Weekend Program

Weekend Arabic Language and Arts Program

In Fall 2012 to Spring 2013 we will not be offering a weekend program. However, we hope to do so in the future. You can read about last year’s weekend program below.

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As parents of Arab heritage have been telling us, they want their children to learn the Arabic language, to have a joy and appreciation of their culture and heritage, and be confident as young Arabs living in America. Al-Bustan strives to fill this need during the three weeks of camp in July, while also reaching out to non-Arabs and promoting cross-cultural exchange and understanding. In an effort to expand educational opportunities for children of ALL backgrounds during the school year, we have created this weekly Saturday program at the Salvation Army Kroc Center.

Open to Kindergartners through 8th graders, the Saturday Program focuses on Arabic instruction with reinforcement of the language through the arts.   Since launching this program in fall 2011, we have made some adjustments and are pleased to resume on January 28, 2012. The program will be divided into two parts. The first two hours is focused on the Arabic language , co-taught by two native speakers: ISSAM BOUGTOUB, a Moroccan fluent in English, Arabic and French, currently completing his Masters in Education at St. Joseph’s University, while working as a classroom assistant at Northeast High School; and DANIA BAWADKJI, a Syrian with a degree in literature from University of Aleppo, and currently pursuing coursework in early childhood education and speech communication. They will divide the students into two groups, sometimes grouped by age and sometimes by Arabic skill level, depending on the activity. The second part of the program is percussion class taught by HAFEZ EL ALI KOTAIN, a master percussionist who has been teaching with Al-Bustan for over 4 years.

  • ARABIC focuses on reading, writing, and conversing with hands-on interactive activities, incorporating use of Arabic script with basics of calligraphy, dramatic role play, and food demonstrations; weekly homework given to reinforce class instruction
  • PERCUSSION focuses on learning to play a variety of Arab rhythms, creating arrangements, while counting and saying names of rhythms in Arabic — this class is open only to 2nd -8th graders

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NOTE: We are offering an ADULT ARABIC LANGUAGE CLASS for beginner to intermediate levels, taught by Issam Bougtoub, 12-1pm, staring March 3 through June 2. Please download and complete the Registration Form. Fee is $17/class for total payment of $204 for 12 classes in the semester. High school students can sign up for this class.


Jan – June 2012 Group A (K-3rd graders) Group B (4th-8th graders)
10:00 – 11:50 am ARABIC ARABIC
11:50 am- 12:00 pm BREAK
12 – 1:00 pm PERCUSSION (2nd – 8th gr)

Jan – June 2012: 17 days — Arabic language (2 hrs) + Percussion (1 hr)

January 28 February 4, 11, 18, 25
March 3, 10, 17, 24 (Spring Break: 3/31 and 4/7 ) April 14, 21, 28
May 5, 12, 19, 26 June 2

A new community center, The Salvation Army Kroc Center, is a state of the art building with recreation and educational facilities, located in the north section of Philadelphia, with free, ample parking space, and easy access from the suburbs and central parts of the city.

4200 Wissahickon Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19129

Salvation Army Kroc Center in a larger map

Classes will be held on the second floor in well-equipped classrooms in the Sunoco Foundation Learning Center.

Note: We encourage parents to become members of the Kroc Center, which has a wonderful fitness and recreation facility that includes family and lap pools, plus excercise and weight rooms.

Past Weekend Workshops: 2005 – 2008

Click here for more on past weekend workshops: 2005 – 2008