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...

  • Music US & Canada Musician Carlos Santana Maintains Upcoming Israel Concert With ‘Open Heart’ Despite Pressure From BDS Activists (VIDEO)

    Musician Carlos Santana Maintains Upcoming Israel Concert With ‘Open Heart’ Despite Pressure From BDS Activists (VIDEO)

    After supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement failed to pressure rock superstar Carlos Santana into cancelling his upcoming concert in Tel Aivv, the guitarist said in a video message on Thursday that he is excited to return to Israel and promote a “musical message of peace, love and an end to conflict.” “The band and I will bring our open hearts and musical energy that will resonate with your soul long after the last song has been […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Music Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    Coldplay Begins Concert With Broadcast of Charlie Chaplin’s Iconic Speech in ‘The Great Dictator’

    British rock band Coldplay started its set at the Glastonburg Festival on Sunday by broadcasting excerpts of the iconic speech Charlie Chaplin delivered in The Great Dictator, the 1940 political satire in which the famous filmmaker/movie star played a Jewish barber. “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone,” Chaplin begins his address. “I should like to help everyone, if possible, Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    Two Decades Before Cleveland’s First NBA Title, LeBron James Walked Onto a JCC Court

    JNS.org – The seed for the city of Cleveland’s first professional championship in a major sport in 52 years may have been planted at the Shaw Jewish Community Center on White Pond Drive in Akron, Ohio, nearly 20 years ago. That’s when a tall, lanky kid from Akron named LeBron James walked onto the hardwood court and changed the game of basketball forever. Coach Keith Dambrot, now the head basketball coach at the University of Akron, conducted those sessions that attracted […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    North American Studios Look to Israel for Next Animation Hit

    JNS.org – In 2008, Yoram Honig was a producer and director living in Jerusalem, fresh off his first international hit, when the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) came to him with a challenge: build a film industry from scratch in Israel’s capital. “When we started here, was nothing in Jerusalem,” he said during an interview in his office in the Talbiya neighborhood. Now, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, which Honig heads as an arm of the JDA, pumps 9 million shekels […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →