Center for Arab & Islamic Studies

Welcome to The Center for Arab and Islamic Studies Website

Villanova University established the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies in 1983 in recognition of the critical importance of Arab and Islamic cultures, which have had a profound impact on the arts and sciences for centuries in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Today, international politics and economics are deeply affected by the dynamics in the Arab and Islamic world. Government officials, members of Congress, corporations, banks, the media and researchers stress the need for professionals who have the specialized knowledge essential for comprehending the geostrategic, socioeconomic, religious and intellectual dimensions of the region.

AIS entails an interdisciplinary approach that reflects the complexity of the Arab and Islamic world, offers a basic grounding in Arabic language, and provides a background for advanced professional studies, as well as careers in government or business in the field.

The Center's interdisciplinary program serves undergraduates who wish to emphasize Arab and Islamic studies in their education. The course of studies enables students to focus on an Arab and Islamic dimension to their understanding of international issues and world cultures. The program also prepares students for work in government or business related to the region and for advanced graduate studies.

Please contact any of the faculty in the program for more information; applications for becoming a major or minor are available in SAC 277.

Upcoming Events

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The Center for Arab and Islamic Studies presents
Film Screening: Rarea Solar Mama
Wednesday, October 29
6:00 PM

Facilitated by: Nasser Chour, Professor of communication

Rafea is a Bedouin woman who lives with her four daughters in one of Jordan's poorest desert villages on the Iraqi border. She is given a chance to travel to India to attend the Barefoot College, where illiterate grandmothers from around the world are trained in 6 months to be solar engineers. If Rafea succeeds, she will be able to electrify her village, train more engineers, and provide for her daughters. Even when she returns as the first female solar engineer in the country, her real challenge will have just begun. Will she find support for her new venture? Will she be able to inspire the other women in the village to join her and change their lives? And most importantly, will she be able to re-wire the traditional minds of the Bedouin community that stand in her way?


The Center for Arab and Islamic Studies Presents
Film Screening "Control Room"
Thursday, October 30
6:00 pm

Facilitated By: Nasser Chour, Department of Communication

The immediate subject of his documentary, directed by Jenane Noujaim's. The “Control Room” is the media outlet is al-Jazeera, but its real theme is the huge gulf in understanding that exists between Americans and the Arab world and the way events, big and small, connected to the war in Iraq have taken on marked.


The Center for Arab and Islamic Studies Presents
Film Screening THE SQUARE
Wednesday, November 12
6:00 pm

Facilitated by: Nasser Chour, Department of Communication

Young revolutionaries  armed with nothing more than cameras, social media, videos posted to YouTube, and a resolute determination to liberate their nation. The Square  is made in a cinéma vérité style, giving us an up-close view of the Egyptian revolution from the ground. New technologies show us that the voice of young people cannot be silenced in this digital age where characters are fighting an ancient war with new weapons.


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Contact Information

The Center for Arab & Islamic Studies
800 Lancaster Avenue, SAC 277
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: (610) 519-4640
Fax: (610) 519-6133

Hibba Abugideiri, Ph. D.

Office: SAC 430
Phone: 610-519-4683

Catherine Warrick, Ph. D.
Office: SAC 257 
Phone: 610-519-7712

Administrative Assistant:
Joyce Harden
Office: SAC 277
Phone: 610-519-4640

Major or Minor

Major or Minor

Students are encouraged to enter the program no later than the first semester of their junior year in order to complete the requirements. A semester studying in an Arabic speaking country is strongly encouraged for all AIS students. Apply for the major in SAC 277.