Group photo of international students in the Between the Lines creative writing program at the University of Iowa. (Photo courtesy of Between the Lines)
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Teens from Lebanon and the Arab world exposed the fragility of a deteriorating Arabic language in the University of Iowa's International Writing Program, Between the Lines, with students favoring writing in English instead of their native Arabic.Humaydan has presided over students from at least nine different Arabic countries -- with different cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds -- in an attempt to reintroduce the Arabic language to the classroom.According to Humaydan, by eliminating contemporary Arab writers from the school curriculum and simply exposing youths to the same conventional references and teaching methods have, in turn, contributed to the death of the Arabic tongue.According to the coordinator, students wrote on the basis of what has been presented to them as "neutral literature, so the literature of the west," adding that the program tried to promote global literature and not just the western conception of it.Tchangoulian said that once she began writing in Arabic, she realized the true beauty of the language and understood how to be creative with it.
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