Arabic Undergraduate Program

What Do You Know About Arabic?

Arabic is fundamentally different from English, no doubt. For Example, unlike the English, Arabic language is written from right to left. But don't let the differences trick you. The Arabic Alphabet simply consists of 28 letters, with no distinct upper and lower case letter forms. Probably, those 28 letters are your key to your next cultural adventure or future rewarding career. Before we say more, take a look at the Arabic Alphabet as can be put in one line:

Arabic Alphabet

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 found their way to English: alcohol, algebra, chemistry, artichoke, apricot, candy, carat (gold purity), cotton, gazelle, giraffe , jar, jasmine, jinn, umper, lemon, mummy, mask, orange, syrup, etc.


At left we have pictures from around the Arabic speaking diaspora:

  1. Arabic Calligraphy by Muhammad Iqbal Bhutta
  2. Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria
  3. Dubai-al-Jumeirah
  4. The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco
  5. Traditional Arabic Mikhalah

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.

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 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.

101. Beginning Arabic I (5 cr)
This course will lay the foundation of modern standard Arabic; the grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and the general structure of the language. Students will also be introduced to some aspects of the cultural and social Arabic life and some main themes in Islamic Civilization.

102. Beginning Arabic II (5 cr)
Prereq: ARAB 101 or equivalent. ARAB 102 is a continuation of ARAB 101. More emphasis will be placed on students' communication skills and building their vocabulary. All vocabulary needed for self introduction, travel , everyday use, essential social communication will be mastered by the students by the end of this course. The course also continues introducing students to the Arabic and Islamic social life.

201. Second-Year Arabic I (Intermediate )
Prereq: ARAB 102 or equivalent. ARAB 201 is a continuation of ARAB 102. Students who have taken an equivalent course to Arabic I at another institution may be granted an exception to this requirement. Please note that equivalence (or lack thereof) is determined by the professor. In this course students will advance their proficiency in the four basic skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. They will be encouraged to use their Arabic to express their views and improve their communicative abilities. Short Arabic films and authentic written materials are to be used.

202. Second-Year Arabic II (Intermediate )
Prereq: ARAB 201 or equivalent. ARAB 202 is a continuation of ARAB 201.

Arabic Coffee


Arabic Conversation Table

This opportunity to practice your Arabic is every Wednesday from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm in the Language Resource Center (1126 Oldfather Hall).



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 Oldfathger Hall. In order to participate, please contact Dr. Abla Hasan with three preferable times.

Our Student Tutors:


Norah Alwabi

Ali Nasser Khormi

Ali Nasser Khormi

Hassan Al-shariif

Hassan Al-shariif

Saqer Alben Ali

Saqer Alben Ali

Sara El Alaoui

Sara El Alaoui

laith Alkaltham

Laith Alkaltham

Aisha Battik

Aisha Battik




Ali Muhammed

Ali Muhammed

Falah  Alshammari

Falah Alshammari

Hicham Rahateellah

Hicham Rahateellah

Why Study Arabic Language and Culture?

Comments from current Arabic students and pictures from Saudi Day, held in the Nebraska Union on September 30, 2013

Taking Arabic at UNL with Dr. Abla Hasan has been one of the best classes I have ever taken as a student. She has a passion for teaching and for the Arabic language that is sure to inspire any student interested in learning the language.

Trisha Pemberton


The Arabic language was incredibly intimidating when I first began. But now I consider my Arabic classes to be among my favorites during my college career. The language is so beautiful and interesting; I couldn't imagine taking anything else.

Sarah Rose Benal
Arab 101 not only allows for the unique opportunity to learn an increasingly important and critical world language but through weekly class discussions, activities, and presentations it provides us with valuable insight into the various regional cultures, dialects, ideologies, politics and opinions that make up the complex fabric of the Arab world.

Jon Kerrigan

group photo

I am so enjoying the teaching style of the Arabic language educators at UNL. They provide a combination of challenge and encouragement both in and out of the classroom. I feel like I am learning about the culture, the customs, the religion and the language of the region in a way that I can retain and use for a lifetime.

Mae Anne Balschweid

student looking at brochure
Choosing to take Arabic has opened up more opportunities than I could've imagined, not just at the University of Nebraska but across the world. The atmosphere in Arabic class is entertaining as well as engaging, I want to show up every day and I enjoy learning in this quality environment. After studying several other languages I can say that Arabic is more challenging and enthralling than anything offered to me before.

John Weber


Undergraduate Advisor

Abla Hasan

1216 Oldfather Hall

Office Hours:
MWF, 1:30pm - 2:30pm


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