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Tarek Elsayed

Department/Program(s):
  • Near Eastern Studies
Position: Lecturer
Title: Lecturer in Near Eastern Studies.
Area(s):
  • Arabic-language teaching
  • Medieval Islamic history
Office: 12 Dillon Court West
Phone: 609-258-1372
Office Hours: MTh 3:30 - 5:30



Tarek Elsayed is a native of Egypt. He came to the US in the early 1990s and became an American citizen in 2000.  While in his native land, Tarek studied Arabic and History at Cairo University, where he obtained a BA. He also holds an MA in history from Rutgers University. Tarek will be writing a PhD dissertation on the ‘Social History of Egypt during the Mamluk state’ under the supervision of Professor Hugh Kennedy at the University of London.

Tarek has been teaching Arabic as a second language for more than a decade. His journey of teaching Arabic began in the UK, where he taught at the University of St Andrews and Oxford University. In the US, he has taught at various institutions, among them Monmouth University and Billiot College. Shortly before joining Princeton, Tarek was part of the administration staff of the Arabic Flagship Program at the University of Oklahoma. He is thrilled and humbled to be part of the Near Eastern Studies faculty at Princeton University.

“I enjoy teaching Arabic, and making it as much fun as possible. Helping students to read and write Arabic, and more importantly, to use it in real life situations is my teaching philosophy. This philosophy is in harmony with the ‘Communicative approach’ and the textbooks which the Arabic Program has adopted here at Princeton.”

His research interests include but are not limited to issues and developments of teaching Arabic as a foreign language, Arabic sources of early Islamic history, the social history of Egypt during the Middle Ages, and Egypt under the rule of Muhammad Ali and his family (1805–1952).

Works in progress: He is in the process of writing a monograph entitled “Teaching Arabic as a second language: Some observations and suggestions.”