UChicago Majalla, the University’s first Arabic-language publication, will debut this winter.
The publication will feature student work ranging from research papers to poetry.
The idea for Majalla, which in Arabic means “magazine,” was conceived last year by fourth-year Near Eastern languages and civilizations major Elysa Bryen and fifth-year Nick Posegay who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies. Second-year Madeline de Figueiredo, who like Bryen is majoring in Near Eastern languages and civilizations, became involved in the magazine over the summer after meeting Posegay on a Critical Language Scholarship trip to Tangier, Morocco. The goal of Majalla, according to de Figueiredo, is to share work from students studying Arabic on campus.
Faculty member Noha Forster, of the Near Eastern languages and civilizations department, provided assistance and guidance in the magazine’s creation. In order to receive funding, de Figueiredo, Posegay, and Bryen applied for and received a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The grant is part of the Department of State’s efforts to support the study of Arabic, which is classified as a critical language.
Majalla’s founders, who will be editing and formatting the magazine, plan to publish the first issue at the beginning of winter quarter and to operate on a biannual publishing schedule. The first issue will consist of work collected from students over the last academic year in addition to newer pieces, which can be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org until November 7.
This year, the magazine’s staff hopes to publish its first two issues, apply for RSO status, and explore possible additional funding sources. The founders envision the magazine becoming a resource for the community of Arabic-language students at UChicago.
“We’re looking for a way to unite the student body that speaks Arabic, studies Arabic on campus and bring them together through the language,” de Figueiredo said.