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Israel Offers to Teach Arabic to Moslem Children in African Lands

Israel has offered several African countries with substantial Moslem populations assistance in the teaching of Arabic in their schools, it was disclosed here today. Names of the countries were not revealed.

Israel has unusual experience in this area of teaching. It is the only country in which a system has been developed to teach Arabic as a first foreign language to pupils whose mother tongue is not Arabic. Israel also has suitable textbooks, including English-Arabic ones, in contrast to methods and texts in Arab countries which are designed for pupils whose mother tongue is Arabic.

It was noted, in connection with the Israeli offer, that there is some apprehension in several African countries that teachers from Egypt, the traditional source of Arabic educators, might become agents of subversion for President Nasser of the United Arab Republic. This has happened in several countries.

Groups in the African countries which are under Egyptian influence responded to the Israel offer with counter-measures, it was reported. Sierra Leone’s secretary of the Moslem League came to Egypt with a warning that unless the Arab League provided needed teachers, “my countrymen are liable to accept the Israeli offer.”

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