SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Near & Middle Eastern Studies Section Staff

Head of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Ben Murtagh

Learning & Teaching Coordinator

Justin Watkins

Research Coordinator

Irina Nikolaeva

Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

Mr Mohamed I Said

Undergraduate Programme Convenors

Professor Andrew George (BA Ancient Near Eastern Studies)

Dr Mustafa Shah (BA Arabic, BA Arabic and Islamic Studies, BA Arabic plus another subject, BA Islamic Studies)

Dr Yair Wallach (BA Hebrew & Israeli Studies, BA Hebrew plus another subject)

Dr Tamar Drukker (BA Hebrew and Israeli Studies)

Dr Mark Weeden (BA Middle Eastern Studies, BA Middle Eastern Studies plus another subject)

Ms Narguess Farzad (BA Persian, BA Persian plus another subject)

Dr Nima Mina (BA Persian, BA Persian plus another subject)

Dr Yorgos Dedes (BA Turkish, BA Turkish plus another subject)

Professor Andrew George (BA another subject plus Georgian)

Postgraduate Programme Convenors

Professor Andrew George (MA Ancient Near Eastern Studies)

Dr Marlé Hammond (MA Arabic Literature, MA Palestine Studies)

Dr Ayman Shihadeh (MA Islamic Societies and Cultures)

Dr Nima Mina (MA Iranian Studies)

Dr Mustafa Shah (MA Islamic Studies)

Dr Yair Wallach (MA Israeli Studies)

Dr Yorgos Dedes (MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies, MA Turkish Studies)

Certificate Convenors

Mr Mohamed I Said (Arabic and Arabic Studies)

Postgraduate Research Tutor

Dr Ayman Shihadeh

Please note that for Masters Students the Admissions Tutor and Personal Tutor is the Postgraduate Programme Convenor


Muhammad A S Abdel Haleem, OBE
King Fahd Professor of Islamic Studies
Muhammad A S Abdel Haleem
Qur’an, Hadith, Tafsir; Islam in society; classical and modern Arabic literature
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4325
  • Email:
  • Room: 427
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 12:00-13:00/Wednesdays 12:00-13:00
Hugh N Kennedy
Professor of Arabic
Hugh N Kennedy

Medieval history of Arabic-speaking lands.

  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4251
  • Email:
  • Room: 436
  • Office Hours: Tues.2.30-3.30/Thurs.11.30-12.30/Email appointment

Wen-chin Ouyang
Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature
Wen-chin Ouyang
Classical and modern Arabic literature and culture, with emphasis on narrative and storytelling, comparative narratology and critical theory, and gendered thinking and discourse.
Stefan Sperl
Professor of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies
Head of Department
Sperl Stefan

Arabic Literature Classical and Modern; Comparative Literature; Qur’an and Hadith Studies; Islamic Art; Sufism and Neoplatonism; Refugee and Exile Studies

Senior Lecturers

Yorgos Dedes
Senior Lecturer in Turkish
Yorges Dedes
Early Anatolian Turkish; Ottoman language and literature; Ottoman history; Turkish-Greek relations; modern Turkish culture
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4344
  • Email:
  • Room: 424
  • Office Hours: Friday 5-6pm
Ayman El-Desouky
Senior Lecturer in Arabic and Comparative Literature
Ayman El-Desouky

Comparative Literature, 19th and 20th Century Arabic Literature, hermeneutics, modern philosophy and theory.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4355
  • Email:
  • Room: 423
  • On Sabbatical:On leave 2015-16

Marlé Hammond
Senior Lecturer in Arabic Popular Literature and Culture
Marle Hammond

Senior Lecturer in Arabic Popular Literature & Culture.  

