Did you know that Arabic is the 5th most spoken language in the world, and 1/7th of the world population uses it for writing? With over 420 million speakers, Arabic has been a driving force for advancements in science and cultural enrichment. These advancements range from the early pre-Islamic poetry to groundbreaking research done by philosophers and mathematicians since Islam’s golden age in Spain. Arabic literature transcends geography with poetry, novels, and short stories by distinguished writers such as Nobel Prize winner Nobel laureate Nageeb Mahfouz, who showed us how unique the Arabic literature and language can be.
Literature is not the only unique aspect of the Arab world; with distinctive perspectives on art, music, cuisine, and way of life, it would be safe to assume that the Arabic-speaking world has a rich cultural heritage that can open many opportunities for anyone who is ready to delve into its richness and magnificence.
Arabic is one of the most sought after languages in the U.S. Firstly, Arabic has been categorized as a “critical language” by the U.S. State Department, which led to Arabic speakers being in high demand--which in return has created various scholarships for language study in the U.S. and overseas. Secondly, due to the Middle East’s growing importance in international affairs, there has been an increased need for Arabic speakers, especially where there is a shortage of qualified persons from the west who are fluent in the Arabic language and understand the culture.
Here at MSU, we offer a major in Arabic (36-42 credits) and a minor in both Arabic studies (18 credits) and Arabic language (18 credits). We offer language courses for all levels, and courses in literature, Arabic studies and Arab culture. Courses are offered year long. For those who cannot attend classes on campus, some are available online. MSU also offers a study abroad program (Montclair in Amman) where students can earn nine credits. The program also includes field trips and hands-on activities that help students immerse themselves in the culture and practice the language with native speakers. Additionally, the Arab Student Association (ASA) organizes weekly activities that expose students to Arabic language and culture.
For more information, please contact:
The coordinator of the Arabic Program, Professor Mazooz Sehwail
Office: Schmitt Hall 241S
Office Assistant: Elizabeth Hook