ALCASA on Sunday 19 March 2017

The children had an enjoyable time painting their fruit clay creations followed by a story telling
session by Zain about a group of animals and a carrot.

We had a few new children and I’m glad to see everyone introduced themselves and learned a little more about each other like whether they liked the owl (بومة) or the rabbit (أرنب)!

I can’t help but be amused as the children acted out verbs like pulling or jumping to help them learn into their memory and to understand. Thanks to Hassan for taking the children through the charade game.

This was followed by a handwriting practice session. It was good to see the children practise writing in Arabic some of the words they learned during the session.

We were all pleased to have watched a short solo play by Moris who acted out the little story crafted by young Salma, a member of the ALCASA Children’s Group. It was a short story about a little bug who ate all the leaves and grew fat!

Then we had an Arabic calligraphy workshop where we welcomed Safaa AlKhazraji, a talented calligrapher from Iraq. He has been here in Australia since 2001. Safaa says that as a young boy he had already found his passion!

Safaa first explained how he uses the reed to draw, and how the tip of the reed is shaped. He explained that each letter must be drawn proportionally according to certain lengths.

He drew the word ‘Al Insaan’ (The Human) and then demonstrated how he transfers the intricate patterns to decorate his work.

Of course, Arabic calligraphy is an art and has a rich history behind it and so there is of course a variety of how they can look like!

We thank Safaa for his time and sharing his passion with us!

Following the workshop, we had our conversation practice with native speakers. We worked on role plays which allowed some learners to practise telling recent past events (Advanced and Intermediate 2 levels). Others practiced self-introduction and describing their families.

A big thank you to the ALCASA volunteer native speakers, for coming along and offering your time and skills to help non-native speakers learn the Arabic language!

Finally I want to say we welcome Arabic speaking families to join the children’s session. We certainly welcome the public to join our cultural workshops. Please check out our Eventbrite page for future workshops

And of course, if you’re interested to learn the Arabic language, get in touch with us!

Hafiz Abdul Nasir

The place to start an Arabic conversation

ALCASA offers the Monthly Conversation Sessions where this year members have had the opportunity to practise conversing around various topics with native speaker volunteers.

These sessions were facilitated in small groups according to participants’ proficiency level and choice of language (Fusha or ‘Ammiya). This year, the topic of conversation was often related to the themes in the Cultural Workshops which were conducted beforehand.

ALCASA’s Monthly Conversation Sessions support ALCASA’s mission to share the Arabic language and promote cultural awareness. It creates an opportunity for South Australians of Arabic and non-Arabic speaking backgrounds to come together and build bridges for respect and harmony.

ALCASA also hopes that these sessions sustain the interest of Arabic language learners to continue developing their language proficiency.

Sue, a long-time member of ALCASA says that these sessions are useful. “The Arabic conversation sessions are beneficial for learners to practise speaking out loud in front of others. The native Arabic speakers can correct our pronunciation and give an insight into the differences in pronunciation.”

July 2016 Monthly Conversation Session

July 2016 Monthly Conversation Session

“As a learner, I always get a little nervous and feel out of my comfort zone but it is something that must be done in order to eventually become more proficient at speaking the language,” she added.

In addition to the Monthly Conversation Sessions, ALCASA hosts Arabic classes for adults.

Alison, an advanced learner of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) says the lessons are taught in a challenging and tailored way using a variety of topics. Jackie, another advanced learner of MSA learner says the instruction is quite thorough and finds it useful that the lessons are targeted for each student.

“I have had Arabic instruction in the Middle East and in universities and privately but this class in Adelaide is excellent in comparison. It covers all the important aspects, listening, writing, and speaking, and reinforcing those skills through practice,” says Jackie.

But for learners of the Arabic language, Sue who is also an intermediate learner of the Levantine dialect, has some advice for learning the language:  “I love listening to Arabic but just listening does not help me become fluent – all areas have to be given equal time – listening, reading, writing and, most of all, speaking and working it out yourself.”

