Weekend: Spreading the word

NIZWA, Nov 29 – Learning a language, being a linguist and delivering it to the non-speakers of the language is not a small task that anyone can do. It takes a passion for learning as well as teaching, clarity in delivering, patience, an ability to fathom the levels of each and every student sitting in front of you and teach the way the students would feel that they are not deliberately learning a language. This has always been the guiding principle of Huzaim Muhammed Ghashim al Manei, a young linguist from Shinas who is now taking the Arabic language across the seas.
“Passion, pure passion and nothing but the passion that will take you to the summits of anything and learning language is not any different from the rest”, Huzaim, who is currently teaching his mother tongue to Lithuanian schools, colleges and universities, said.
He has been doing exactly the same to 2nd and 4th year bachelor students of Middle East Studies at the Vilnius University and elsewhere where young Lithuanians and their international friends gather to learn the language.
“Actually teaching and spreading my Arabic language throughout the world is like the blood streams in my body and I do it out of pure passion. Also, I love meeting with people and understanding their culture and share my culture with them,” Al Manei, who has also participated in the ‘Middle East Culture at Your School’ project which included presenting the Arabic culture to the students in Lithuanian schools.

passion for teaching
Hailing from Shinas, a small coastal town on the border that boasts a unique set of traditional buildings, Al Manei, after completion of his primary education did Bachelor of Arabic from College of Education under the SQU before joining Nizwa University and completing his Masters in Teaching Arabic to non-Arabs. At present, Huzaim is conducting a research at Nizwa University in Arabic language.
He was passionate about three things while going to Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. “My first idea was to teach Arabic language, which is my love, for non-native speakers in Vilnius University.
“Secondly, I was keen to participate in ‘Middle East Culture at Your School’ project and to share my culture with these people while knowing about theirs through meeting the students in particular and people in general.”

sharing culture
This project was to make the students know more about Arab culture and encourage them to learn the language with lot of enthusiasm. To achieve this, some professors from the University visited the school and told them about the Arab culture and he joined them in spreading a word about the language.
“Meeting the teacher from Oman was really exciting for kids in Lithuanian schools. They were eager to try on the Omani ‘musaar’, to know how to write their names in Arabic and also to know if Christmas and New Year are celebrated in Oman”, said Boleta Senkiene, honorary consul of Oman in Lithuania.
“And, I’m thankful to Boleta, who helped me understand the culture and customs, making bridge between the two cultures”, says Al Manei.
He visited the historical places and monuments in Vilnius and elsewhere. He had been to the Gediminas Tower, the Lithuanian National Museum and the Paneriai Memorial Museum, besides the Vilnius Cathedral, Museum of Genocide Victims and St Peter and St Paul Church.
These are just some of the historic sites while there are a number of Lithuanian cultural landmarks as well as the country sides worth visiting where the residents will talk to you for hours explaining their history, generations and lifestyle.
“It is very important to study a country, its history and its culture and tradition so that one can learn not only the language, but the country in its totality,” explained Al Manei.