OUR STORY

Alefb proudly teaches Arabic, since 1994

25 years Anniversary Commemorative Plate,
in Alefb Alumni’s mini forest.
(150 cedar trees planted in Al Arz- Lebanon. Nov. 2019)

From On-Site...

... To Online!

Since 1994, Alefb has pioneered the teaching of Arabic as a foreign language to children.
It all started with a necessity: how to be able to communicate with your children in your native language, as an Arabic heritage expatriate parent. Basically, how to say a spontaneous ‘Ya Habibi’ to your son and be understood!

On the first Saturday in October 1994, the first Alefb workshop was held with 30 children divided in 4 groups at
32, rue de la Source, Paris 75016. France. A fun place for kids to learn the Arabic language and culture was created. 
It expanded to Courbevoie in France, Washington Dc, New York, Virginia, Maryland and California.
In 2016, Alefb added Online classes to offer its program to a wider range of students, located all over the world.
Today, more than ever, Alefb is responsibly creating job opportunities in Lebanon and MENA, and raising the new generation to make the world a better place.

Alefb has benefited more than 5,000 children, and 100 teachers.

OUR FOUNDER

Michelle El-Khoury Tager

Michelle founded Alefb in Paris, France in 1993.

In her late twenties, she quit her career as a legal corporate counsel to care for her children. Alone with her Lebanese husband, in Bilad el Intishar (the wild wide world of exile), she was eager to hang on to her heritage and language. She wanted to continue to keep rooted, and to avoid losing balance; she needed a support group to raise her multicultural children. Because of her legal background, she decides to incorporate a legal entity. Because of her social mindset, she decides to run a non-profit educational program, to teach the Arabic language and culture to children.

Alefb was also created with the vision to reach out to all the children regardless of their origin, and to disseminate one of the most advanced civilizations and a language used by more than 10% of the world population.

The idea was welcomed by fellow young parents. 30 families subscribed to the weekly workshops, within the first month. This was almost 25 years ago. Teaching foreign languages through games to children was just starting; teaching Arabic as a foreign language to children in a playful way, was a premiere. Finding teachers was the first challenge, developing an adequate curriculum was the second.

Today, more than ever, Alefb is responsibly creating job opportunities in Lebanon and MENA, and raising the new generation to make the world a better place.

Alefb has so far benefited more than 5,000 children, and 100 teachers.

Alefb’s work was recently recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon, as well as by Montgomery county in Maryland. Alefb was awarded grants from the Mairie de Paris 16eme in France, as well as from Qatar Foundation International, in Washington DC.

In addition, Michelle has been working in the fields of justice and education reform for WBI( World Bank Institute) and USAid, among others. 

Michelle holds a Master degree in Law from Université de Paris II in France, a Mediation diploma from UC Berkeley and a Leadership certificate in the field of teaching foreign languages from Stanford World Language project. 

Michelle is married and the mother of three grown up children. For two years now, she has been dedicating 100% of her time to Alefb.

Alefb multicultural center for children is incorporated in the state of Virginia as a non-profit 501c 3 entity and is licensed to do business in the states of Maryland, New York and California. As of 2021, the board of directors in the USA is composed of Vicky Berberi-Doumar, Nada Gaspard, Katherine Hopps-Telhami, and Michelle El-Khoury Tager

Alefb is also incorporated in France and operates under a non-profit status Association loi 1901. Our management is done on a total volunteering basis. As of 2021, our board  in France is composed of Joelle Toutounji-Wolff, Michèle Bou Abboud, Marie de Bremond d’Ars, and Michelle El-Khoury Tager, with Rola El Homsi as Pedagogical director.

OUR PARTNERS

Alefb has been involved in several projects such as:

Designing and implementing a special workshop for the IMA (Institut du Monde Arabe) in Paris.
Writing and publishing of a picture book on Lebanon called “Yasmine, Karim and Sam in the Enchanted book of Lebanon.” The book was sold by SEAL, a New York based non-profit organization for Lebanon, for fundraising purposes.
Developing one of the first interactive Arabic story book, integrating colloquial and classical Arabic thanks to a generous grant from
Qatar Foundation International.
Creating a free virtual pen pal program in collaboration with the Beirut Center for Photography, SoS villages and Assabil Libraries, that serves to connect students inside and outside of Lebanon.
Supporting on a regular yearly basis Arabic film programs in partnership with AFMI.
Creating job opportunities in Lebanon, by hiring teachers on Jobs For Lebanon platform.

Alefb is always looking into opportunities to serve its purpose. If you have an idea or a project, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be delighted to help you fulfill your goal to educate children in the Arabic language and culture in a playful way.