TED设计:Ghada Wali:我如何用乐高玩具教人们阿拉伯语

发表时间:2018-10-12内容来源:VOA英语学习网

TED设计:Ghada Wali: How I'm using LEGO to teach Arabic

I come from Egypt,which is also called Umm al-Dunya,the Mother of the World.It's a rich countryfilled with stories of rebellion,stories of civilizationaltriumph and downfalland the rich, religious,ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity.

Growing up in such an environment,I became a strong believerin the power of storytelling.As I searched for the mediumwith which to tell my story,I stumbled upon graphic design.I would like to share with you a projectof how graphic designcan bring the Arabic language to life.But first, let me tell youwhy I want to do this.

I believe that graphic designcan change the world.At least in my very own city of Cairo,it helped overthrowtwo separate dictators.As you can see from those photos,the power and potential of graphic designas a tool for positive changeis undeniably strong.Egypt's 2011 revolutionwas also a grassroots design revolution.Everyone became a creator.People were the real designersand, just overnight,Cairo was flooded with posters,signage, graffiti.Visual communicationwas the medium that spokefar louder than wordswhen the population of over90 million voices were suppressedfor almost 30 years.

It was precisely this politicaland social suppression,coupled with decades of colonialismand miseducationthat slowly eroded the significanceof the Arabic script in the region.All of these countries once used Arabic.Now it's just the green and the blue.To put it simply,the Arabic script is dying.In postcolonial Arab countries functioningin an increasingly globalized world,it is a growing alarmthat less and less people are usingthe Arabic script to communicate.

As I was studying my master's in Italy,I noticed myself missing Arabic.I missed looking at the letters,digesting their meaning.So one day, I walked intoone of the biggest libraries in Italyin search of an Arabic book.I was surprised to findthat this is what they hadunder the category of"Arabic/Middle Eastern books."

(Laughter)

Fear, terrorism and destruction.One word: ISIS.My heart achedthat this is how we areportrayed to the world,even from a literary perspective.I asked myself: Whatever happenedto the world-renowned writerslike Naguib Mahfouz, Khalil Gibran,iconic poets like Mutanabbi,Nizar Qabbani?Think about this.The cultural productsof an entire region of the world,as rich, as diverse,have been deemed redundant,if not ignored altogether.The cultural productsof an entire region of the worldhave been barred from impartingany kind of real impacton global media productionsand contemporary social discourse.And then I reminded myselfof my number one belief:design can change the world.All you need is for someoneto catch a glimpse of your work,feel, connect.

And so I started.I thought about how can I stop the worldfrom seeing us as evil,as terrorists of this planet,and start perceiving us as equals,fellow humans?How can I save and honor the Arabic scriptand share it withother people, other cultures?And then it hit me:What if I combinedthe two most significant symbolsof innocence and Arab identity?Maybe then people could resonate.What's more pure,innocent and fun as LEGO?It's a universal child's toy.You play with them, you build with them,and with them, you imagineendless possibilities.

My eureka moment was to finda bilingual solution for Arabic education,because effectivecommunication and educationis the road to more tolerant communities.However, the Arabic and Latin scriptsdo not only represent different worldsbut also create technical difficultiesfor both Eastern and Western communitieson a daily basis.

There are so many reasonswhy Arabic and Latin are different,but here are some of the main ones.Yes, both use upward and downward strokes,but have completely different baselines.Arabic tends to be more calligraphicand connectivity is importantto the Arabic language,whose letters have to be mostly joinedin order to articulate a given word.It also uses an entirely differentsystem of punctuation and diacritics.But most importantly,Arabic has no capital letters.Instead it has fourdifferent letter forms:initial, medial, isolated and final.I want to introduce the Arabic languageto young learners, foreign speakers,but most importantly help refugeesintegrate to their host societiesthrough creatinga bilingual learning system,a two-way flow of communication.And I called it "Let's Play."

The idea is to simply createa fun and engaging way of learningModern Standard Arabic through LEGO.These are the two words. "Let's Play."Every colored bar marks an Arabic letter.As you can see, the letteris explained in form, soundand examples of words in function,in addition to the equivalent in Latin.Together, they form a fun pocket bookwith the 29 Arabic lettersand the four different forms,plus a 400-word dictionary.

So this is how the page looks like.You have the letter,the transliteration in Latinand the description underneath.

I'll take you through the process.So first in my tiny studio in Florence,I built the letters.I photographed each letter separately,and then I retouched every letterand chose the correct color backgroundand typefaces to use.Ultimately, I created the full letter set,which is 29 letterstimes four different forms.That's 116 letters build just in one week.

I believe that informationshould and can be fun, portable.This book is the final product,which I would eventually like to publishand translate intoas many languages in the world,so that Arabic teaching and learningbecomes fun, easy and accessible globally.With this book, I hope to savemy nation's beautiful script.

(Applause)

Thank you.

Working on this projectwas a form of visual meditation,like a Sufi dance,a prayer to a better planet.One set of building blocksmade two languages.LEGO is just a metaphor.It's because we are all madeof the same building unit,is that I can see a futurewhere the barriers between peopleall come tumbling down.So no matter how uglythe world around us gets,or how many discouraging bookson ISIS, the terrorist group,and not Isis, the ancientEgyptian goddess,continue to be published,I will keep building one colorful world.Shukran, which means "thank you."

(Applause)

Thank you. Thank you so much.Thank you.

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