Arabic Is An Instrument

What does a medieval archaeological Islamic site in the Turkish countryside have to do with Darul Qasim College’s Arabic Department?

Dr. Choukri Heddouchi, Arabic Department chair, begins part 7 of our tour by sharing his current scholarly involvement  in deciphering an Arabic medieval inscription that was recently discovered during a systematic archaeological survey in the Turkish countryside. The image pictured on the title slide shows the cave above which the inscription is located.

Dr. Choukri shares:

Because of my background in archaeology and Arabic, I have been involved in epigraphic work that involves medieval archaeological Islamic sites in the Middle East. The process of deciphering depends on the context of the inscription.  In this recent case, digital pictures were processed in an application to create a 3D representation.  This helps facilitate a correct reading.  We usually go through comparing the inscription with ones of the same age, so as to familiarize ourselves with distinct terminology used in inscriptions from that era.

Arabic, in this context, becomes an instrument in the field of archaeology used to shed light on a medieval Islamic past.  Similarly, the characterization of Arabic as an instrument used to study the core subjects in Islamic Studies is used by Dr. Choukri to showcase what sets Darul Qasim College’s approach to the study of Arabic apart from other institutions of higher education.  Join Dr. Choukri as he takes us from the present and into the future of the Department of Arabic.