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Oriental Studies – Arabic Studies

The Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies of the University of Warsaw is the largest centre of its kind in Poland. Its beginnings date back to 1949, when J6zef Bielawski arrived in Warsaw after having graduated from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, where he had studied under Prof. Tadeusz Kowalski. In 1958, J6zef Bielawski joined the staff of the Chair of Turkish Studies of the University of Warsaw, where Turkish, Iranian, and Arabic were traditionally taught together. Through the efforts of Prof. J6zef Bielawski, a new, separate Chair of Arabic Studies was established in 1964. Five years later, it was reorganized into the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, with a now expanded scope of research and teaching. In so doing, Islamic studies were institutionalized, turned officially into a new branch of academic interest in Poland.

After the retirement of Prof. Bielawski in 1979, the Department was headed by Prof. Janusz Danecki. In 2007, after a quarter of a century in office, he was succeeded by the incumbent head of the unit, Prof. Katarzyna Pachniak. In 2009, the Department was upgraded to the Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies.

In 1993, the Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies launched its own journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies (Studia Arabistyczne i Islamistyczne). The Chair offers a three-year first-cycle course and a two-year second-cycle course. By 2022, the Chair awarded 450 first-cycle and 25 second-cycle degrees.

The Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies conducts research in the following fields:

  • Classical and modern Arab literature Linguistics and dialectology of the Arabic language
  • Arab and Islamic culture of the Classical Period
  • Religion and Islamic philosophy
  • History, politics, and social issues of the Arab world
  • Ethnology of the Arab world
  • History of Arabic and Islamic studies

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