22 Jan. 2016: Richard Nedjat

Richard Nedjat, currently an MA student in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at the University of Chicago, delivered a presentation about Arabic dialects spoken in various Gulf countries. Click here to access an audio recording of his remarks and the Q&A that followed.

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15 Jan. 2016: Mahmoud Saeed

Mahmoud Saeed, a well-known Iraqi author and longtime friend of Arabic Circle, recently gave a presentation on the practice of hijab in the pre-modern Arab world, especially as reflected in the works of the medieval artist Yaḥyá ibn Maḥmūd al-Wāsiṭī.

Click here to download an audio recording of Mahmoud’s presentation and the Q&A that followed. Parts of his talk are based on an article that he wrote on this topic, which is also available for download.

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Three new recordings: Amani Aseel, Lakhdar (Elkhidr) Choudar, Hala El Badry

We have recordings of three recent Arabic Circle meetings available for download:

23 Oct. 2015: Amani Aseel, “The Development of Women’s Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Click here to listen.
NB: We encountered some technical difficulties in recording this session, with the result that there are glitches in the audio throughout the first eight minutes. There are also a couple gaps in the recording, since part of the discussion was ‘off the record.’

30 Oct. 2015: Lakhdar (Elkhidr) Choudar, “Algeria, a small portrait.” Click here to listen.

6 Nov. 2015: Hala El Badry, “Writing in the Time of Crisis.” Click here to listen.

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9 Oct. 2015: Tim Friese

At our second meeting of the 2015–16 academic year, we heard from Tim Friese, a UChicago alumnus who now works as a professional Arabic–English translator (among other things). Click here to visit his website. The title of Tim’s presentation was “The Theme of Nostalgia in Lebanese Music of the Civil War Period.”

Click here to download an audio recording of this session. (As always, we offer no guarantee of recording quality, though we try our best.)

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2 Oct. 2015: Kay Heikkinen, Noha Forster, Hala Abdel Mobdy

At our first meeting of the 2015–16 academic year, we heard from three UChicago Arabic lecturers—Dr. Kay Heikkinen, Noha Forster, and Hala Abdel Mobdy—all of whom spent time in Egypt over the summer. The title of their joint presentation was “Egypt and the Things That Make Us Laugh and Cry: Summer 2015.”

Click here to download an audio recording of this session. (As always, we offer no guarantee of recording quality, though we try our best.)

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Montserrat Rabadán: Syrian refugees in Berlin

This week we welcome back one of UChicago’s former Arabic lecturers, Dr. Montserrat Rabadán, who currently resides in Berlin, where in addition to her academic work she has spent a considerable time volunteering for communities of Syrian refugees from the current civil war. In this talk she discusses statistics and some of social challenges this new influx of immigrants has created for both host country and its new guests.

اللاجئون السوريون في برلين

MONTSERRAT RABADÁN
Syrian Refugees in Berlin

(Winter Quarter, Week 9: 6 March 2015)

To listen, right-click here to download or use the following streaming bar:

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Amir Toft: Onomatopoeia in Arabic

This week’s speaker talks about the phenomenon of onomatopoeia in Arabic, as conceived in modern and classical terms, with a handful of examples to illustrate. Animal sounds are but one example of the very rich part of the active Arabic lexicon whose sound evokes (or is thought to evoke) its meaning. We also listened to a piece of poetry, which you can listen to yourself here.

أصوات الحيوان والحكاية الصوتية في لسان العرب

AMIR TOFT
Animal Sounds and Onomatopoeia in the Arabic Language

(Winter Quarter, Week 8: 27 February 2015)

To listen, right-click here to download or use the following streaming bar:

 

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Khalid Alhindi: Arabian scholarship before the Wahhabi movement

In this week’s meeting, our guest, an advanced law student in Chicago who has served for some time in the Saudi judiciary and comes from a family of scholars and lawyers extend back over a century, discusses the fascinating mosaic of scholarly activity in Arabia before and during the advent of the Wahhabi movement in the 18th century. The speaker draws from his own experience and research to discuss some history of a region that on balance receives relatively little attention from contemporary scholars.

النشاط العلمي في جزيرة العرب قبل الدعوة الوهابية

Khalid Alhindi
Scholarly Activity in Arabia before the Wahhabi Movement

(Winter Quarter, Week 6: 13 February 2015)

To listen, right-click here to download or use the following streaming bar:

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Noha Forster: Nostalgic images of Egypt’s past

In this week’s talk, one of our esteemed Arabic lecturers, in light of the recent passing of several iconic figures of Egyptian culture, shows images and discusses how they have evoked for some Egyptians a yearning for the past—as well as to what extent this emotion is reflective of how good things really were in the past or a reaction to how troubling things appear to have become today. Enjoy!

قراءة الحاضر المصري في معالم الحنين إلى الماضي

NOHA FORSTER
Reading the Egyptian Present through Nostalgic Milestones

(Winter Quarter, Week 5: 6 February 2015)

To listen, right-click here to download or use the following streaming bar:

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Mariam Sheibani: Grammar of the heart

Surely, the (for some) cold and perhaps tedious subject of grammar has no affinity with the loftier purposes of Sufi aspirants. Our guest for this week, a PhD student in Islamic Thought in NELC, discusses an interesting and innovative hybrid genre of literature developed by some Sufi masters over centuries. (We hope to have a visual aid uploaded soon, so please check back if you’d like to have that while listening to this talk.) You may find the speaker’s presentation slides helpful as you listen (click here for them). Enjoy!

نحو القلوب: الشروح الصوفيّة على النحو العربي

MARIAM SHEIBANI
The Grammar of the Heart: Sufi Commentaries on Arabic Grammar

(Winter Quarter, Week 4: 30 January 2015)

To listen, right-click here to download or use the following streaming bar:

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