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PA daily exhorts learning Hebrew as 'language of the enemy'

Headline: "Learning the Hebrew language – an ongoing passion or necessitated by reality?"

"Loudly and enthusiastically, a group of people from different and diverse fields… repeat words in the Hebrew language together after their teacher…

Although most of them have certificates in other fields of expertise, the saying that says 'The one who learns a people's language is protected from its tricks' has assembled them here, at In'ash Al-Usra College in El-Bireh, in order to learn the Hebrew language.

Semitic languages and comparative literature expert Ghanem Maz'al said: 'The Hebrew language is an ancient Semitic language, whose source is the proto-Semitic language. It is a language of a holy book, similar to the Arabic language, and whoever denies or negates its existence is an ignoramus who is not using his intelligence.' …

Maz'al emphasized that there is a pressing need for Hebrew studies in Palestine so we will learn the language of the people alongside or with whom we are living – even if they are our enemy.

Project director of one of the development NGOs in Qalqilya Muhammad Joudeh said that he has a command of the Hebrew language, but registered for the certificate study program offered by In'ash Al-Usra College in order to enrich his knowledge of the language and gain a command of pronunciation and writing, which will benefit him in his work.

Joudeh added: 'My expertise in the Hebrew language arises from listening, and as a result of my association with Hebrew speaking Arabs, or from Jews with whom my work requires me to be in contact.'

Muhammad explained that at the beginning the Hebrew language was a necessity, but after he achieved a command of the language, a desire formed to learn more in order to get to know the life of the Jews, their holidays, their festivals, and their way of thinking…

[PA] public employee Sayel Jabarin told his story with the Hebrew language: 'Since childhood, Hebrew has drawn my attention when it was written on products for sale. In my eyes [its words] were drawings and talismans whose forms I memorized until I learned them.'

Regarding the importance of learning Hebrew, Sayel explained: 'In our country we experience many events, such as checkpoints, arrests, and invasions. Therefore I developed myself on the academic level in order to receive a certificate that would authorize me to engage in teaching or translation, which most of the people do not consider important.

Jabarin added: 'Knowledge of the Hebrew language has helped me resolve the problem of the importers with Israeli customs at the ports and crossings, and to read notices, licenses, and bills.'

Financial Director of the Al-Yazan Construction Company in Bethlehem Nasim Hajahjah said: 'The Hebrew language is our enemy’s language, and all of the Palestinian people must learn it in order to be protected from their evil, and this is in addition to it being a beautiful and enjoyable language.'"

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