Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s paramedic corps, announced Tuesday that the organization would offer Arabic-language courses to volunteers in Jerusalem in order to better serve the city’s Arabic-speaking population.
According to a statement released by the organization, 40 volunteers in the Jerusalem district have signed up for the first session of courses. Both volunteers and patients regularly encounter difficulties communicating across cultural lines in life-threatening situations, limiting MDA’s ability to provide a full range of service where language barriers exist.
“I am proud of our volunteers and employees who are constantly focused on improving the medical care we provide across the country. Every one of them is guided only by the principle of saving lives,” said MDA Director General Eli Bin.
The course in spoken Arabic, proposed by MDA medic Ziad Jaadla, began in early February and will continue once a week during the academic year. Instruction is provided by Dialogue Jerusalem, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing dialogue possibilities between Jewish and Arab residents in Jerusalem.