Category Archives: Research Guides

How do you vowel that Arabic name?

One tricky challenge students of Arabic encounter is reading an Arabic name or word without its vowels.

As students know, Arabic is not always written with its vowels. Sometimes you’ll come across a name like this:

 ابن الملقن

If you’ve never heard the name before, how could you know how to say it just from reading it?

Is it Ibn al-Malqan? al-Mulqan? al-Milqun?

Fortunately, the Library of Congress assigns standard transliterations of Arabic names that libraries all over the world follow. If you type an Arabic name into world-wide library database, you’ll probably find it in a record somewhere.

Let’s see what we find this time:

Worldcat screenshot

Looking at all these records, we now know with a high degree of certainty that the author’s name is ʻUmar ibn ʻAlī Ibn al-Mulaqqin. There is a double consonant (shaddah) on the qaf. Wow, I was way off!

I use Worldcat all the time to help me vowel Arabic words I’ve never heard before. If you use another way, let us know!

Guide to Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies resources in NYU Libraries


Students interested in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, particularly in historical topics, will find a lot of great resources on this NYU Libraries Research Guide by Middle Eastern Studies Librarian Guy Barak:

The guide includes links to reference sources, journals and databases, news, statistics and more!  It is a great source of information for students across all of NYU’s global campuses.




The NYUAD Arts Center Events: Find out more!



This year the NYUAD Library has been creating research guides to accompany every performance at the NYUAD Arts Center.  These guides are designed to point students towards more resources, both scholarly and popular, about the performances, the performers, and their cultural and intellectual context.  Here are some examples that might be interesting to students studying the Middle East:

The Nile Project

Hekayah the Story-Spoken Word

You can find even more on our Research Guides page.  Let us know what you think!