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Arabic is a world language. We want to encourage people to maintain their heritage language and motivate others to learn new languages, while cultivating intercultural and social competences – key factors in professional success. 

Our “Arabic Language Classes for All”-project includes Arabic language classes for children aged 6-15, and a minor in Arabic language and culture for the whole Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) student community. 

As a socially connected organisation, VUB takes up its responsibility with regard to major social challenges such as the humanitarian refugee crisis and the diversity in Brussels society and beyond.

We have given the name ‘ALEF’ to the overall project encompassing the Minor in Arabic Language & Culture, and the Arabic Languages for Children. ‘ALEF’ is the name of the first letter of the alphabet in Arabic, so we thought this an apt name for the overall project.

Facts & figures

Belgium and Europe want to create a welcoming environment for people who immigrate for economic, political, sentimental or other reasons. Such an environment stimulates personal commitment to integration into the new cultural community. The latter applies mainly to immigrants coming from outside Europe.


In Brussels alone, nearly 350,000 inhabitants are linked to Arabic culture (established communities and recent refugees) and several other major cities have a similar situation. The results and experience of this project and the academic publications from related research and collected data can be disseminated as good practices to other cities at home and internationally. Conversely, our local professional, academic and citizen communities can develop new innovative insights by exchanging knowledge between the two cultural communities (Arab and Western).

How to sponsor

Take part in this social project! Since its foundation, there has always been a desire at the VUB to create added value and impact for society in addition to pioneering research.

By setting up Chairs, the VUB offers an academic platform to any company or organisation that wishes to engage with us in order to realise the further development of educational material and the curriculum and to further build up expertise.

Help us ensure the sustainability of this project through the setting up of a Chair, by supporting the team of teachers, by sponsoring textbooks, by offering a trip for the children, etc.

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