United Kingdom, London

Culture and Society of the Middle East and Arabic or Persian Language

when 20 June 2016 - 21 July 2016
language English
duration 5 weeks
fee GBP 2500

This course offers an introduction to the theories and methods of studying culture and deals with the history and development of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) culture from the classical period to the present. It examines the major cultural patterns and institutions of the MENA region.

The course is taught through a study of some lively topics such as religious and ethnic diversity, impact of the West, stereotyping, the role of tradition, education (traditional and modern), family structure and value, gender politics, media, life in city, town and village, labour and labour migration, the Palestinian refugee problem and exile communities, culinary cultures, music and media, etc.

The course is normally offered in conjunction with Beginners Arabic (Level 1 or 2).

Beginners Arabic (Level 1)
This is an introductory course in Modern Standard Arabic. It teaches students the Arabic script and provides basic grounding in Arabic grammar and syntax. On completing the course, students should be able to read, write, listen to, and understand simple Arabic sentences and passages. This course is for complete beginners and does not require any prior knowledge of Arabic.

Beginners Arabic (Level 2)
This course is a continuation of Beginners Arabic Level 1. It completes the coverage of the grammar and syntax of Modern Standard Arabic and trains students in reading, comprehending and writing with the help of a dictionary more complex Arabic sentences and passages.

To qualify for entry into this course, students should have completed at least one prior introductory course in Arabic.

Beginners Persian (Level 1)
This is an introductory course which aims to give the students a reasonable grounding in the basics of Persian grammar and syntax as well as enabling them to understand simple and frequently used expressions related to basic language use. They will be able to hold uncomplicated conversations on topics such as personal and family information, shopping, hobbies, employment as well as simple and direct exchanges of information related to familiar topics. By the end of the course they will also progress to read simple short texts.

Target group

Current students, professionals + leisure learners

Course aim

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules

Part 1

BA1: letters/sounds recognition, writing practice and basic speaking scenarios OR
BA2: units 4-5-6 of Ahlan wa Sahlan by Mahdi Alosh
CSME: the formation of the Arab world today; changing maps of the region; the legacy of European colonisation; various notions of “Arab”
Part 2

BA1: joining letters/writing words and continuation of speaking scenarios. OR
BA2: units 6-7 of Ahlan wa Sahlan
CSME: the clash of empires; the rise of European powers; culture of reform
Part 3

BA1: lesson 1 of Ahlan wa Sahlan by Mahdi Alosh. OR
BA2: units 7-8 of Ahlan wa Sahlan
CSME: the ‘golden age of Islam’; ideal Islam and Muslim practices; tradition and modernisation; individual freedom and agency
Part 4

BA1: lesson 2 of Ahlan wa Sahlan. OR
BA2: unit 9-10-11 of Ahlan wa Sahlan
CSME: state, society and individual; tribalism; rural, nomadic and urban; traditional and modern; expressions of class, gender, lifestyle and identity
Part 5

BA1: lesson 3 of Ahlan wa Sahlan by Mahdi Alosh. OR
BA2: unit 11 (second part) of Ahlan wa Sahlan
CSME: hospitality; rites of passage; wedding and wake banquets; music and non-music: religious and profane; poetry

Credits info

Please note that summer courses are not accredited by SOAS and please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Assessment will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and transcripts will be available on request.

Fee info

GBP 2500: Tuition fee
£2,500 (both courses) £1,250 (one course)

Early-bird 10% discount on applications received before 30 April 2016.

20% discount for current SOAS students and alumni.

Other discounts are available for partner institutions and groups, please contact us for further information.

SOAS Summer School Terms and Conditions

Application Fee
A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £60 payable through the SOAS Online Store will be charged to cover administration costs.

Accommodation fee
from £300/week
Rooms can be booked at the Intercollegiate Halls which are located in the heart of Bloomsbury: www.halls.london.ac.uk


SOAS, University of London offers a limited number of scholarships for participation in academic courses which are part of sessions 2 and 3 of the SOAS Academic Summer School 2016 programme. These scholarships are in the form of partial fee waivers to cur