Introduction to Islam and Muslims: This course introduces Islam and Muslim societies from the following approaches: (1) Islamic cultural environment, its structures, values, basic language elements and social practices; (2) the socially accepted norms and values in the Islamic world, the subtleties of this culture and how to work within Islamic environments; and (3) the challenges that Islamic culture presents to foreigners and how to overcome them.
Introduction to Culture and Society in the Arab World: This course provides an introduction to a select number of themes in Arab culture by exploring the following themes: (1) The varieties of subcultures distinguished by particular sets of language, religious sectarianism and ethnic groups in the Arab world; (2) the socially accepted norms in the Arab world, structure of Arab society, tradition, systems of codes and prominent values (honor, power, hierarchy, tribe, clan, gender, family, morality, social relationship); and (3) the socio-political transformations of Arab societies and their impact on the ways of life of rural as well as urban settlers at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
Understanding Iraq: This course maps out: (1) an historical overview; (2) a country profile; (3) a review of political institutions and economy (oil industry...); (4) the major ethnic groups, such as the Kurds, Turkmen and Assyrians; Islam and Muslim sectarian groups, Christianity and Christian sectarian groups; (5) the main political, religious and ideological parties and groups, emphasizing historical personalities and cultural elements; and finally (6) the course concludes with some considerations on Iraq's future.
Islamist Movements in the Arab World: This course focus on (1) the conditions that led to the emergence of the Islamist movements; (2) the relationship between their thinking and praxis in particular political and social contexts; and (3) the radical and moderate orientations of these movements, highlighting the reasons behind such approaches and their impact on the current situation in the Arab world.
"Survival" instruction in Arabic: These intensive courses, typically ranging from two to six weeks in length, provide trainees with the basics of language (appropriate greetings, numbers, directions, common exchanges) necessary to survive and avoid cultural conflict or impropriety in-country. In an effort to ease the challenge of adjustment, we supplement language instruction with information on the specific area in which units will be stationed, including relevant political and social conditions, cultural and social norms, and information on residents' attitudes toward the U.S. and our military.
Intensive refresher courses in Modern Standard Arabic: These courses are tailored for military personnel who have attained "2" or "2+" proficiency but whose language skills have weakened as they have pursued other duty assignments. Typically six weeks in length, these sessions are taught by instructors with experience in intensive instruction (including several hired from DLI), and employ the same technology, format, and small-class approach used at DLI. Typical focus is on refreshing spoken and listening skills, with some reading content.
Year-long intensive language instruction designed to produce proficiency at the 2/2+ level is also available for Arabic.