Islamic Mosque
A storied legacy of almost a century of teaching in the field gives the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations a unique position in the Middle East. The Department offers a wide range of specializations and degree options. It has world-class, international faculty with diverse course offerings in fields such as Arabic Literature, Middle East History, Islamic Art and Architecture, and Islamic Studies.

Message From The Chair

Welcome to the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations! Ours is one of the earliest programs established at AUC.
We offer unique programs that study the literary, material and living heritage of the Arab and Muslim worlds. Our programs deal with the broad Arab-Islamic heritage through coursework on classical and modern Arabic Literature, Middle East History, Islamic Studies and Islamic Art and Architecture. 

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​​Amina El Bendary


international student visiting islamic site

BA in Arabic Studies

The objective of the Bachelor of Arts is to develop a broad awareness of Arab-Islamic civilization and to develop in students the ability to examine critically the different aesthetic, intellectual and cultural components of this civilization. Each student is required to fulfill Arabic language requirements and take a common core of courses from Arabic Literature, Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern History and Islamic Art and Architecture.
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International students visiting mosque

MA in Arabic Studies

The department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations (ARIC) offers Master’s degrees in Arabic Studies with emphases in four fields: Islamic Art and Architecture, Middle Eastern History, Islamic Studies, Arabic Language and Literature.
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Graduate Diploma in Arabic Studies

An opportunity for students who do not plan to pursue doctoral research or academic careers to study the history, culture, religion, literature, and material culture of the Arab and Islamicate worlds.
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Crossing Cultures: AUC Students Explore Islamic Civilization in Greece

Eight graduate students from Koc and eight from AUC have attended a summer program in Kavala, Greece, the birthplace of Muhammad Ali Pasha, often referred to as the founder of modern Egypt. AUC students hailed from diverse specializations, including history, literature, Islamic studies and Islamic art and architecture, as well as Middle East studies.  The AUC students, guided by Distinguished University Professor Nelly Hanna, attended lectures and went on excursions, joined by students and faculty members from Koç University in Turkey. 

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O'Kane Authors The 100 Most Iconic Islamic Houses of Worship

Bernard O'Kane, professor in the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations, has released his latest book Mosques: The 100 Most Iconic Islamic Houses of Worship, where he went on a journey through different centuries and continents to explore 100 of the most iconic and beautifully made architectural designs that are also meant to be home to worshippers in Islam. 

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 Bernard O’Kane Islamic Architecture

Islamic Architecture at AUC: 'Harmonizing Cultural Heritage with Modernity'

It was during his summer holidays as a student that Bernard O’Kane, now professor of Islamic art and architecture, took trips from Ireland to Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iran -- and “was hooked.”

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AUC’S Rare Books and Special Collections Library Preserves Local and International Heritage


   The conservation of the cultural and historical heritage of Egypt and the region has been one of the main objectives of The Rare Books and Special Collection Library (RBSCL) at The American University in Cairo (AUC) since its creation in 1992. In addition to housing stellar collections of rare books,   documents, manuscripts, photographs and archival collections from Egypt, the Middle East and other parts of the world, the RBSCL strives to preserve these for posterity while increasing their accessibility through digitization and an active conservation program.

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Academic Support

Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations is available to support you and answer questions Sunday through Thursday 9 am- 3 pm. 

For general inquiries: 

please send an email to: 

For Graduate studies inquiries:

please send an email to Dr. E. Fernandes, Director of the Graduate Studies: 

For administrative affairs:

Marwa Sabry


Lana Murad



Available Office Hours for one to one meetings:

Sunday 13:00 -14:00 

Tuesday 11:00 to 12:00 


ARIC Zoom meeting information:

Meeting ID: 1.888.799.9666