  • Tel: 020 7898 4518
  • Email:
  • Room: 438
  • Office Hours: Wednesday 2-3pm; Friday 11am-12pm
Karima Laachir
Senior Lecturer in Literary & Cultural Studies
Karima Laachir

Literary and cultural studies: postcolonial studies, diaspora studies and comparative literature

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4336
  • Email:
  • Room: 365
  • Office Hours: Fridays 12-1.30pm

Christopher Lucas
Chris Lucas

Historical linguistics, Arabic linguistics, the syntax–semantics interface, pragmatics, philosophy of language, Dynamic Syntax, Relevance Theory, Arabic language, Afro-Asiatic languages

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4318
  • Email:
  • Room: 447
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 10-12
Nima Mina
Senior Lecturer in Persian and Iranian Studies
Staff Silhouette
Classical and Modern Persian literature, Orientalism in 18th-20th century Europe, Middle Eastern minority writers in Europe, Diaspora studies, music performance, translation studies
  • Tel: 020 7898 4315
  • Email:
  • Room: 422
  • Office Hours: Wednesday 1-3pm

Mustafa Shah
Senior Lecturer in Islamic Studies
Staff Silhouette
The early Arabic linguistic tradition; classical Islamic theology and jurisprudence
  • Tel: 020 7898 4341
  • Email:
  • Room: 434a
  • Office Hours: Email for an appointment


Yair Wallach
Pears Lecturer in Israeli Studies
Yair Wallach
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4337
  • Email:
  • Room: 415
  • Office Hours: TERM 1: Tue 3-4, Thu 11-12 / TERM 2: Sabbatical
  • On Sabbatical:Term 2

Senior Fellows

Narguess Farzad
Senior Fellow in Persian
Narguess Farzad
Persian language and literature. Organiser of SOAS-Cambridge Undergraduate workshops
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4346
  • Email:
  • Room: 440
  • Office Hours: Wednesday 12-2pm or by appointment

Principal Lectors

Mohamed I Said
Principal Lector in Arabic
Mohamed I Said
Arabic language teaching
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4353
  • Email:
  • Room: 425
  • Office Hours: Mon. 2-3pm/Tues. 2-3pm/Thurs. 2-3pm

Senior Lectors

Ahmad Alkhashem
Senior Lector in Arabic
Ahmad Alkhashem
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4208
  • Email:
  • Room: 434
  • Office Hours: Tue 9-10am / Wed 12-1pm / email for other times
Maha Collinson
Senior Lector in Arabic
Maha Collinson
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4409
  • Email:
  • Room: 446
  • Office Hours: Monday 15:00-16:00 / Tuesday 16:00-17:00

Principal Teaching Fellow

Muaadh Salih
Principal Teaching Fellow and Arabic Project Co-ordinator
Staff Silhouette

Computer-assisted language learning; orality and oral literature of the Gulf; Arabic language pedagogy

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4354
  • Email:
  • Room: 429
  • Office Hours: Mondays 10am-12noon

Teaching Fellows

Keya Anjaria
Senior Teaching Fellow in Turkish
Keya Anjaria

The Novel; 20th Century Turkish Literature; Turkish Cinema; World Literature; Comparative Literature;  20th Century Literary Criticism; Modernity and Modernization in late 19th and 20th Century Turkey.

  • Email:
  • Room: 438
  • Office Hours: TERM 1: Monday 1-2pm / ALL YEAR: Friday 10-11am

Helen Blatherwick
Teaching Fellow in Arabic
Research Associate
Staff Silhouette

Classical Arabic literature, Popular literature, Comparative literature

Visiting Professors

Visiting Readers

Visiting Language Teacher

Professorial Research Associates

Bruce Ingham
Professorial Research Associate
Bruce Ingham

General descriptive linguistics, Arabic, Persian, North American Indian languages, dialects and oral literature of the Arabian Peninsula - in particular the dialects of the Arabian bedouin, covering the dialects of the Al Dhafir, Mutair, Al Murrah and Rwalah tribes; Lakota (Siouan), Cree (Algonquian)

Research Associates

Shirin Akiner
Research Associate
Akiner Shirin - NME IMG - 485 186 56
Politics in Central Asia; gender issues in Central Asia; Islam in Central Asia; Islam, ethnicity, nation building, political change and security in Central Asia.

Helen Blatherwick
Teaching Fellow in Arabic
Research Associate
Staff Silhouette

Classical Arabic literature, Popular literature, Comparative literature