Hafiz Abdul Nasir


Arabic Finger Food, all about mezze …

ALCASA Arabic Finger Food Wrokshop, 18 Sepetemberr_web)

By Yadura Design Studio

Members of the South Australian community have participated in ALCASA cooking workshop demonstrated by ALCASA members and friends Nadia, Grace, Doris, Dalal, Rua and Zain on last Sunday 18th September 2016.

ALCASA conducted a 60-minutes workshop in the Adelaide City Council’s Minor Works Building demonstrating how a variety of Arabic finger food were made and introduced the typical Arabic spices and ingredients. The 53 workshop participants had the opportunity to taste and share food from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Morocco and Yemen.

“We tried kleicha (dates stuffed in sweet dough), the famous zatar, Iraqi tea, hommus, Yemeni dessert and a few other treats,” says Renee from Intercultural Connections Australia.

The program – run as part of ALCASA’s Cultural Workshops series – aims to create greater understanding and appreciation for the Arabic culture.

ALCASA’s Chair Fayrouz Ajaka says the workshop was a very successful event and is grateful to all ALCASA members and members of public for their generous contribution and support.

“Thank you very much for everything you have done to make the success of the Food workshop. I was very touched by the great team work that happened on Sunday… We saw even the guests helping in packing up and cleaning to the last chair and the tiniest piece of dust on the floor!”

Sudas, a valued guest, says the event was lovely and ALCASA’s work is an inspiration for all.

“Thank you so much for the lovely day, the place was filled with enthusiasts who wanted to know more about language, culture and food. I loved your work, approach and all the friendly smiling faces.”

Our amazing presenters

Our amazing presenters

To see more photos check the event’s album on our Facebook Page Arabic In Adelaide.

The ALCASA Arabic Finger Food Workshop was kindly supported by:

Adelaide City Council Community Centres
ARGO On The Parade
Lovely Cake
Arabic Pages
Yadura Design Studio

Hafiz Abdul Nasir


A whole new world: Introduction to Arabic Workshop

Arabic may be an exceptionally difficult language for non-native speakers but for some members of the public, this idea has not stopped them from being introduced to a new language and culture.

ALCASA held an introduction to the Arabic language and culture at the Adelaide City Library off Rundle Mall on the 13th February last month as part of its community bridging project.

Volunteers enthusiastically presented about the diversity of the Arabic Speaking World and the Arabic letters and sounds. Participants found some Arabic sounds unique and were provided an opportunity to spell their names in Arabic. This was a challenging experience for participants but an alphabet chart that showed the initial, middle and final forms of each alphabet aided participants in spelling their names.

Participants enjoyed learning some basic greetings, useful ‘easy-to-learn’ expressions and the experiences of some ALCASA members in learning Arabic.

ALCASA hopes to offer another introduction to Arabic workshop in the near future.

Heartfelt thanks to Ahmed, Andrew, Carly, Fayrouz, Hafiz, Mary and Sue for their time in volunteering at this event.

Marie & Andrew

Marie and Andrew show and tell their art collection with Arabic calligraphy

Hafiz Abdul Nasir


Introduction to Arabic – Free Workshop!


I’m pleased to inform you that there will be a free ‘Introduction to Arabic’ workshop for anyone who is interested to learn the Arabic sounds and letters in a fun and friendly environment. You do not need to have any prior knowledge of Arabic. You will also gain cultural insight about the Arabic speaking communities around the world and in Australia!

The workshop will be held on February 13th 2016, Saturday morning, 10am-12pm at Adelaide City Library (Francis St, Off Rundle Mall).

Places are limited so book now!

After the workshop, we won’t leave you hanging! We know some of you would like to continue your journey in learning Arabic and so, we would like to invite interested participants to join in the Beginners class every third Sunday of each month from 5-6pm. It’s free for ALCASA members and workshop participants are not obligated to join these monthly sessions.

Beginner students of Arabic are welcomed to join these monthly Beginner sessions by writing to

I hope to see you at the workshop on Feb 13th!