Research topic: Arabic
Arabic is one of the world's most important cultural languages.
It is the 'holy' language of Islam, with long traditions not only in Arab countries, but throughout the Islamic world, where Arabic has been used for over 1,000 years in the fields of religion, science and literature by Persians, Turks, Indians, Africans and many others. Arab Christians and Jews have also contributed to the Arabic cultural heritage.
Today more than 200 million people, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, speak local forms of Arabic as their mother tongue.
Arabic also has enormous significance worldwide as the liturgical language of Islam - according to Islamic teaching, God's final and ultimate message to humanity, the Koran, was revealed in Arabic to the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century.
Today Arabic is also one of the UN's six official languages. Knowledge of Arabic is important in the political and social debates of our times.