Middle East

Research into Middle Eastern languages and society is an area of study rooted in four of the major languages spoken in the Middle East: Arabic (the Arab countries and North Africa), Hebrew (Israel), Persian (Iran) and Turkish (Turkey).

Geographically, the area covers a region stretching from Morocco in western North Africa, across the central Middle East, to Iran and Central Asia in the east. Research is conducted into historical and sociological topics, Islam, the media and the Islamic public sphere, urban studies, anthropological subjects, literature and languages.

Current research

Ildiko Beller-Hann: Contemporary Xinjiang: Identity maintenance and history-making among the Uyghurs of Xinjiang.

Isa Blumi: Islam in the Balkans and the conflict in Yemen.

Jørgen Bæk Simonsen: Populism in the Middle East, Islam and Muslims in Denmark and Europe, and Danish Oriental studies.

Rasmus Elling: Urban studies in modern Iran, Iran’s modern history and society, and ethnicity.

Ehab Galal: Media strategies of Islamist political parties in the Arab countries, with a focus on political and cultural changes after the Arab Spring.

Alessandro Gori: The (mainly Islamic but also Christian) literary traditions of the peoples of the Horn of Africa (in particular in Ethiopia), transmitted both orally and in manuscripts and printed books, in Arabic and other local languages.

Joshua Sabih: Arabic and Hebrew identities and literature in Israel; Crime fiction in Hebrew and Arabic

Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen: Contemporary Islam, more specifically the establishment of a modern Muslim public sphere, and the role of the Muslim ulama in modern Arab states. Lately, this research has primarily focused on the role of Islam in the new pan-Arab television networks

Claus Valling Pedersen: Literature in 20th- and 21st-century Iran, focusing on early modern literature and the advent of modernity.

Collective projects


Name Title Job responsibilities Phone E-mail
Ab Yonus, Zenia Bredmose Henriksen PhD Fellow Arabic Studies +4524852865 E-mail
Beller-Hann, Ildiko Associate Professor Emerita Turkish Studies +4551302462 E-mail
Elling, Rasmus Christian Associate Professor Persian Studies +4551303565 E-mail
Galal, Ehab Associate Professor Arabic Studies +4551300712 E-mail
Haddad, Fanar Assistant Professor - Tenure Track Arabic Studies   E-mail
Hansen, Kræn Kielsgaard Teaching Assistant Professor Arabic Studies   E-mail
Mahmoud, Jihan Mohammed Zakarriya Guest Researcher Arabic Studies   E-mail
Mehdi, Rubya Emerita Arabic Studies +4551300660 E-mail
Nielsen, Jørgen Schøler Affiliate Professor Arabic Studies   E-mail
Parslow, Joakim Assistant Professor - Tenure Track Turkish Studies +4535325559 E-mail
Pedersen, Claus Valling Associate Professor Persian Studies +4551303588 E-mail
Shehata, Mostafa External Researcher Arabic Studies +4593509965 E-mail
Simonsen, Jørgen Bæk Associate Professor Emeritus Arabic Studies +4551302842 E-mail
Sion, Liora Associate Professor Hebrew Studies +4593509429 E-mail
Skovgaard-Petersen, Jakob Professor Arabic Studies   E-mail