As part of its tenth anniversary celebrations, GU-Q hosted an event on Wednesday February 11, 2015 organized in association with the Arabic Language Studies Program presenting an evening of music featuring the internationally acclaimed Lebanese composer, oud master, and vocalist Marcel Khalifa and the Egyptian singer Mohamed Mohsen. Held at the GU-Q auditorium, the concert drew a full house and was very well received by members of the community.
GU-Q professor Dr. Abbas Al-Tonsi, who runs the Arabic Language Studies Program, said that there are relevant connections to be found in cultural references that impact knowledge. “I believe that through hosting performances of distinguished Arab musicians and writers, and through absorbing their works, we are able to find these connections with the linguistic subject matter,” he noted.
UNESCO Artist for Peace, Marcel Khalifa has been, since the 1970s, a vital presence in the Arabic music world. He began his career as a soloist and went on, in 1972, to create a group in his home village to preserve the Arabic musical heritage with the oud. Representative of the newer generations, Mohamed Mohsen sprung to fame by singing during Egypt's 2011 revolution performing in Tahrir Square, the center of the protests that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. Mohsen is a member of the youth committee in a government cultural council and has recently represented Egypt as a singer in festivals in Italy and Lebanon.
“Both artists are distinguished by their dedication to interest in cultural heritage and for creating musical experiences which reflect the reality,” Dr. Al-Tonsi noted further.
The Arabic Language Studies Program at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar offers a rich program in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) as both a Foreign Language and as a Heritage Language to meet the needs of students in the Gulf region. All Arabic language courses employ innovative pedagogy in a culturally rich environment and use course materials published by world-renown scholars in Arabic language learning. The program is designed to help students attain proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic with the emphasis being placed on the development and utilization of fundamental reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Students who continue their studies beyond the advanced level in either program have the opportunity to develop their MSA skills to the highest levels of proficiency enabling them to communicate effectively in Arabic in academic, professional, and social contexts.