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Reading Arabic Texts (Fall)


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies, specialisation Modern Middle East Studies. Students must hold a BA in Arabic Studies or have an equivalent level of proficiency in Arabic. Please, contact Mr. H.I.A.A. Ahmed, MA or Dr. A.M. Al-Jallad, if you are interested in taking this course, but NOT a student of one of the above-mentioned MA programmes and/or you are not sure whether your level of Arabic is sufficient.


This is an advanced reading course in Modern Standard Arabic. In this course, students will gain experience reading for the purpose of comprehension and analysis of advanced-level texts in Arabic coming from various literary and non-literary genres.

Course objectives

This course is proficiency-driven. It aims at raising students’ proficiency in reading within the advanced level. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify structure, main ideas, supporting details of advanced-level texts written in Modern Standard Arabic and come from various genres and text types.

  • Analyze, summarize, and evaluate long texts (books and chapters of books).

  • Identify and appreciate cultural constructs and practices underlying a given text.



Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Classroom lectures: 26 hrs.
Preparation and homework 54 hrs.
Test preparation 15 hrs.
Compulsory reading materials 165 hrs.
Term paper writing and revision 20 hrs.
Total course load: 280 hrs (10 ECs).

Assessment method

Assessment will be based on the following criteria:
Quizzes (2) 20%
Midterm exam 20%
Final Exam 40%
Book review/response 20%

Students who have taken both the midterm and final exam and receive a failing grade for the course will be allowed to take a resit exam that is equivalent to 60% of the course grade.


Blackboard is used for providing the reading materials, list of books recommended for the term paper, and some of the assessment.

Reading list

A selection of Reading texts to be provided by the instructor via BlackBoard.


Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

(Studeren à la carte is not possible for this course.)


Mr. H.I.A.A. Ahmed, MA


Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accomodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).