screen shot of cooking up culture app display

Cooking Up Arabic

Cooking Up Arabic is a prototype for an online learning platform that fuses language acquisition with cultural understanding. The platform is experimenting with telling a story about a place and people through a well-known visual medium, a cooking show.

This project is designed to foster curiosity and offer a counter narrative to the often negative stories coming out of the Middle East. It introduces an English-speaking audience to the rich history, culture, and everyday life of a modern Egyptian. Cooking Up Arabic is different from other language learning activities because it combines audio cues, written text, and captivating video brought to you on your iPad, phone, or computer.

Through a series of cooking shows, our Egyptian chef, Omar, introduces viewers to the Egyptian kitchen. Cooking an old family recipe, Omar invites you into his home, teaches you Arabic, and tells stories about growing up as a Muslim in Egypt and the United States. The platform gives viewers a person with whom they can identify, ultimately offering them the opportunity of a window into an often misunderstood region.

Cooking Up Arabic blends food, culture, and language learning to provide more context to the 5 o’clock headline in under 20 minutes.

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