Courses in Alexandria
All students are required to take Modern Standard Arabic (6 hours/week), Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (4 hours/week) a One-on-One tutorial (3 hours/week), and an elective course (4 hours/week). All students will have 17 hours of classes per week.
Elective course offerings are based, in part, on enrollment, requiring a minimum of four students. Each course will have a maximum of 8 students. Any student may elect to take the Translation or Media Arabic electives. All other electives are open to advanced students only (usually students who have already completed at least three years of Arabic prior to arrival.) Final placement will be determined by a placement test that is administered on site.
(Just click on a course title below to see the course description.)
Modern Standard Arabic (multiple sections/levels)
This course aims to help students reach an intermediate-high or advanced level of proficiency (depending upon their proficiency at the time of arrival in Egypt) in reading, speaking, writing, listening, and culture. Readings include articles on cultural, social, historical, political and literary topics. Instruction will provide students with extensive exposure to authentic texts in MSA with a higher level of elaboration and complexity, drawn from a wide range of subjects and sources
Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (multiple sections/levels)
This course aims to move students rapidly through the introduction of Egyptian Colloquial Arabic as a dialect of MSA and as a language with roots in Egypt itself to greater fluency with the “language of the street.” Students will use skits, excursions, films, music, and other elements of Egyptian culture to enhance and expand their knowledge of spoken Arabic in Egypt.
Modern Egyptian History (ARBC 2372)
This class covers Egyptian history from Napoleon's invasion of Egyptian in 1798 to the assassination of Anwer El-Sadat in 1981. This is a content course, restricted to advanced students who have completed the equivalent of three years of Arabic.
Arabic Translation (ARBC 2360)
During the first half of the semester, the course focuses on Arabic-English translation, each week looking at a different field such as literature, current affairs, religion, economics, or subtitling. After the midterm, the course turns to English-Arabic translation. Open to all students in the Middlebury program.
Media Arabic (ARBC 2350)
Media Arabic is a mix of authentic listening and reading materials along with drills designed to help students build up their knowledge of the vocabulary and structures which appear most commonly in the Arabic media. Open to all students in the Middlebury program.
One-one-One Tutorials (multiple sections)
These courses provide students with the opportunity to delve more deeply into an area of particular interest to them, be it Quranic Studies, Islamic Politics in the Middle East, Gender Studies, or Literature. Students meet privately with a professor (sometimes a graduate student) for three hours a week throughout the course of the semester to discuss and parse these topics. All One-on-One courses conclude with a lengthy paper written in Arabic on the topic at hand.
Islamic Politics & Society (ARBC 2377)
The course starts with a quick, broad introduction covering the history of Islam, in terms of religion, society, and politics. We then address the clash between traditional society and modernity in the Islamic world, before delving into the reasons behind the rise of political Islam. Finally, we discuss political Islam as it relates to three different issues: education, civil society, and the state. The course packet mostly consists of writings by Arab scholars such as Nasr Abu Zayd, with a few Arabic translation of Western scholars such as John Esposito. This is a content course, restricted to advanced students who have completed the equivalent of three years of Arabic.
Modern Arabic Literature (ARBC 2375)
This class offers a mix of poetry, short stories, and selections from novels. Though the specific authors and selections will vary from year to year, in the Fall 2009 semester, we studied famous poets (Ahmed Shawki, Ilya Abu Madhi, Kamel El-Shennawi, Mahmoud Darwish, and Nazar Qabbani), some of the foremost Arab novelists (Naguib Mahfouz, Yahya Hakki, and Tawfiq El-Hakim) and rising contemporary stars such as Alaa El-Aswani and the Alexandrian Ibrahim Abdel-Magid. This is a content course, restricted to advanced students who have completed the equivalent of three years of Arabic.