Back when we were in middle school in the city all of the students at our public school were required to take latin as our foreign language—which in retrospect was a clever way to both make sure nobody in the very multicultural school had a leg up and to teach some history not necessarily in the NYC curriculum. But now we're totally jealous of the kids at P.S. 368 in Hamilton Heights! Starting next year all of the 200 second- through fifth-graders at the school are going to be required to take Arabic twice a week for 45 minutes. It is the first school to require the study of Arabic, according to officials.

The school has already been offering the language as an elective, and parents and kids seem excited by the idea of focusing on a language called "critical" by the U.S. State Department. "I like Arabic class. I like the words we learn. I thought they sounded funny at first, now I think they sound cool," one seven-year-old at the school told the Post. "I teach my little sister the words I learn." Still, if parents really don't want their kids to learn Arabic (really? why?) organizers say their kids will be given alternatives.

In the meantime, "I feel like the luckiest principal in the world," principal Nicky Kram Rosen told DNAinfo regarding the classes, a joint program between the Language Project and the non-profit Qatar Foundation International. "We are teaching them an important language for the future but exposing them to languages spoken in their own community."