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Students in Arabic 001 forming the letter Addad, the Arabic language is named after this character.

Department Overview

Swarthmore College offers courses in Arabic language, literature, and culture. The Arabic program, though based in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, is an integral part of Islamic Studies at Swarthmore. The Arabic program also supports the programs of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature.

Students of Arabic can take advantage of a rich environment for language study, including intensive introductory and intermediate language courses, chat hours with native speakers, multimedia resources, and opportunities for study abroad. The Arabic Section supports a variety of activities that help to increase familiarity with Arab culture, such as film series, guest speakers, and a weekly Arabic-language table.

Omar Offendum: Hip-Hop, Poetry, & Peace

Offendum, a Syrian American hip-hop artist, performed and met with students in Fall 2014.

Cultivating Seeds of Hope

Read about lecturer Brahim El Guabli's efforts to bring literacy to villages, like the one where he grew up, in Morocco's High Atlas Mountains.

Brahim El Guabli
Faculty watch as Khaled al-Saai provides calligraphy demo
Professor Brian Meunier practices calligraphy
Professor Brian Meunier practices calligraphy
Students practicing calligraphy
Student receiving aid with her calligraphy stroke
Khaled al-Saai providing a calligraphy demo
Close up of calligraphy
Students gather for calligraphy demo
Students and faculty gather for calligraphy demo
students gather for calligraphy demo
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Culture Context of Arabic Music

Watch a video of acclaimed Lebanese composer Marcel Khalife performing with a dozen students who are learning both singing and percussion in the Arabic Studies course "Culture Context of Arabic Music."


Language Media Lab

The Language Media Lab provides resources to enhance the study of foreign language, literature, and culture at Swarthmore College. Students have access to audio/video materials required for foreign language classes. The lab's resources include 12 Macbook Pros, 8 iMacs, an extensive library of foreign films, video cameras, and audio recorders. The space is a unique, adaptable, multimedia-friendly place to study, practice and develop language skills. 

Learn More

Choose a Language Program