I'm launching a Kickstarter

Dear Users,

I'm launching a Kickstarter to kick this project into high gear. Check it out here.

After over eight years of working on this project in my spare time, I've gotten the code working, finalized the database structure, and the only thing holding it back is the data entry. Funding will allow me to complete the Classical / Modern Standard Arabic and Levantine dictionaries in a year. This site has about 1,500 unique users per month. If every one of them donated $35, the Kickstarter would be done. If you use this site and support my goals of making Arabic more accessible, please donate and share the link around.

You can also like the Facebook page and share it around as well.

Thank you in advance for your support and help with making this a reality.

Hossam Abouzahr


Cool stuff this site has:

Also, courtesy of the one and only Heba Salem there is an audio recording of Khaled Khamesy's book تاكسي. You can access it here or through the "Recordings" link in the navigator bar.

What is this site?

This site is an effort to show Arabic as a living language by allowing users to search in both a Classical Arabic dictionary and a dialect dictionary at the same time. I'm actually thinking of renaming the site to "Picture Arabic" to emphasize how this site is about changing how we conceive of Arabic. This is no small task, but technology, combined with Arabic's structure as a Semitic language, can make this happen. Often Classical Arabic, or Modern Standard Arabic or اللغة العربية الفصحى , is the only aspect of Arabic that is taught, and the dialects are often ignored or only taught minimally. There are reasons for that, some practical, some not. The dialects are not as well studied, what dialects can be taught depend on what faculty is available to teach it, etc. Some see the dialects as not being real languages and not deserving to be taught and "formal" Classical Arabic is the only real Arabic. However, because of these reasons and others, often only Classical Arabic is taught. And in the Arab countries, it is seen as an abomination to teach dialects. Because of this, though, Classical Arabic is often criticized as being a "dead language."

Despite long periods of silence, this site is still being worked on. And I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. The site has over 3000 unique visits a month, and hundreds of searches are conducted daily. It's slow going, but changing how Arabic is conceived, improving education, and strengthening cross-cultural communication are things worth working on.