As a fourth year Arabic and Spanish student, I can tell you that choosing to study Arabic at university is by no means an easy task, especially when you have to study another subject alongside it such as Politics, Middle Eastern studies or even another language. Fortunately, the Arabic department is big enough to be able to give you a wide range of interesting modules, including linguistics, politics or literature, but small enough to get to know most of the lecturers fairly well and to go to help for if you need it.
This year the Arabic department have put on a wide range of public lectures. Our very own professors have participated in public talks such as: Dr Ahmed Elgindy who talked about famous Arab leaders, Dr Sameh Hanna who focused on the socio cultural dynamics of intralingual translation in modern Egyptian literature and one of our PhD students Hasan Hafidh who shared his research on Bahraini civil society.
From outside the department we were lucky enough to attend guest lectures by Dr Christopher Davidson, who talked about the politics of the Middle East, and Matteo Capassos talk on Revolution or Civil war in Libya. Furthermore, the department put on an exclusive careers event for students in order to help us understand what career paths we can take in the future; something which was extremely useful.
As President of the Middle Eastern Studies society I am happy to have got the society back up and running with the help of a brilliant committee. We have put on events such as Arabic language exchanges, an Islamophobia talk with MEND and a Saudi- Society Cultural Exchange. We were also very happy to invite Dr Rasha Soliman to talk about Arabic dialects, Dr James Worrall to talk about Hezbollah and Hasan Hafidh to talk about Saudi -Iran relations. Thanks to Danny Hickey, Treasurer of MESS, first year Arabic students have also been able to learn about the Moroccan Arabic dialect before going on their year abroad in free lessons throughout the year, something which I don't think has been available before and which I hope has helped them immensely. Fortunately we have chosen a new committee for next year and we wish them the best of luck.
In this newsletter I interviewed a current student, Jack Anderson, and Kate chose to interview Dr Fozia Bora. From these interviews we hope to share a snapshot of just how good Leeds is as a university. We hope you enjoy reading!