Saturday, March 4, 2017

[Arabic-l] Arabic Becomes One of UA's Newest Degree Programs

The Arabic program at the University of Arizona has been a bright star in the American Arabic studies constellation since at least the 1980s, when I began my study of Arabic there with an intensive summer program in the Emirati dialect. At the time, it was perhaps the only Arabic department in the country with a dedicated commitment to teaching any dialect of Arabic. When few or no other programs regularly offered any Arabic dialect at all, the offering and the dialect usually depending upon the availability of a graduate student to teach it, the program at The University of Arizona offered three dialects, usually two semesters of each, with members of the faculty providing the instruction. It retains that commitment to this day, now offering two semesters of Moroccan, Egyptian, and Levantine dialects, the latter with two semesters at the intermediate level. To my knowledge, that kind of commitment is rare or non-existent elsewhere. 

David Wilmsen
Head, Department of Arabic and Translation Studies
American University of Sharjah

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