After our studies in Sudan, we decided to continue our Arabic studies in Malaysia for the following reasons:
- We wanted to go overseas so we could be away from all the distractions back home in Melbourne, Australia. Generally I encourage those who want to study Arabic to do so away from your hometown in a place that you can fully focus and dedicate yourself full time. That is if you’re able to.
- I needed to be in a country that was physically close to home and quick and easy to return to for personal reasons.
- Initially we were looking into Egypt, but after my time in Sudan and the challenges I faced, I wanted a place that would be easier to bear. I didn’t feel physically, mentally or emotionally ready for another big move like Egypt. (In Sudan I suffered from heat exhaustion, got sick many times, add to that an unfolding revolution). I don’t regret Sudan at all and I’m glad I went. But it did take a lot out of me. Everyone’s capacity is different and one must take care of their health if they want to be a student of knowledge for the long run.
- I’ve always loved the idea of living in Malaysia as it has many advantages in my eyes: It’s a majority Muslim country, it’s a mix of cosmopolitan and traditional, it is relatively cheaper to live in (compared to live in Western countries), the people and general culture is safe and relaxed. My intention in Sudan was to just put my head down and work hard. This time I want to study but also have a good time!
- As we want to start a family soon, my husband and I have been exploring this idea of raising our future kids in a more Islamic environment, compared to our upbringing as Muslims in the secular West. Malaysia would be a top pick for the points mentioned above, plus it’s also still close to home in Australia. This is a novel idea for us so we wanted to see if it would be better for our kids by actually living in Malaysia for a prolonged period of time. This would give us time to experience life here, observe, meet others who made hijrah for the same reason (there are many) and visit places of interest like schools etc.
Overall, I would recommend Egypt as the place to study Arabic as that is where most foreigners go. I don’t have any contacts or know of any schools there so please do your own research. However, everyones situation is different. If you’re interested in studying in Malaysia, I don’t want to recommend the institute I am enrolled at until I’ve actually finished it. There is another one called EAG Academy that is worth looking into.
There is a great resource on the steps to taking Arabic that I’ve linked here. Start there.
I hope this glimpse into my journey helps to trigger your own thought processes.
– your sis Nis