Rumi Forum's blog on Hizmet, Fethullah Gulen, peacebuilding, education and interfaith efforts.
Friday, May 13, 2011
WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT interviews Rumi Forum
Excerpt from full article that explores the new and growing language courses in Washington DC including our Turkish language classes ...."Basically we recognized a demand, and we thought with our background and the fact this organization was founded by Turkish Americans, we could play a part in bringing that to the Washington, D.C., area," Celik explained. "Turkey is on the rise in terms of global attention so a lot of people are wanting to improve their understanding of Turkey. And the best way to do that is through Turkish language and culture."
So far, around 40 to 50 students have completed the intensive program, which includes eight four-hour classes per month, over a two-month span. Currently, 20 students are enrolled in classes held at the Rumi Forum offices in downtown D.C.
Though it's still small, with a single teacher, Celik is optimistic that more people will be attracted to the classes once word gets out. He points out that learning Turkish at the Rumi Forum focuses on more than just the language — it teaches about traditions, norms, etiquette and even food.
"I think they really appreciate that — it's more than just pen and paper classroom. We really do encourage students to pick up on all aspects of Turkish culture as that's what will help them," Celik said, noting the forum recently organized a Turkish dinner for its students.