Welcome to the Department of
Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
the University of Washington
The Near East is a region of critical importance. As its many nations continue to play pivotal roles on the world stage the need for firm knowledge about Near Eastern languages and cultures becomes increasingly clear. These languages and cultures are our specialty. Indeed, in NELC one can find experts in Arabic, Hebrew (ancient and modern), Persian, Turkish, Egyptian (hieroglyphic and Coptic), and the languages of Central Asia. Our courses offer great breadth, in terms of the number of different languages taught, and great depth, in terms of the historical range our courses cover (from ancient to medieval to modern periods). In NELC one also can find topical courses on the prophet Muhammad and early Islam, Sufi literature, biblical texts in translation, and the tales of the 1001 Nights. One can learn about the peoples of the Silk Road, Israeli identities, early Christianity, Turkish poetry, Islamic law, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and much more.
As you browse our website you will find that NELC is not just a place where people go for expertise on the Near East, but it is a conduit of education for the general public. You will hear about the exciting ways our faculty engage our many communities through their research and public service. On our site you also will find news about current NELC partnerships that are transforming our ability to reward the excellence of our students, foster new programs, and create innovative ways of teaching and conducting research. As you explore our site, I invite you to consider becoming a partner with NELC and to join us as we inspire a new generation of citizens informed about the Near East.