My nom de guerre is Saalim and I live in the New York City suburbs.

I was graduated from the Arabic basic course at the Defense Language Institute and served five years in the U.S. Army as a “linguist.” I always regretted that my education was almost entirely in MSA and that I was never able to converse very well with anybody. Yet, DLI was a great experience that left me with enough basic knowledge to profitably study on my own. This focus on listening to real-world material in dialect is exactly what I was missing.

I’ve also become very interested in the most efficient methods of learning, practicing and retaining Arabic. Donovan’s Mezzofanti Guild blog has been a big help in this regard. I’m proud to be the second poster and I hope this group develops into an excellent learning community!