Arabic Story Time in March

ALCASA Children’s second session this year was held on the 18th of March 2018. This time the class was full with children from different backgrounds and various levels of Arabic language.

We have started our session with singing and dancing on one of Fairuz’s songs, then one of the children with the help of her parent read a story to the children. All the parents helped their children to learn the words of the story.

Following the theme of the story, we have asked the children to get into groups and come up with a story similar to the one we read. They needed to use the Arabic words they’ve learned to create and read their own stories.

They amazed us with their work. They all worked so well together and performed stories written and acted by the them, in Arabic!

A very successful day, new friends, new words, yummy food and lots of outdoor play!

Nadia Sbahi

ALCASA Chilren’s Group, movie making time!

ALCASA Children's Group

ALCASA Children’s Group

ALCASA Children’s Group held their first session of 2018 on Sunday 18/02.  It was a very productive start, with a song to learn, an Arabic story to read and movie making time.

Learning the song, the children were very creative with making dance moves to go with it. I guess it was very challenging for the parents to follow, but lots of fun and laughter.

We also had a book to read, Around the World حول العالم. One of the children was happy to present the story to the group and the parents helped with reading the words and exploring the sounds. The children even managed to write many words on their new scrapbooks dedicated to all the Arabic they will learn in 2018!

ALCASA Children's Group

ALCASA Children’s Group

Movie making was the hit of the day. The children formed teams, made props from plasticine, small toy animals and Lego pieces. They created their movie story using the vocabulary from the book we read, then they took pictures and recorded their voices to make their movie!

Being at the new location and all what it offers from space, music instruments, a playground, and even a Table Tennis room, made the event a full fun day. As every event in ALCASA ends with delicious shared bites, what a good end that was for those tired, hungry happy kids!

For booking and more info about upcoming ALCASA events follow the link.

Nadia Sbahi

2017 End-Of-Year Celebration and ALCASA Monthly Meetings in Review

On Sunday 17/12/2017, we held an exceptional end-of-year celebration and hosted a music workshop with the  accomplished Syrian violinist Abdul Nanou. Abdul played some well known popular Arabic songs to the delight of the amazing audience who enjoyed singing along during the whole workshop.

During 2017,  ALCASA continued to thrive, thanks to the talented and dedicated members and friends who regularly attend the monthly meetings and occasional cultural events.

We are very proud of the young members of the ALCASA Children’s Group who held their 2017 graduation ceremony on Sunday. The Children enjoyed decorating their Arabic names and received their 2017 reports, as well as an Arabic book to read on their own at home. Some of the children have been attending with their dedicated parents since 2013. The devoted parents participants  plan and organise the program of the children’s monthly sessions. Many thanks to Hassan, Nadia, Ahmed, Rua, Zain, Dalal and Grace for their highly appreciated contribution.

A scrumptious afternoon tea was provided by members and their guests during the end-of-year celebration.  الضيافة (diyafa), hospitality is a well entrenched practice in the Arabic culture and we do enjoy putting in practice this tradition during the ALCASA social gatherings. In addition, the regular ALCASA events provide opportunities for adult learners of Arabic to meet native speakers, to read together in-house produced simple Arabic text (‘aamiyya and fus’ha) and to speak in the Arabic language. Heartfelt thanks to all regular participants with special thanks to the native speaker volunteers: Doris, Hanaa, Leyla, Sudas, Hayan, Ahmed, Dany and his mother Muna during her stay in Adelaide.

Since 2013, ALCASA have been hosting occasional cultural events and workshops aiming to enhance intercultural understanding among South Australian communities. Our events rely on local artists and presenters. We are grateful to benefit from the continuous support of the local  artists Ahmed Alkhalidi, Charlie Yarak, Rabih Aintarazi, Nayima Hassan and Zaffit SA. Additionally, we have been very lucky to enjoy in 2017 the talents of the calligrapher Safaa Alkhazraji and the musicians Alex Hadchiti, Zuhir Naji and Abdul Nanou.

