Who we are
The Arab American Language Institute in Morocco (AALIM) is a private language and culture institute, registered as a LLC in the state of Virginia. AALIM’s sister institution, where its programs are carried out, is the AALIM Institute for Language Studies (AILS), headquartered in Meknes, Morocco, under the authorization of the Moroccan Ministry of Education. The AALIM Center has been in operation since 2008, under the academic direction of Dr. Driss Cherkaoui, who began the Institute after many years of teaching Arabic in the United States and directing and teaching in study abroad programs in Morocco. Dr. Cherkaoui is a native Moroccan who immigrated to the United States over 20 years ago; he holds a PhD in Arabic literature from the Sorbonne in Paris, France.
Since its foundation, AALIM has hosted hundreds of students from colleges and universities all over the United States and several European countries. Intensive Arabic programs are offered all year long, although summer programs are the most popular. The communicative interactive philosophy used in all AALIM classes, as well as the Arabic-only policy in the classroom, foster speaking and listening skills in addition to reading and writing skills. AALIM’s goal is to provide each student with the tools needed to reach their individual language goals, and to become proficient in both the Arabic language and in understanding unspoken cultural cues necessary for truly communicating and interacting with native speakers.
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AALIM is located in several traditional Moroccan riads the Old Medina of Meknes, the pedestrian-only fortified city established almost a thousand years ago and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Students learn in classrooms adorned with zellige, traditional Moroccan mosaics, and study in comfortable, traditionally-furnished lounges and courtyards just minutes away from bustling marketplaces and artisan workshops.