Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Hebrew-Speaking Egyptians Embrace New Role in Revolution 2.0 (VIDEO)

July 5, 2013 9:14 am 9 comments

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.

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:

9 Comments

  • I wish I could understand Hebrew better…

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

    • 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.

  • Wish you’d provided an English translation of same.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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?

    • 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.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →