“The students who make up Arabic classes these days are a strange bunch of people. They came to study a vilified, difficult, yet beautifully poetic, language for any number of motivations or purposes. No list is complete, but the one below should be a useful guide for fitting your classmates into a useful spreadsheet:
16. The Pre-9/11 Sweet Spirit
Hint: “Nontraditional” — meaning older — students.
The most annoying of those groups are those few individuals who studied Arabic prior to 9/11. The One thing and the ONLY thing you need to know about this group: they studied Arabic, because they are selfless souls who just want to learn the culture of those good heartened people of the Arab World. Somehow they expect you to hand them a trophy for their genuine interest in learning a beautiful language, unlike those 9/11 folks who are just seeking to fill a need in the job market. Most likely they still study Arabic and work in the State Department or are coming back after being held hostage in Yemen for years. Pre-9/11 Arabic students want to feel special and love to hate on those who started to learn Arabic after the terrorist attack on the U.S. soil. By all accounts, this is a vanishing species. Favorite Arabic word: “salaam.”
[…]” (“18 tipos de personas en tu clase árabe”, en KABOBfest)
Soy uno de ellos y sigo estudiando, pero no trabajo para el Estado (¿Será por qué estoy en España?) . . .
Y sí, mi palabra árabe favorita es salâm.