Since then, they have worked with two TCLP teachers from Egypt, Wael Elkateeb (2010) and Mohamed Abdelsamad (2011) and hired one full time teacher from Jordan, Fadi Elhin. The community of Missoula has embraced the language classes; the local newspaper has featured the TCLP teachers on the front page and the local TV station has filmed Arabic classes for local programs. Local religious groups also use this opportunity to learn more about Islam. At the two out of three district high schools that are now offering Arabic, students have listed Arabic as their favorite class, and they often say that learning about the culture of Arabic speaking people is important to help them become global citizens. Last summer, two students were awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) grant , sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, and traveled to Morocco to study Arabic. Several students have noted that the experience of learning Arabic has changed their plans for the future and now they would like to major in Arabic language and culture at the university level. Next year, Arabic will be offered in all three district high schools, and they also expect to add a third level of Arabic classes. With the full support of the superintendent and the community, the Missoula School District plans to have levels of Arabic 1-4 offered at all three high schools.
TCLP teacher Mohamed Abdelsamad practices greetings with a student in Missoula, MT.