Whereas we rely on membership fees to fund our main activities, we do acknowledge the continuous support of Multicultural SA, enabling ALCASA to hold certain cultural events. Sometimes local businesses contribute to our events either by holding cultural demonstration or in providing in kind donations, gifts and prizes. We are very thankful to such generosity and we do acknowledge donors during the related events, also on our social online media and in our website posts. Most ALCASA events have been held so far in various Adelaide city based venues, thanks to the gracious hospitality of the City Of Adelaide Community Centres and to Multicultural Communities Council of South Australia.

ALCASA events will remain open to anyone with interest in Arabic and we are always delighted to meet new members and friends. To explore ALCASA’s past events, please refer to earlier posts here. For a quick overview,  check below a selection of photos taken during the ALCASA monthly meetings held for the last few years.

The ALCASA monthly meetings will continue to be held on the third Sunday of the month in 2018. Many exciting activities and events are currently  in the planning stage. We look forward to continue providing a fun environment to communicate in Arabic and to share interesting aspects of the Arabic culture with the South Australian community.

Fayrouz Ajaka

Posted by Arabic In Adelaide on Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday 21/05/2017, “dabke” cultural workshop

What a great afternoon we had during the ALCASA meetings on Sunday 21/5/2017.  About 50 people attended the sessions for Arabic story reading, “dabke” workshop and Arabic informal conversation.

We started with the Children’s Group and Arabic story reading. The children listened and enacted a story about a “scary” hedgehog قنفذ who was desperate to make friends with other animals. The story allowed exploring the theme of friendship and helped to learn plural forms for certain Arabic words. The story reading session was complemented by fun craft activities in making hedgehogs قنافذ then by some group games  providing opportunities to hear and use again the new words learnt during reading time. There were also hedgehogs قنافذ on the afternoon tea menu! Many thanks to the talented and creative Nadia who organised and led the reading session.

The highlight of the day was, of course, with the ALCASA Dabke Cultural Workshop provided by the local group Zaffit SA. The group dance dabke or dabka is quite popular throughout the Middle East. Usually, it is performed by men and women as a line dance at weddings, parties and community celebrations. Dancers hold hands and move in a rotating circle. It is a proud, energetic and joyful group dance enjoyed by all ages.

During the workshop, four amazing performers from Zaffit SA, helped us, the budding dabke dancers, to learn sophisticated steps and to practice more simple familiar ones. It was  lots of fun and we finished the session wanting to learn and practice more.

Watch this amazing video capturing the spirit of the workshop!

As usual, we ended the afternoon by the Arabic conversation time in the ALCASA Language Exchange group. Many thanks to Doris, Hanaa and Leila who helped to support the conversation in Arabic.

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the movies with the screening of On the banks of the Tigris: the hidden story of the Iraqi music on Saturday 10 June at Mercury cinema.

Fayrouz Ajaka

Note: All ALCASA 2017 events are supported by the Minister of Multicultural Affairs, South Australian Government.




ALCASA’s Big Day Out, Sunday 30 April

ALCASA held one of its most successful and rewarding events this month when about 50 members and friends gathered for a traditional Arabic feast at Houda’s Kitchen. The well-respected restaurant provided the perfect location for ALCASA members to gather together and celebrate the Association’s success in promoting inter-cultural awareness, respect and understanding. We were able to share stories over a trio of حُمُّص (hummus),  بابا غّنّوج (baba ghanoush) and لَبنَة (labne); followed by practicing our Arabic conversation while devouring the delicious فتوش (fattoush) and تبولة (tabouli); and when we thought we couldn’t fit any more in, we laughed and joked over  مناقيش زعتر وجبنة ولحمة بعٍجين (mana’eesh of zaatar, lahme and jibine).

The whole time we were so warmly greeted by our host Doumit and his family and were privileged to have Georges to teach our children to make manaa’eesh. Gorge had 15 children rolling dough, spreading zaatar and then watching it bake in their wood-fired oven. It was a delight to see the children’s faces light up during the cooking lesson and then their smile as their manaa’eesh were served to them to eat.

Doumit surprised us with a generous offering of mint tea and baklawa to finish off the event, and we all celebrated the opportunity to learn more about our members and grow closer and stronger as an Association. Let’s hope you all can join us next time.

Hassan Mekawy

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