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What’s On the Radio? Around the World in Song with UW FLAS Fellows

August 29, 2017

The following is an excerpt from the second in a two-part series about songs which UW Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) fellows have learned in their various locations around the world this summer.  Listen to the full set in a playlist here, or read the original article here.

Songs represent a unique and effective means of learning language–there is repetition of words and grammar, the language is conversational, they include idiomatic expressions, and they are easier to remember than normal speech.  (How many of you can remember nothing from your high school foreign language class but the song(s) you learned)?  Inspired by this and my own love of music, I decided to ask the UW Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS)fellows what songs they’ve learned this summer.


Henry Milander

Henry Milander

In Arab countries, new TV mini-series are released during the month of Ramadan, which fell during the summer this year.  Henry Milander (Majors: Business, International Studies, FLAS: Global Studies, Arabic) enjoyed watching the Moroccan Ramadan TV series with his host family.  He particularly enjoyed the “catchy” theme song to the series “Al-Khawa (Siblings),” sung by Ibtisam Tiskat.



Menosh Zalmai-Appl (MSW Social Work, FLAS: Middle East, Arabic) is studying Arabic at the University of Washington.  She writes that Fairuz is one of the most beloved singers of the Middle East (and has been for more than fifty years).   She shares the song “3alimuni Hubbak” (They Taught Me Your Love) from the 1967 film ‘Safar Barlek.’



Tasha Duberstein (MA Middle East Studies, FLAS: West Europe, Turkish) doesn’t actually like “Cevapsiz Çınlama,” but she is in the minority in Istanbul, where the song is very popular this summer!



Sara Molaie (MA Comparative Religion, FLAS: Middle East, Hebrew) learned many songs this summer at the Middlebury College School of Hebrew.  One of them was “We Don’t Need More than This,” a 2006 release by Israeli rapper Subliminal.


Geordie MacLearnsberry profile picture

Geordie MacLearnsberry

Geordie MacLearnsberry (Major: Linguistics, FLAS: Middle East, Hebrew) writes from Tel Aviv, where he is studying Hebrew at Tel Aviv University.  One of his favorite Israeli songs and a top hit in Israeli in 2016 is ‘Miami’ by Eliad.




FLAS Fellowships are funded by the International and Foreign Language Education Office of the U.S. Department of Education. FLAS fellowships support undergraduate, graduate and professional students in acquiring modern foreign languages and area or international studies competencies. Students from all UW departments and professional schools are encouraged to apply. Find out more about the FLAS Fellowship here.