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July 5, 2013 9:14 am
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Hebrew-Speaking Egyptians Embrace New Role in Revolution 2.0 (VIDEO)

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Protests in Egypt. Photo: Gigi Ibrahim.

The military coup in Egypt has given Israelis a chance to witness a revolution of a different sort in their neighboring country: fluency in the Hebrew language.

As protests climaxed last weekend in Egypt, many journalists on the ground in the country were called on by the Israeli press to keep the Israeli public up-to-date on events. Luckily, an extensive Hebrew studies program has prepared many Egyptians for just such an opportunity.

Nine of the 14 state universities in Egypt, including Al-Azhar Islamic University, have Hebrew departments. Close to 20,000 students study Hebrew at these universities at any given point in time, most in colleges of Middle Eastern Studies.

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One journalist who covers Israel and also teaches Hebrew, Mounir Mahmoud, told Israeli daily Ma’ariv that between two and three thousand students graduate each year with bachelor’s degrees from Hebrew studies courses.

Mahmoud touts the courses as a way for Egyptians to eradicate stereotypes, saying they “are exposed to Israeli culture and history, and unlike their colleagues who see Israel as only a source of hatred and conquest, they learn about it from a different angle altogether.”

Watch a video  below of Israel’s Channel 10 news anchor Guy Zohar interviewing in Hebrew Egyptian journalist and political activist Heba Abo Seif live from Tahrir Square on Tuesday:

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  • degel

    I wish I could understand Hebrew better…

  • Claudia

    I HOPE ISRAELIS LEARN ARAB AS WELL. IT´S A MUST ! REMEMBER THAT THE RAMBAM SPOKE BOTH.

    • David Levy

      Most Israelis speak Arabic. There are 1.4 million Arab citizens who speak it as a first language. Most Jewish Israelis also speak some Arabic and many are fluent, since it is a required subject in school and is an official language. Street signs and official notices are in Hebrew and Arabic.

  • Carol

    Wish you’d provided an English translation of same.

  • JB Silver

    Her mastering of Hebrew is very impressive; her understanding of Israeli Politics, less so. Though I’d love to throw out Bibi and Lapid and put in Feiglin as PM. Bibi had and has no right to ‘freeze’ any construction at the beck of the Americans wgho understand NOTHING of the Middle East.

    • Hilda

      Hi jb Silver how does it feel to be a self hating Jew? Learning Hebrew is fine but learning to like Israelis would be better.

    • FORTUNE

      YOU NEED TO WATCH THE MOVIE “HILL 24 DOESN’T ANSWER”.

      WHY?

      BECAUSE IT WILL ANSWER ALL YOUR QUESTIONS AND DOUBTS AND SET YOU STRAIGHT.

  • Anatoly Tsaliovich

    Why don’t you folks present an English translation?

    • Mel

      Algemeiner is predominately YOUNG American Jews. The policy of teaching students HOW to think (the pillars of Effective Reasoning) had been substituted with the policy of teaching students WHAT to think (essentially requiring that all students ‘Feel Good About Yourself’) by the 1981-1984 Carter years.
      The Free Love Generation destroyed their minds with Recreational Drugs.
      Relatively few under 50 will feel as you do.
      Under 40? Very, very few.

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