Jiran: The Arabic Community Action Summer

From Emily Goldman of Middlebury College:

Middlebury College is piloting a new program called 
Jiran: The Arabic Community Action Summer (ACAS) from July 2-August 3, 2018 in New Britain, Connecticut. Jiran will be an intensive colloquial Arabic program in which students will study Levantine dialect while being paired with underserved Arabic-speaking refugee and immigrant families to support them with social services access and integration into their new communities. Students will receive intensive Levantine Arabic instruction, volunteer placements in local organizations dealing with underserved immigrant populations, a pairing with an underserved Arabic-speaking family, and guest lectures on topics ranging from social work with traumatized populations to refugee resettlement politics. Students will live together in an Arabic-speaking house and the program will be free of charge. Applications for this program are open to students who have participated in a Middlebury-run Arabic program (either summer schools in California or study abroad in Jordan/Morocco)and are due March 8, 2018! Applicants must additionally have one of the following qualifications: 
  • Have taken two years of college-level Arabic PLUS a language-intensive study abroad experience OR
  • Have taken three years of college-leve Arabic and have exposure to an Arabic dialect OR
  • Be an Arabic heritage speaker


How can Wesleyan students get involved?

1) Students who have participated in any of the Middlebury Arabic programs and fit our eligibility criteria are eligible to apply as student participants. The application deadline is this Thursday, March 8.

2) Students who do not fit the aforementioned criteria and will not be in CT over the summer could be incredibly helpful in helping us solicit in-kind and financial donations for the summer program over the next few months. We are particularly in need of bicycles, food donations over the summer, school supplies, and financial donations to go towards bus passes, gas, food, etc. 

3) Students who do not fit the aforementioned criteria but will be in Connecticut over the summer are invited to participate as community mentors in our program. This could involve:

  • Attending program guest lectures and field trips focused on obstacles facing refugee and immigrant communities in the US
  • Serving as volunteer drivers for program activities (field trips, doctor appointments, etc)
  • Helping plan or just attending community events with our Jiran families and students
  • Working with our student-family pairs to better connect our participating families with other communities in CT

If you have any questions or interest, please contact Emily Goldman.