In this course I worked on two projects:
- Project #1 was about animal fables where I picked 5 fables and worked on creating teaching materials related to them; I chose animal fables because these tales have been translated into many languages, and students were able to compare the Arabic version with versions in other languages.
- Project #2 was about creating Mash-up videos for 6 countries. A mashup video combines multiple pre-existing clips from YouTube with no discernible relationship with each other into a unified video. For this project I used iMovie and I imported images, videos and audios.
Project 1: Animal Fables
I picked five stories from “Kalila and Dimna”. “Kalila & Dimna” is a cycle of fables which originated in India in the third century C.E. and were collected and compiled in Kashmir. Throughout the centuries, the cycle has gone through numerous changes due to its translation into many languages such as Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, Syriac, Ethiopian, Malay, Mongolian, Greek, and many European languages. Most of the translators also acted as adapters and added material of their own. The stories were greatly expanded and revised in the seventh century when Abdallah ibn al-Muqaffa translated it into Arabic.
For each story in the “Kalila and Dimna” cycle, I:
- Wrote the story (the text) in contemporary Arabic and had to change the original text which was written in the 7th century using Classical Arabic Language (a.k.a. Old Arabic Language which is much harder to understand and no longer used). Currently we use what is called MSA (Modern Standard Arabic), a modern counterpart of Classical Arabic. The main difference between MSA and Classical Arabic lies in the vocabulary.
- Recorded the story and edited it using Audacity
- Used iMovie to add audio and divided the clip into multiple scenes
- Used iMovie to add sound effects (i.e. sounds of the jungle and rivers/running waters)
- Prepared a vocabulary list that included words, roots, verb forms and their meaning in English. In the Arabic language there are 10 main forms of verbs. Each of these forms have letters and vowels that are added to the root form which alters the meaning of the root verb in a variety of ways. Often, students learning the Arabic language struggle with the different forms and tenses emphasizing the importance of including the forms of verbs in the vocabulary list.
- Created questions related to text comprehension and analysis; these questions can be used as homework assignment.
Once completed, the project was uploaded to the Arabic blog and is available through the following links:
- The Monkey and the Crocodile (The heart of the Monkey)
- The Two Ducks & the Turtle
- A Tale of Three Fish
- There Is Strength In Number
- The Lion & The Mouse
The tales of “Kalila and Dimna” originated almost two thousand years ago. These stories about animals have found their way in one form or another into the folklore of every major culture and tradition. What links the fables is the core message about managing power, wise leadership, and the value of true friendship. Kalila & Dimna is the Arabic version of many books of fables written in different languages.
I used “myHistro.com” to create the map. MyHistro is a social memory-bank, created on the same foundation of combining maps and timelines as the one-of-a-kind history site. My timeline includes 14 events each of which refers to a version of the book written in a different language and has a summary and pictures. Here’s the link for the timeline.
Project 2: Creating Mashup videos
A mashup combines multiple pre-existing clips from YouTube with no discernible relationship with each other into a unified video. I was asked by my Teaching Assistant to identify some videos that can be used in the labs as a cultural component. I started looking online for some videos but I couldn’t find suitable resources. I discussed this issue with other Arabic teachers and they told me about the “Mashup”.
The idea behind the “Mashup” videos is to introduce students to the Arabic culture through short clips joined in one video. The collection I created includes a total of seven videos: six “Mashup” videos + a Bonus video about North Africa. In this mashup, there are videos from different parts of the Arab World that show some of the major differences between regions. For each mashup video I created, I followed the steps highlighted below:
- Identify the topics to discuss for each country
- Look for clips about these topics on YouTube
- Download the YouTube clips and edit correspondingly and as needed using iMovie
- Write a text summary to introduce each clip
- Combine pictures, audio (national anthem and Arabic music) and clips in one video
- Upload the new “mashup” to YouTube.
In addition, I added a handout for each country and included notes about the content of the clips.
The 6 countries included in the videos are:
- Lebanon (Levantine): 12m.10s.
- Egypt (North Africa): 15m.26s.
- Jordan (Levantine): 22m.05s.
- United Arab Emirates (Gulf): 15m.43s.
- Saudi Arabia (Gulf): 17m.21s.
- Morocco (Maghreb): 19m.53s.
I also created twelve question True & False video about North Africa and provided the correct answers at the end of the video. Here’s the link.