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Many students wonder whether learning Arabic is a worthwhile investment that will pay off in increased career opportunities and higher salaries. We believe the current political and economic climate in the world makes this one of the most rewarding times in history to study Arabic.
There is a high demand and low supply of Arabic-speakers in the Western world. Relatively few Westerners ever venture to learn Arabic. With the growing importance of the Middle East in international affairs, there is an extreme shortage of workers in the West who are versed in Arabic language and culture. Those who study Arabic can find careers in a variety of fields: journalism, business and industry, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation, consulting, foreign service and intelligence, and many others. Only 1 % of 12,000 FBI agents in the U.S. have any knowledge of Arabic at all, and this includes those who know only a few words.
Arabic-speaking nations are a fast growing market for trade. Initiatives to integrate the Arab world into the global economy are opening up numerous potential new business opportunities. The Arab region with its rapidly growing population provides a huge export market for goods and services. With a GDP of over 600 billion dollars annually, the region also has much to offer the world market. In order to do business effectively, one must understand the language and culture of the people with whom one hopes to negotiate and conduct trade.
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