The Arabic Language is one of the most widely spoken languages throughout the world and is used as one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Arabic is the lingua franca of the Arab World, comprises a fundamental aspect of the culture and history of the Middle East, and is the language most closely affiliated with the Islamic faith. Furthermore, the combined varieties of Arabic are spoken by as many as 422 million people throughout the Arab world and beyond, in addition to being the official language of more than 26 nations.
The study of the Arabic language is the core focus of the Arabic Program at the Naval Academy, and it is designed with the intention of developing students’ proficiency in both formal written Arabic (the language which is used in the media, government, and books) as well as colloquial spoken Arabic (which is used in daily life by Arabic speakers throughout the various regions of the Arab world). The primary focus of the major is for students to first develop a solid foundation within Modern Standard Arabic, enabling and empowering them to successfully advance their study of a colloquial-spoken Arabic dialect in a region of their choosing.
Although the Arabic Program at the Naval Academy primarily focuses on the teaching of the Arabic language to students as its greatest priority, it is augmented by a number of supplemental cultural, historical, a political courses which aim to provide students with an understanding of all aspects of the Arab World, the Middle East, and its people: not just the language. Ultimately, the Arabic Program at the Naval Academy seeks to educate intelligent, informed, and adaptive Naval and Marine Corps Officers who can effectively lead and serve in a foreign context.