Resolution requests Tenn. offer driver license test in Arabic - WKRN News 2

Resolution requests Tenn. offer driver license test in Arabic

Posted: Updated: April 1, 2014 04:47 AM

The Metro Council took up a resolution Tuesday asking for the state of Tennessee to offer driver license examinations in Arabic.

The resolution points out several facts and figures as to why it should happen, including how Tennessee already offers the test in English, Spanish, Korean and Japanese.
Metro Councilwoman Karen Johnson, who represents Antioch, proposes the resolution.

"Many of them work second and third shift jobs and it's hard to find transportation services," Johnson said.

Antioch is home to approximately 6,000 Egyptian families.

Adel Zakher told News 2 members of the Egyptian community can pass the road test for a license, but the written test is a major problem for those seeking a license to drive.

"They can understand English, a little bit of reading and writing, but when it comes to the questions and some jargons it's hard for them to understand what the correct answers for these questions," he said.

"They know what the signs mean. They know how to drive from Egypt, so they know how to drive and basically the road signs are the same," said Zakher.

Johnson's proposed resolution states that 23,600 people of Egyptian ancestry live across the state, with more than 11,000 in Nashville alone.

It also notes that Arabic is fourth most spoken language in Tennessee, Georgia offers their tests in Arabic even though their population is lesser, and that Arab Americans "make a vital contribution to Tennessee's economy and community fabric."

If passed, the resolution puts the Metro Council's request to the state to add Arabic as a language to driver license examinations on record.

To read the full resolution, visit

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