Arabic Language & Culture

Arabic language is fundamentally different from English, no doubt. Unlike in English, the Arabic alphabet consists of 28 letters with no distinct upper and lower case letter forms, and is written from right to left. But don't let minor differences such as these trick you! These 28 letters are key to your next cultural adventure or future rewarding career.

Arabic is a Semitic language; probably you already know that. But what you might have not noticed before is the fact that you are already speaking some Arabic! Check out some examples of the many Arabic words that have found their way into English: alcohol, algebra, chemistry, artichoke, apricot, candy, carat (gold purity), cotton, gazelle, giraffe, jar, jasmine, jinn, umper, lemon, mummy, mask, orange, syrup, etc.

Arabic classes allow you to explore the language and culture in a way that you never have before. Dr. Abla Hasan works to not only share her experience with you, but her curriculum also brings in people from all across the Arabic speaking world. There are also many extracurricular cultural events and speakers throughout the year to supplement your studies. Find out more about Arabic classes to see if they're right for you!

For information on specific courses available in Arabic, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

If you want to know what courses are being offered each semester, visit the Schedule of Classes.

Arabic Minor Advisor

Dr. Abla Hasan

The minor requirements are spelled out in the Arabic page of the Undergraduate Catalog. If you have questions regarding your college career/program that are not specific to obtaining an Arabic minor, please contact your assigned advisor, who would be best equipped to meet your needs.

Assigned Advisor

Laura Lynn Schafer


Why learn Arabic at UNL?

Learning Arabic is your entrance to the Arabic world and culture

Arabic is widely natively spoken and increasingly taught all over the world. More than 300 million speak Arabic as their native language. It is the official language for at least 22 countries including: Algeria, Bahrain, the Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Oud
The Oud: a stringed instrument commonly used in the Middle East

Learning Arabic is your entrance to the Islamic world and culture

Arabic is also the sacred language of Islam. Since Arabic is the language of "Quran" the holy book of Islam, the fastest growing religion in America and the second largest religion in the world -with more than 1.5 Billion adherents- Arabic language constitutes an indispensable part of the life of every Muslim. Muslims regardless of their native language are required to worship and perform some obligatory religious duties in Arabic, like praying in Arabic five times a day; therefore Muslims always try their best to learn Arabic or at least to understand the basics of Arabic.

Learning Arabic allows you to Plan your future career in advance

In the rapidly changing Arab world, the "Arabic Spring" is bringing about essential political, economic and business reforms .These reforms are launching a new era and reestablishing the global economic and cultural exchange between the Arabic countries and the West. New career opportunities in intelligence, business, diplomacy and academia are already more seen nationwide and oversees in the coming more liberal, democratic and open Arabic world. No wonder the U.S. State Department has named Arabic a critical language.


What is special about Arabic at UNL?

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures provides you the opportunity to study Arabic, your first step to understanding the greater Arabic and Islamic world: history, culture and traditions. The four linguistic skills of writing, reading, listening and speaking are equally stressed. The Arabic Language and Culture Program at UNL is carefully designed to turn the experience of learning and speaking Arabic into a smooth process that depends highly on engaging students in different fun learning activities, group work, extensive use of electronic media, practice speaking Arabic, discussion of topics of interest with guest speakers, and purposefully designed educational and social activities. Students will also enjoy timely feedback for homework they can use to refine their studies.

In addition, a variety of cultural courses taught in English will provide an opportunity to explore the Arabic culture via reading and analyzing classical as well as modern Arabic literature. This fascinating experience incorporates femininity, gender issues, Islamic radicalism, reading of the Quran as literature, as well as many other topics of current interest. These topics will be highlighted and discussed in a free academic environment.

Activities for Undergraduate Students in Arabic
Arabic Flyer

Arabic Conversation Table

This opportunity to practice your Arabic is every Friday from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm in the Modern Language Lab (302 Burnett Hall).

For more information, please contact Yassine Rfissa or Dr. Abla Hasan.

Arabic Writing Center

We help you enhance your Arabic learning experience!

  • You can discuss your written assignments with Native Speakers of Arabic
  • You can find out ways of improving your writing
  • You can get some useful advice and feedback
  • You can practice speaking Arabic with Native Speakers of Arabic

Email Dr. Abla Hasan for an appointment with one of our volunteer tutors.

The Arabic Writing Center takes place in the Language Resource Room, located in 1126 Oldfather Hall. In order to participate, please contact Dr. Abla Hasan with three preferable times.