The Arabic Language Centre, a division of the Dubai World Trade Centre has been established since 1980 as a centre to teach Arabic as a foreign language. Maliha Wehbe, the Director and Author of the books used in the centre, has developed the course in such a way where the student can enjoy the written word and the oral expressions of this rich language.
The Arabic Language Centre instructs over 1000 students each year, representing a wide variety of nationalities and working backgrounds, including: doctors, engineers, managers, accountants, nurses, housewives, bankers, hotel staff, advertising executives, retailers and embassy staff.
Students are taken step by step through the language in an informal, relaxed atmosphere and the courses are constantly reviewed, updated and improved to meet the needs of the students and incorporate new teaching experiences. The effectiveness of our programmes can be judged by the outstanding amount of students that have been trained by the centre, many of whom have successfully sat external examinations.
The mission of the Arabic Language Centre (ALC) and "dar el ilm" (DEI) is to teach Arabic and other European languages in the Maliha Wehbe method which focuses on the Oral communications and is taught in a logical and simplified manner that enables the learner to have fun and enjoy the experience.
All ALC & DEI programs have been developed from the Maliha Wehbe method which has three main applications to achieve teaching excellence & success.
Learn & Enjoy:
Continue providing and improving on tools that enable language learning to be fun & easy
Arabic & Language:
To be recognized and respected as pioneers in Arabic Language teaching and to become the official centre for Arabic training to individuals, companies and schools in the UAE.
Diversity & Culture:
Encouraging a multicultural spirit and broaden student's social network.
At the ALC, we use the Maliha Wehbe Method of teaching Arabic as a foreign language; the method is based on teaching Arabic in a way that allows the student to first grasp the oral communication skills before getting into the Classical Arabic. We teach an Arabic used by various Arab nationals combined with the Modern Standard Arabic; the latter being a standard form recognised all over the Arab World. We concentrate on allowing our students to approximate a native speaker of the language.
Our courses have been prepared keeping in mind that delegates will meet Arabs from various Arab countries; therefore will be exposed to a variety of expressions and a choice of vocabulary whose popularity vary from one country to another.
Having taught Arabic as a foreign language since 1967, Maliha's method tries to teach you Arabic in a simplified approach to help you learn and speak the language, the natural way; via the Arabic Script rather than English transliteration. This new method brings out the logic of the language in its oral and written aspects in a simple and rational manner that has not been implemented before, which makes the learning process easier and gives Arabic the credit it deserves, as a logical, systematic and easy language.
Arabic being a Semitic language means that all words are reduced to a three letter base. In her series of books, Maliha Wehbe presents to you a new approach to learning Arabic structured on a triangular theory. This makes the learning process logical and easier to comprehend. The triangular theory incorporates the word structure, conjugation, case endings, Harakaat, verb moods and dots in the script that create a different letter sound. She uses the concept beyond the traditional understanding of the 3 letter base. All words are introduced from the root.
The richness and magnitude of this great woman's life cannot be captured on a single sheet of paper. Below, we simply try to capture a short biography and the key milestones in her life.
Maliha Habib Wehbe was born in Bisane – Palestine on 8th March, 1938. She spent her childhood years in Nazareth and attended the Baptist American School there. In 1954, when Maliha was 16 the family (who were originally Lebanese) moved back to Lebanon where Maliha married George Fadeel Wehbe in 1957.
Her first child Najat, was born in 1959. Maliha then continued her higher studies at the BUC in the 60's and her second child Fadeel was born in 1963. After some deliberations with her husband, she started teaching Arabic at home to foreigners in 1968, and continued until 1975 when the Lebanese civil war broke out. In 1976 and because of the civil war, the family moved to the UAE and settled in a one-bedroom flat in Sharjah.
She started teaching Arabic on a part-time basis at the Dubai English Speaking School. In 1980, Maliha started teaching Arabic at home to Mrs Guillmard, the wife of the Dubai World Trade Centre Manager. She was so impressed with her that she introduced Maliha to her husband Guy. Together, Guy and Maliha formed what is known today as the Arabic Language Centre at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
In 1989 Maliha decided to start a new school for the younger generation the dar el ilm School of languages - which together with the ALC continue to teach Arabic to generations of Arabic language lovers, until today.
Maliha was taken away from us too quickly. She passed away on 12th September 2006 following a brave struggle with cancer and complications thereof.