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Marhaba: Volunteers in the Middle East
August 21, 2008

Marhaba is a great organization for those who want to volunteer in the Middle East. This organization gives volunteers the opportunity to learn about the Egyptian culture and spoken Arabic language. Marhaba's director and coordinators are very well organized and dedicated to making sure volunteers are supported and have great experiences. I volunteered in an Egyptian organization by teaching English classes to Egyptian volunteers. Even though six weeks is a very short time to teach English, I feel like I made a great impact by creating a space for everyone to converse about cultural differences between Egypt and the United States. I learned so much from my new Egyptian friends and I am so thankful for the time I was able to spend talking and learning with them. I also greatly enjoyed taking Arabic class and learning the colloquial Egyptian language. Surprisingly, I learned much more Arabic than I ever expected. Overall, my summer participating with Marhaba was an amazing experience. I recommend this program for anyone who is interested in Egypt and looking to learn more about the culture and language.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I greatly enjoyed meeting other volunteers who were also interested in the Middle East. We all loved spending time together and we made great lifelong friendships. I also enjoyed making new friendships with Egyptians. The people in Egypt welcomed us with open arms and great kindness.

Ways to make it better...

It would have been helpful if the organization provided us with more training and advice on teaching English classes. It was difficult to just be put into a classroom and expected to teach English without having any past experience. We talked about this problem during the final retreat this year so I know this is something the organization will work on for next year.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I taught English classes to Egyptian volunteers from a local Egyptian organization. I also learned basic Egyptian arabic and experienced the very rich Egyptian culture.