SC: Living in Syria?

#1
#2
Would you have to leave the TA? Probably not, I expect you could get Leave of Absence to cover it.

Would it affect your SC? I would be very suprised if it didn't.

Incidentally if this kind of thing flicks your switch, you may like to look into doing a course through the Army. You can learn Arabic, Pashto or Dari at DSL Beaconsfield - although there is a catch!

PM me for info if you're interested.

Charlie
 
#3
Have PM'd.
 
#4
Charlie_Cong said:
Would you have to leave the TA? Probably not, I expect you could get Leave of Absence to cover it.

Would it affect your SC? I would be very suprised if it didn't.

Incidentally if this kind of thing flicks your switch, you may like to look into doing a course through the Army. You can learn Arabic, Pashto or Dari at DSL Beaconsfield - although there is a catch!

PM me for info if you're interested.

Charlie
What 36 months FTRS including 2x6 months somewhere sandy?

Mmmmmn. Nice.
 
#5
Ive got a couple of otc mates who are doing this for a year as part of their course, to the best of my knowledge they're coming back in when they get back..
 
#6
Always fancied learning formal arabic, if you go let me know how good the course is, do you think they will allow me to apply? :lol:
 
#7
... ask your Unit Security Officer (USO) [probably your PSAO].

Another place to consider in Syria is the 'University of Damascus', which is flexible on start dates, or so I've heard, and also offers some good subsidiary courses on Persian/Farsi and Hebrew. It's all very cheap.

But there's institutions like that dotted around the entire Middle East - Egypt (especially so in Cairo and Alexandria), Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan and Lebanon.
 
#10
Syria: I'd rather learn Levantine/Modern Standard Arabic, than Maghrebi, Egyptian, or Iraqi... ugh, vulgar! Also I'm in the mood for 3 months in the souks of Damascus, leaking my military secrets (so far: how to iron CS95) to tight-denimed honeytraps :wink:

Farsi/Pashto etc. That's where the good stuff's at. Part of me wants to show off and learn Nuristani... they're giving the Spams real trouble at the moment, too.
 
#12
Syria isnt that where the yanks send people to be tortured maybe you could get an attachment :D .Bound to be a cool tshirt
CIA syria I Do Know where the bodies are buried :D
 
#13
For what it's worth, I was in Damascus doing a very similar course back in 1996-7, although at a different place (the French Institute). The Mezzeh school didn't have its reputation or its prices, and classes were considerably larger in size; I don't even think they did classes in local Arabic at the time, but this may have changed.

IFEAD is mainly angled to graduate students, and they usually expected a fair amount of competence as a prerequisite for study; they provided lessons in Syrian (broad Damascene, as far as I could gather) Arabic, as well as Fusha, which were all quite good. The downside to it is that one needed to be comfortable with French to get the most out of some of the staff..

(Edited to apologise for rambling. I can't believe it was 10 years ago!)
 
#15
I've a friend in the French School (used to be known as L'IFEAD, but now, IF PO) out there at the moment. It's an excellent place to study. However, the course is an academic year long (September through May), and you must do an Arabic competency exam as a pre-requisite (or so I'm told). If you were considering this route, I'd advise at least night classes and a 'Teach Yourself' set, etc. Exams are usually around March, I believe. In addition, all tuition is in Arabic itself, so no French is required (although it would be an asset, as some teachers have no knowledge of English).

I'm told, by the same person, that the University there has picked up it's game, somewhat.

If you hadn't ruled out Egypt, consider Egyptian Colloquial Arabic is also an asset, as a lot of media is produced in Egypt - TV, films and music, which means that other Arabic speakers are more likely to understand you in Egyptian, than say, Moroccan (or as you correctly identify, Maghrebi)

If you have the time (money isn't an issue, per se, as it's damn cheap out there), then I'd consider going for longer than 3 months - if it's something you want to use later. You'll learn a lot, but not enough to truly engage with another Arabic speaker.
 
#17
Those SOAS courses look cool. Pity all the beginners' Persian courses are full. I wonder why that is ...
 
#18
ExplodingTrousers said:
If you're in London at the moment, Rumpelstiltskin, the SOAS language centre might be helpful as well, by way of preparation: Arabic

I've heard good things about them, anyway...
Thanks, ET, I've already looked at the Persian course (£240 for a ten week term, which isn't so bad)- and have bought the book they use/wrote to laboriously teach myself the rudiments- but a large part of the appeal was throwing my office PC out of the window and legging it to somewhere poor, bustling and exotic (other than Dalston) for a while...
 
#19
I've been looking at Exeter, SAOS etc for degree courses. SAOS is highly regarded in the 'scene' and if possible for you definately worth going to for any course. The courses available in Syria-I wasn't aware of them and am now completely convinced that I should pay off my current debts, then go to Syria and get into a whole new debt. There can't be a better way to learn a foreign language than by being surrounded by it, and the experience of being there alone would make it worth while. In terms of the TA, I have spoken to my PSAO about it and taking a leave of absence is very possible, especially for something that could potentially benefit the Army. Rumpelstiltskin, you are a hero in my eyes for finding that link. Lovin' your work.
 
#20
Rumpelstiltskin said:
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Would I have to leave the TA to do it? I imagine Syria's quite high up on the Army's list of Dodgy Places to Live. Would it affect my Security Clearance when I come back?
I think you need *specific* permission to go to Syria.
 

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