Billed on this mysterious website as the “THE VIDEO BANNED BY THE MIDDLEBURY LANGUAGE SCHOOLS,” it appears (but unconfirmed) that a group of Middlebury Arabic students out at Mills College in California have gotten themselves in some trouble for this video:
Austin Davis ’11, a Middlebury Arabic student interning in DC at the Center for American Progress this summer, watched the video and had this response: “It’s really dumb, definitely not in good taste, and a bit racist (the dress, esp.), but it’s not mind-blowingly offensive. It looks like it was done by culturally insensitive first years.” Davis also helps translate some of the main phrases from Arabic:
Muthifakhr = “another employee,” “Thalith Alif”=”3000,” and “Tanwiin Fatha” is just a grammatical device.
While much of the controversy may be manufactured by the students themselves, the Arabic students’ response video below implies some sort of censorship. The students cry censorship in their video description:
Stand up against censorship. Stand for freedom of speech. Say no to the Middlebury College Language Schools and the stifling of student-sheep. Say yes to thoughts and intersections and the the meeting of two cultures not in a clash but in an embrace.
UPDATE: post above edited for clarity. See below for a response from one commenter that claims to be a Midd at Mills administrator that says the video was not censored: “It was shown at the Arabic School Talent Show on Monday, with a disclaimer read beforehand.”