Ahlan wa sahlan, wa marhabba! Ismi Michael Kim Riegelman, wa ana al'Modir of the NYC Arabic Language & Culture Club.
We're an International Club which has the purpose of getting together 'off-line' to meet other people interested in Arab culture - whether that interest lies in Art, Music, Food or elsewhere, this is the place to be!
We have nearly 700 members, from as far away as Japan, Amsterdam, and Saudi. However, most of our members live and reside in the tri-state area (specifically NYC and its surrounding boroughs).
How did this club come into being and who am I? I worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco from 2002-2003, living outside of Nador in a small village called Kariat Arkeman. Unfortunately, my service was cut short when PC decided to suspend the program in both Morocco and Jordan in April, 2003, after Bush went to war with Iraq.
I wanted to continue learning Modern Standard Arabic, and found this unique club in September, 2004. At that time, my focus was solely on the Arabic Language - bringing students together for language study and communication workshops. However, since then, we have broadened the focus of the club to include many other aspects of Arab Culture, from film screenings and lectures, to Middle Eastern Dinners and BellyDance parties.
We have members from various religious faiths and political views. Our members aren't all 'Muslim' nor are they all 'Arab'. Our membership is as diverse as NYC is ethnic.
If you would like to become a member, please visit our website. It is: http://arabic.meetup.com/45/about
For the time being, the membership is free. Most club activities are free as well. So, check out our site and send me an eMail if you have any other questions.
T'halla f'rasskik wa marhabba bik ila al'nedi!
Michael Kim 'Jamal' Riegelman