Al-Fajr Center

Al-Fajr Center

Fajr Center for the Arabic Language was founded in Nasr City, Cairo in 1995, and affiliated to the Egyptian Ministry of Education with the sole purpose of teaching Classical Arabic to non-Arabic speakers.

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Rating: 4.8/10 (19 votes cast)

Al-Fajr Center, 4.8 out of 10 based on 19 ratings

5 Comments to Al-Fajr Center

  1. sok

    I did the summer intensive course at fajr and it was in a group class with 8 other people. I think that is too many people in a class because then you don’t get the attention you need to confidently speak Arabic. The atmosphere was good. The accommodation service was too expensive. I was only there a short while but I didn’t greatly enjoy my time there but a lot of other students I know rate fajr very highly. I think it depends on your taste and preferences.

  2. khattaab

    Asalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakaatuhu,

    I studied in Fajr Center, Cairo during the year 2006/07. My study program consisted of 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. The academic ambiance was very positive and the organisation was relatively good compared to other arab countries and organisations I’ve been to. Despite arriving a couple of weeks late, I was thankfully admitted into the right class after a small test.
    They offered to help me find a place to live closer to the center and also gave me a discount given my tight finances as a 19 year old gap year student. The quality of teaching was impressively high, although admittedly I don’t think it was generally true of all the teachers in the center as opposed to being very fortunate with the teacher I was allocated. It is the most established and oldest professional arabic teaching institution for westerners.
    I began my studies there with group sessions, which lasted for about 4 months. I quickly learnt that I wasn’t moving as fast as I could, I then took up private sessions with the same teacher I favoured.
    Fajr Center made this transition from group to private very smooth and flexible. The price of private tuition was quite dear, I painfully learnt that it wasn’t financially sustainable for me. That was when i left the center and decided to take the cheap option of private tuition outside the center, but I am definitely grateful that I took the journey through fajr center the way I did as each stepped proved critical in shaping my experience and progression through the arabic language and I think it was necessary for putting me on my own two feet within the wider world of learning arabic.

    Fajr Center had a very structured program available for gap year students, and also had the convenient option of summer intensive for summer students. They had at the time 12 or so different levels to complete their full arabic program. Each level lasted 5 weeks, at the end of which there was an exam to determine the student’s progression. Between each level was a week or so holiday giving the student ample time to revise his stuff and prepare for his upcoming level.

    Teaching was delivered with experience and this was observable when we’d compare students across the different centers in cairo.

    I would definitely recommend Fajr Center for people wanting to study arabic from the west, particularly those geared more towards speaking the language. I confess that I found one of Fajr’s weak points was a lack of emphasis or focus on Arabic grammar which I’ve learnt now in my islamic studies is critical. I guess it depends on what the student wants out of his studies and this should be clear from the outset.

    May Allah guide us all to that which pleases His Majesty most,
    and may Allah give us all tawfeeq and sincerity in our journey back to Him (subhaanahu wa ta’aala)

    Wasalaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatulllah wa Barakaatuhu

    Khattaab

  3. zayd.1@hotmail.co.uk

    I attended the summer intensive course at fajr in 2009.
    The centre benefits from:
    1) Good organisation. It is specially tailored for foreign students who are new to Egypt, so they will arrange pick up, accomodation, weekend trips etc. Classes are well structured, and follow a timely schedule (consisting of around 4 hours a day, days a week).
    2) Professionalism. Following from the above point, many other centres in Egypt are casual about time and consistency. Fajr centre is well suited for those coming from England who are not used to the relaxed Arab mentatlity!
    3) The centre offers the chance to meet a wide variety of people. As it is one of the larger centres in Cairo, it attracts people from all over the world, so was a good opportunity to meet many people and make many friends. One on one tuition and other centres may not necessarily offer this

    Downsides:
    1) I felt that class sizes were a bit big (around 5 to 8 people) which means you can meet others, but then sacrifice attention as the teacher is divided amongst everyone. Thus less speaking time and the teacher cant afford to be correcting everyone all the time. This was ultimately the reason why I left.
    2) The centre was overpriced. For things like accomodation, they would charge many times over the actual rate. Initially, I had no choice, but once aware, changed accommodation (and centre!). Tuition as well wasnt too bad, but personal one on one tuition was cheaper elsewhere, where I felt I could learn more.

    Overall, I did enjoy Fajr centre, but felt I could get better value and learn a lot more elsewhere, which is why I left after only one month. I feel that other centres offer more (if you are there to learn as much as possible in a short period of time), but ultimately, it depends what experience you are looking for.

  4. yousey88

    I studied at Al Fajr in 2007. I initially began studying arabic privately and did this for a month before the intensive course began at al fajr. I took the intensive course and continued on the standard courses at al fajr for a few months. I found the course at al fajr to be a lot more organised and the emphasis my teacher placed on thinking in arabic was something that I felt benefitted me greatly. The teaching was top notch and it was very organised when one compares it to the level of organisation of most things in Cairo.

    One negative point I found was that the teachers differ in ability quite a lot. I had a friend who was studying in the level below me and his teachers ability to communicate and convey the meanings of words was a lot weaker than my own teacher’s. However, when compared to the teaching that I obtained privately and at Markaz Furqaan, Al Fajr was much more organised in terms of the course and quality assurance of the teachers.

  5. FHM90

    I have spent the past two weeks at Fajr in a one on one private class. My time in Egypt is limited and I want to try and maximise how much Arabic I can learn in a short period of time. Thus I opted for the private root, and have a three hour lesson, five days a week.

    Starting from scratch, my teacher is going at a very slow pace over things I clearly understand. It is clear to me that he doesn’t want to take me to the ‘next level’ as he is working for a business, and it is in their interest to maximise profits by having students spend as much time as possible per each level. This is very frustrating, and with hindsight if I wanted to maximise arabic in a short period I should have opted for a private tutor coming to my home.

    Administration and organisation wise, Fajr is by far the best in the business. The people in the office are kind and helpful.

    If you have a long time in Egypt to purely learn Arabic (say 10+months) I would recommend Fajr. The teachers are thorough and there are plenty of other students to get along with. There is a beautiful but very little masjid under the ‘kids’ building where we take our magrib and isha breaks, and that alone is worth travelling to class every day!

    However, if you are prepared to work off your own back, and want to gain as much as possible in a short period of time, then i’d opt or a private tutor coming to your home, a change I will now make InshAllah.

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