The Center connects scholars, journalists, and the general public to a rich array of resources on the Middle East and North Africa.
The Center for Near Eastern Studies hosts conferences and provide as educational resources.
The Giorgio Levi Della Vida Award is given to outstanding scholars whose work has significantly and lastingly advances the study of Islamic civilization. The scholar is selected by a committee appointed by the Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, meeting under the chairmanship of the Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies.
This webpage offers podcasts of the conference held for the 2019 Giorgio Levi Della Vida Award for Excellence in Islamic Studies.
The UCLA Newsroom maintains a Media Guide to UCLA Experts. Click here for Middle East experts and their specialties.
The Newsroom also offers fast facts about UCLA and further information for journalists.
Online resources from manuscript workshops demonstrate ongoing efforts to train scholars, and aligns with the Center's mission to disseminate knowledge about the countries and cultures of the Middle East and North African region.
A May 2019 workshop provided a hands-on introduction to Islamic manuscripts and manuscript culture using the extensive holdings of the Special Collections at UCLA's Charles E. Young Research Library. This webpage offers videos with some resources listed in pdf documents.
An August 2021 Arabic Manuscripts workshop was co-organized by UCLA and Princeton University faculty. Both universities' combined library holdings represent the two largest repositories of Islamicate manuscripts in North America. The workshop equipped emerging scholars with the basic tools to conduct research using original handwritten texts in Arabic script. Workshop recordings are available online.
Centers within UCLA’s International Institute have been producing innovative language teaching and reference materials for several decades. Here we offer a sample of Middle Eastern language-learning resources from UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies, Center for World Languages, and other language resource centers across the nation.
CNES also has a new funding opportunity available for UCLA faculty who teach Middle East and North African (MENA) language courses.
Travel grants are available for conferences, workshops, training, and research activities that will enhance language instruction. For more information and how to apply, click HERE.
Listen to Learn
An interactive multimedia resource for introducing Arabic (Lebanese, Egyptian, Iraqi, Moroccan,and Modern Standard), Persian, Turkish and Urdu languages to middle and high school students. The lessons are built on video clips of high school heritage speakers introducing themselves and talking about activities, food, and proverbs. Produced by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and the UCLA International Institute.
UCLA Language Materials Project
A comprehensive bibliographic database of teaching resources for 150 less commonly taught languages, along with a K-12 portal that provides free tools and lesson plans for developing an entire year’s course. Produced by UCLA's Center for World Languages. The site is currently offline due to reduced funding, but it offers a survey where users can indicate their interest in having the site available on the web again.
Teaching Heritage Languages
A free online workshop for language teachers seeking differentiated instruction for students who grew up speaking the language at home. Produced by UCLA's National Heritage Language Resource Center.
National Middle East Language Resource Center
Tools for professional development, program evaluation, and student assessment in teaching Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. From Brigham Young University.
Downloadable video clips of authentic conversations with people of different ages and walks of life who speak less commonly taught languages, including colloquial Arabic (Egyptian, Levantine, North African, Western Saharan, and Yemeni), Persian, and Turkish. Topics include family, food, school, work, sports, and customs. From the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages.
Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning
Free language learning materials for Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. From the University of Texas, Austin.
Today's Front Pages
Produced by the Newseum in Washington, DC, this resource displays current front pages of over 800 newspapers from around the world in many languages. Each listing includes the newspaper’s web address for further reading. Use the “Sort by Region” box to select a world region. Newspapers within each region are displayed in alphabetical order of the country names.
Online vocabulary building activities for learning alphabets and beginner vocabulary such as numbers, colors, days and months. Includes Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and many other languages.
A database of listening materials in Hebrew, including videos from television shows. Also provides online exercises and reading assignments. From Stanford University.
An online reference grammar of Persian for use as a supplemental resource for teachers and students. Additional features include a history of the language, instructions for writing and typing Persian, cultural videos, audio vocabulary lists, and multiple choice quizzes.
An innovative self-paced online program that enables students to learn colloquial Turkish through lessons based on culturally nuanced vignettes from the popular Turkish television program Bizimkiler, produced by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and the UCLA International Institute.
Turkic Language Learning and Teaching Resources
A comprehensive list of materials for learning and teaching Turkic languages including Modern Turkish, Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Turkmen, Uygur, and Uzbek, as well as a list of newspapers and dictionaries for Modern Turkish. From the American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages.
Deep Approach to Turkish Teaching and Learning
Twenty-nine intermediate and advances Turkish language learning modules focusing on culture, supported by videos, for intermediate and advanced levels. Produced at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with collaboration from other universities in the US and Turkey.
136 Turkish lessons via podcasts that are 10-15 minutes long.
An Annotated Bibliography of Online Turkish Sources
A 2016 compilation of resources for Turkish teachers and students of Turkish, from the UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.
The Center supports acquisitions for the UCLA Library’s Middle East and Islamic studies research collection, which is available to both scholars and the public. With over 500,000 volumes, it is the largest Middle East collection in the western United States. The Department of Special Collections houses over 10,000 manuscripts in Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Ottoman Turkish and Persian. Other specialized collections are housed in the Art, Biomedical, Music and Law Libraries.
Below are links to some helpful UCLA Library guides to assist researchers.
Remote research guides
Podcasts of recorded sessions on remote research possibilities with Middle East research expert librarians offer guidance on a range of digital collections of Middle Eastern materials and discuss strategies for conducting research online. Lists and links to the resources mentioned in the forums accompany each corresponding video session.
Area-studies research guides
The guides are portals to online research resources on the Middles Eastern Studies, Ancient Near East and Egypt, Jewish studies, and Jewish Los Angeles. They offer links to online dictionaries, encyclopedias, and bibliographies; databases and indexes; e-book and journal collections, and online archives, image repositories and maps.
Instructional Media Library
Over a thousand Middle East-related film titles are available from UCLA’s Instructional Media Library and Film and Television Archive, including features, documentaries and newsreels from the region, Middle East-themed Hollywood films (from The Sheikh of 1921 to Three Kings of 1999), and works on the Middle Eastern diaspora such as the CNES-produced documentary Arabs in America. These resources are widely used in undergraduate courses, language instruction, film studies, and for individual viewing.
Center for Primary Research and Training
The UCLA Library created the Center for Primary Research and Training to integrate special collections materials more fully into the teaching and research mission of the university. The Center trains graduate students in archival methods through creation of resource guides for other library users.
The Minasian Collection of Persian and Arabic Manuscripts
The Minasian Collection of Persian and Arabic manuscripts consists of works related to the studies of theologians and scholars in centers of learning in Iran from the 16th through the 19th centuries. The manuscripts, which include both bound collections and single works, chiefly date from the 14th to the 17th centuries, and shed light on the social, religious, and political history of Iran and Shi’ism.
Contact information for UCLA Library staff with MENA specialties can be found HERE
The bibliographies below are the product of a joint project by our Center's Teaching Lab and the UCLA recipients of GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) Fellowships. The bibliographies represent a wide range of disciplines and topics and are prepared by GAANN graduate fellows in their areas of study as a part of their year-long Middle East pedagogy training workshops. The bibliographies provide an introductory list of must-read books mostly in English for anyone who would like to learn more about the Middle East.
Islamic law in the West and Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat
UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies
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