Saifi Institute was founded in 2008 by Rana Al-Dirani.
Saifi Institute is much more than a school and a place to learn Arabic. We have created a nurturing environment which embraces student-teacher communication, creativity, and fun. Our approach reflects our commitment to providing a learning environment that is accessible to all, imbued with the spirit of adventure.
Rana began her career as a teacher of Arabic to foreigners in Lebanon in 2001. Whilst she loved her job, she quickly stumbled upon a problem; the Arabic introduced in books did not satisfy her teaching goals. She felt that the material she taught scared students as opposed to making them love the language. The methods she was using felt dry, lifeless, and difficult to understand, and didn’t reflect how Arabic was used in daily life. She wanted to teach the Arabic she knew, an Arabic full of life and expression.
By day she continued to teach, but by night she started creating new lessons, strategies and techniques that she believed would help her students. Her goal was not just to teach the language of daily life (the Levantine dialect), but also to empower her students to feel confident about their language skills. In addition they would have a strong knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and the local culture. This is when she came up with the idea of a new methodology called “Urban Arabic”, a systematic program that teaches students how to speak the way Arabs do, and how to read and write starting from the ground up through to highly educated levels.
Rana’s dream was to build a team that taught with the same passion that she did; she needed excited and creative teachers who were capable of helping every student reach their full potential. She wanted students to leave the classroom feeling confident and happy.
Since 2008, Rana’s vision has taken shape and kept growing until now. Saifi Institute has become one of the largest Arabic schools in Lebanon and the Middle East. Our school is located in a purpose-built, three-story building with fourteen classrooms in a vibrant part of Beirut. Every year, we teach an average of 160 courses and welcome over 2000 students from all over the world. The dream does not stop here: our goal is to be the largest Arabic school in the world.