First off, Arabic is NOT the only language I’m interested in. I’d love to learn these languages: Korean, French, Hebrew, and Greek. Two of those, Hebrew and Greek, are for religious purposes due to them being Biblical languages. But Arabic? Arabic only has the Quran, right? Nope! Here’s my reasons for learning Arabic.
I really enjoy talking to Egyptians on a secular, non-religious basis. Egyptians (and other Arabic speakers for that matter) are sweet people when you steer them away from religion or religiously-infused politics. When it comes to just life and what’s going on in the world around them and you, Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians, etc., are really fun to talk with.
I’ll chalk up the need to steer away from hot topics on the extreme dedication to ideologies passed down from generation to generation with very little thought given about them.
It may surprise you, but I actually like certain aspects of Arabic & Egyptian culture. Granted, I am fully against women being forced into marriages or wear a veil/hijab, I do support the right for women to wear them if they choose. In reality, I’m a Christian that also supports the head covering movement (optionally, of course). (Yes, I know this is mostly due to religion.)
I admire the hospitality from the mid-east, alongside the friendliness and willing to go to great lengths as my travel buddy, Mahmoud, did for me. I may not have shown it at the time, but I appreciated him doing what he did. It’s unfortunate that in the West, the attitude is very self-centered and always independent. Dependence here looks bad.
I’m a huge fan on movies and games set in Egypt. Take note that Egypt actually has a rich and diverse culture. It was controlled in ancient times by pharaohs, the Greeks and Romans, and later Arabs. Egypt has a history with multiple religions, old religions and Abrahamic faiths. In fact, Jesus and some of the apostles went there! So you have multiple religions, peoples, and cultures, that mixed in Egypt.
While I do read the Quran partly in Arabic (I don’t have a large vocabulary yet), I’m mostly interested in reading the Bible and Christian books written in Arabic. I disagree with the Sunnah more than the Quran, in fact, the Quran is mild compared to the hadiths and sira, which really come off strong on the hate, especially when it comes to the Jews. I don’t mind the Quran, especially after having read Paul of Antioch’s letter on Islam and the Quran.
I would love to see a more secular Arab world though. Ideologies, especially from Islamists, have tainted the language so much, that religion comes off being one-sided if you aren’t careful to redefine the terms and gives Islamists fuel to wage their “struggles” from the “oppression” they face when someone tells them no.