For the non native speaker, Arabic presents a challenge for the latin language speaker because it is so different. But a movement is growing, not among those going to fight in wars, not amongst those in armies. The new movement to learn Arabic is coming from nerds:
So I would like to stand up for the language nerds and give some reasons for studying Arabic that have nothing to do with politics. The language of the National Designated Other is bound to switch to Chinese in a couple of years, but until colleges start teaching Martian, Arabic is going to remain the strangest, most interesting language you can study in an undergrad classroom.
And don't fall for the bait and switch with Chinese or Japanese! They might tempt you with an exotic writing system, but after a few months you find out that the underlying language is pretty vanilla, and meanwhile there is a stack of three thousand flash cards standing in between you and the ability to skim a newspaper.
Arabic, on the other hand, twists healthy minds.
Here's why the language nerds love Arabic.
The Root/Pattern System
The Writing System
The Feminine Plural
Crazy Agreement Rules
Phrases in Arabic
The whole essay