An Arabic, tiled mural featuring a star in the centre, with concentric shapes spreading out.

Arabic Language and Cultures

Exploring Arabic language and cultures
Understanding and appreciating Arabic language, Arab cultures and heritage. We open doors to a wealth of cultural, artistic and social enquiry.

We combine the study of Arabic language with subjects and research into the diverse cultures of the Arab world. With an emphasis on real-life language use, we enable students of all skill levels to communicate effectively with native speakers.

Our advanced cultural units equip students with a nuanced understanding of contemporary Arab societies in light of their history and the political and economic role they play on the global stage today.

Our study offering

Arabic is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. It is one of the official languages of the United Nations and the religious language of 1.5 billion Muslims, as well as millions of Christians and Jewish people. Political and economic developments in the Arab world and parts of the Middle East have made understanding, speaking, reading and writing Arabic an increasingly valuable skill.


*Available in the shared pool of majors and minors


Our research 

We conduct research in these key areas:

  • Arabic language and literature
  • Middle East Studies
  • Pedagogy
  • Translation from and into Arabic: translation theory and practice; the Qur'an translation; applied linguistics; contrastive analysis; comparative linguistics
  • Cross-cultural studies: Arab diasporas; orientalism; Arab-European encounters; Arab postcolonial identities
  • Gender and sexuality in Arab and Muslim societies
  • Muslim women and veiling; gender and women's history
  • Franco-Arab dialogues; medieval Arabic and French literature.

Learn more: Languages and cultures research


Our people

  • Professor Larbi Sadiki, Qatar University


See our school's calendar for a full listing of upcoming events.

AraBooks is our seminar series of curated talks presented by scholars, writers and artists whose scholarship and artistic productions focus on the Arab World, the Middle East and its diasporas. Each semester we explore a thematic thread through the discussion of a series of books in conversation with their authors.

Semester 2, 2021

Gender and Politics in the Arab World

Semester 1, 2021

What is politics? Spaces, actors and bodies in the Middle East and its diasporas


  • School of Languages and Cultures, Room 506, Brennan MacCallum Building A18, The University of Sydney NSW 2006

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