Khalil Gibran International Academy opens today amid controversy

Khalil Gibran International Academy opens today amid controversy in New York

I just had to post this afet reading this quote from Carmen Colon, who is sending her son to the Khalil Gibran International Academy --

"I know for a fact that any American who learns Arabic will make tons of money," she told CNN, "whether it's translation, or in the customer service area."

-- Carmen, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but trust not all Arabs make "tons on money."

Here's the actual story from From All Headline News.
The first public school in the U.S. to offer instruction in Arabic opened Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York, to a throng of media attention, threats of violence and public debate.

About a dozen security guards and police officers were on patrol Tuesday for the school's inauguration.

The Khalil Gibran International Academy, according to it's website, aims "to prepare students for college and successful careers and to foster an understanding of different cultures, a love of learning, and desire for excellence in all of its students."
As a public school, it has no religious affiliation and will adhere to curriculum standards set forth by the New York Department of Education. It will begin with just two Grade 6 classes, but plans to expand a 6th to 12th grade institution.
Some critics, including those that formed group "Stop the Madrassa," to protest the academy, fear it will promote radical Islam and prevent Muslim children from assimilating into American culture. Other, more radical opponents, have even posted violent threats on right-wing blogs.
But to Carmen Colon, who is sending her son to the school, the opening of the academy is giving her the opportunity to put her son at an advantage. "I know for a fact that any American who learns Arabic will make tons of money," she told CNN, "whether it's translation, or in the customer service area."
New York already funds about 70 dual-language schools, offering students the chance to be take classes taught in Spanish, Russian and Mandarin, among other languages.
More than half of the 60 students currently enrolled at Khalil Gibran do not speak any Arabic, or have ties to any Arab culture.
The school is named after the pacifist Christian Lebanese poet who lived in New York and authored The Prophet, excerpts of which are read at many American weddings.
Representatives of the school dismiss allegations that they have a religious agenda. The criticisms, however, have already taken their toll. They had to abandon plans to share space with another school after parents there protested, and the original founder, who was from Tehran, was forced to resign after tabloids accused her of supporting the Intifada. She was replaced with a woman raised in a Jewish Orthodox family.
Bret Denning, director of development at the academy, said "The most effective way to answer [the critics] is to just open up a good school."

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About Nadia Gergis

Nadia was born in New York City but spent her formative years in Cairo, Egypt. She completed two years at the American University in Cairo before transferring to Florida Southern College, where she obtained a bachelors degree in print and broadcast journalism. She has a masters degree in strategic communication from New Jersey-based Seton Hall University. She is married and lives in central Florida.

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