Few days pass without the Middle East appearing in news and entertainment shows. This interest in the region, in addition to a good deal of controversy, has generated a number of job openings for Arabic-speakers in Europe and the United States. Although intelligence and security agencies tend to advertise their positions more aggressively, many options exist and qualified Arabic-speakers should be able to find numerous openings.
Extensive Western military and intelligence operations in the Middle East have created a wide job market for Arabic-speakers in these areas. The job offers in these sectors also tend to be quite diverse, from more traditional intelligence operations to preparing documents and negotiating with local contractors. The available jobs also vary from government agencies to private military and intelligence contractors, but most applicants should be able to find a good fit among the many openings.
Many cities in the Middle East have become centers of finance and international trade. As brokers for the vast mineral wealth of the region and coordinating points for trade between Europe, Africa and Asia, these cities are also home to huge financial operations with international offices. Numerous job opportunities are available in these regional headquarters and in international offices, many looking for the ability to communicate in Arabic as much as a background in finance or business.
News organizations and media producers, from filmmakers to investigative journalists, are often looking for people to organize their projects in the Middle East. Even if you do not have extensive experience in media or journalism, many vacancies exist in the basic administrative and organizational functions that make broadcasts and media production possible from the region. Even roles as translators are available, either working on the ground in the region or translating documents and contracts from outside the Middle East.
Large Arab immigrant communities exist in most major cities in Europe and the United States. Many of these communities operate community centers, social services or Arabic-speaking schools that are often looking for employees fluent in the language. For applicants interested in Islamic culture and immigrant organizations, these roles can be perfect. If your Arabic is fluent or near fluent, you should also consider giving Arabic lessons at these community centers or other educational institutions that are constantly looking for Arabic teachers to meet the new demand for Arabic language-learning.