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More Jews Study Arabic

A growing number of Jewish students are studying Arabic, according to data released yesterday by the Education Ministry. It showed that some 150,000 students studied the language last year, compared to 138,000 in 1979, 121,000 in 1978 and 103,000 in 1977. At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of teachers preparing themselves to teach the language; some 450 last year compared to 350 in 1979 and 280 in 1978.

The Education Ministry spokesman said the increase in the number of Arabic language students followed the Ministry’s decision to encourage the study of the language by granting special incentives to schools which made Arabic part of their regular curriculum. He said the first push for studying the language followed the signing of the peace agreement with Egypt three years ago.

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