and other individuals gathered to discuss the matter because many of the high school and middle school level students wanted to continue studying Arabic, one of the language courses that was offered at FAME.

Eventually, these community members came to a communal decision to facilitate classes at the Zakaryah mosque, which is located near Pacific Commons. With permission from the school board, students attending sessions will also be able to receive language credit for the classes. The Arabic language program will be independently funded, with students contributing $450 per semester, and classes will be taught by teachers from Ohlone Community College. Classes are open to any seventh to twelfth grade students who are interested in learning Arabic and started during the third week of September on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Many are excited about what the future has to hold for this program and the potential that it has in bringing the community together.

“I think having the classes will benefit the youth and give them a new opportunities to connect with different cultures,” said senior Asad Mohammad, who spoke at the meeting. “They’ll be given options to learn Arabic, in addition to Tamil, Mandarin, Telugu, and Hindi.”