Short brief about YCMES

The Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies (YCMES) is a fully accredited academic institution and, for over three decades, one of the leading Arabic language programs in the Middle East.

YCMES, designed by Honorary Dean Steven C. Caton (Harvard) to the highest academic standards, was unique in the Middle East. Visiting professors taught an array of courses in contemporary Middle Eastern Studies alongside the Arabic language program in order to offer international students an unmatched educational experience.

Beginning in 1988, YCMES trained over 9,700 students from North America, Europe, and Asia in Arabic as a second language. Most of the North American and European universities that we work with accept our credit hours. Our students are Chinese, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish speakers ranging in age from preteen to eighty and working as diplomats, Peace Corps volunteers and Ph.D. candidates; each with a vital need to learn Arabic quickly and well.

YCMES began in 1988 as the Yemen Language Centre (YLC). In 1993, YLC transformed into YCMES in order include graduate level courses in Middle Eastern Studies.  In 2006, YCMES added the Program of Arabic Language and the Program in Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies.  In 2010, after managing the prestigious Yemen American Language Institute (YALI) for the United States Embassy in Yemen, YCMES developed the Center for Business English  followed in 2012 by the Center for General English.

On Sunday 9 June 2013, Dr Abdul Karim al-Irayani, former Prime Minister of Yemen, political advisor to President Hadi, and Chairman of YCMES, hosted a reception in the YCMES gardens to celebrate our 25th anniversary and the inaugural graduation of the Diploma in Business English. YCMES staff and students mixed with ministers, embassy representatives and leaders from the graduates’ corporate sponsors at the event where Dr al-Irayani, Sabri Saleem (President and Founder of YCMES), and Dr Steven Caton (YCMES Dean and Professor of Contemporary Arab Studies at Harvard) gave speeches and handed Diplomas to graduates Reem al-Forassy and Mansour Raweh.

When the war in Yemen made it impossible to continue YCMES, President and Founder Sabri Saleem, traveled across North America, Europe and the Middle East searching for a new location that could offer the same high level of teaching and coursework without the political unrest that faces every location in the Arabic speaking world. After much consideration, YCMES has opened a satellite campus in Idar-Oberstein, Germany named the German International Language School (GILS). GILS is a division of YCMES incorporated and regulated under German law.

Europe is a prime location for students from North America and Asia who want a foreign experience but are wary of traveling to the Arabic speaking world. Germany is an especially attractive destination for students because of its central location within Europe making short trips easy, its crime free environment, sophisticated local population, and large number of highly educated Arabic speaking refugees who can serve as hosts and speaking companions.

GILS is located in Germany, in the Rheinland Pfalz, Birkenfeld district, town of Idar-Oberstein Idar-Oberstein has 30,000 residents. It is located one hour from Mainz (the capital and largest city of Rhineland-Pfalz) and 90 minutes from Frankfurt, which is home to the Frankfurt railroad station (a gateway to travel throughout Europe) and the Frankfort International Airport (a gateway to the world).

The Rheinland Pfalz is nicely located near Belgium, France, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands for students who are interested in weekend excursions. Indeed, Idar-Oberstein is 30 minutes from the Hahn airport, which features several low cost airlines for quick, inexpensive trips throughout Europe

The Institute’s location in Idar-Oberstein in Rheinland Pfalz enhances the student experience. The town has an influx of Arabic speaking refugees who are eager to serve as host families and speaking companions. Idar-Oberstein also features low cost food and housing, especially in comparison to other European and North American programs, and a wide range of extracurricular activities for all age groups from mountain hikes, to Frankfort’s renowned nightlife, to quiet cafes, historic architecture and museums.

GILS exists to aid European, Asian, and North American universities that are rightly fearful of the political situation in the Arabic speaking world and yet have students who desire immersive instruction in Arabic. Although in response to these apprehensions, immersion Arabic programs have developed in Europe and North America, none has the depth of experience and knowledge that Mr. Saleem and his team at YCMES bring to the student. As opposed to other Arabic language acquisition programs, YCMES teachers are academically trained native speakers with decades of experience with a wide array of language learners. Equipped with the latest in language learning technologies and privileged with a qualified and experienced teaching staff, GILS provides quality language learning.

With thirty years of YCMES experience, GILS has developed an excellent curriculum of Arabic courses.  We have designed our courses to develop the student’s speaking and listening skills, as reading and writing can be covered both in non-Arabic environments and from homework drills.  GILS offers Arabic language instruction from survival lessons to post-advanced independent study.