As one of United Nations’ six official languages, Arabic is certainly one of the most important languages in the World. It is spoken as a main language in more than 22 countries across the Middle East and North and East Africa. In addition, followers of Islam who represent more than one sixth of the world’s population would normally have, at least, the very basics of Arabic. Arabic was the language of science, history and literature and civilisation for over 1000 years of human history until very recently when English took over. In fact the oldest university in the world was and still teaching in Arabic. It is the University of al-Qarawiyyin or al-Karaouine located in Fes, Morocco. Therefore, learning Arabic will allow access to a huge amount of historical knowledge and literature. It will also open more doors for you in the 22 job markets of Arab countries. Recently, employment in some of the Arab countries have been residing on top of the list of top employers in the World.    

As it is perceived as the language of the last revealed heavenly book to mankind, classical Arabic is kept very much alive since the 7th century and beautifully intertwined with the Modern Standard Arabic. Thus learning one would not be much different from learning the other. Classical Arabic is still being taught in schools, used in the media and podcasts, published in books, newspapers and in online pages.

Learning Arabic allows you to have access to a massive collection of materials on almost every single aspect of life. At Aberdeen we teach Modern Standard Arabic which will allow students to master a good level of understanding most basic communications in Arabic by the end of the first year. The second year will allow students to be able to understand any conversation in a day to day life and read and write letters, emails, posts and small to medium essays. As Arabic dialects spoken in the 22 Arab countries could differ considerably, we aim at providing our students with the opportunity to have a grasp of the most common dialects. The course in total will allow them to master all basic conversations, reading, writing in any Arabic country. Thus, students will be able to travel to any Arabic speaking place without requiring any aid with language or translation. Finishing the two year course would give students higher chances of obtaining any Middle East related jobs such as in media, diplomacy or business. It will also increase their chances of obtaining jobs in their own field of expertise in one of Arabic speaking countries.

In Aberdeen there are several societies which have an interest in promoting Arabic and Arab culture on campus. Chiefly you could refer to the Arab House Society:

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/societies/ahs/.