Thursday, July 22, 2021

Best Online Resources for Students of Arabic at Any Level (Compiled by Dr. Ramzi Salti)


Having taught Arabic at Stanford for the past two decades, I have become all too familiar with the need to supplement students' language skills/proficiency by continuously exposing them to various cultural productions from the Arab world in a way that will entertain Arabic learners while further informing their language studies.  It is my firm belief that teaching culture as an integral part of any language course--especially when it comes to Arabic--leads to a remarkable increase in language proficiency and is truly essential for any student who truly wishes to master the language.

Towards that end, I have carefully compiled this list of available online resources that aims at enhancing classroom learning by providing a much needed guide to various websites, programs and apps that students can utilize, at their own pace, in order to retain if not increase their language proficiency.

  • Aswaat Arabiyya أصوات عربية  "Arabic Voices," is a web site designed for learners and teachers of Arabic seeking materials for listening comprehension. It provides listening materials and accompanying activities/exercises that are intended for the various levels of proficiency from Novice to Superior. These listening materials have been selected from television stations throughout the Arab world and they treat a wide variety of topics and listening genres. Click here to explore.  Check out the site at

  • Al-Jazeera Learning Arabic site is a free open educational source that offers a variety of materials in different forms including articles, literary texts, grammatical rules "learning Arabic" videos at all levels.  The site are enhanced by advanced options, where the learner can show or hide texts of audio material, show or hide the tashkeel/vocalization of texts, and view immediate results of the exercises.  Site also includes various electronic services such as “The Dictionary"" service to check up the meaning of words, “The Tashkeel/Vocalization" service, and a “Placement test” service which helps the learner rate their own proficiency level. See

  • Play Jeopardy in Arabic Online: Test yourself or compete with other players via Jeopardy Labs.  This link includes dozens of Jeopardy games in Arabic at all levels.  You can also create your own game.

  • Ramzi Salti Hosts Various Arabic Speakers:  Click here for exclusive Unlisted Playlist of  Videos ft various classical Arabic speakers at different proficiency levels.

PLAYLIST: ARABIC FILMS (with English subtitles)

  • YouTube Playlist ft various Arabic video clips with English Subtitles: Click HERE.

  • YouTube Playlist ft Free Arabic Films (short and long) with English subtitles: Click HERE.

ARABIC WEBSERIES (Colloquial, with English Subtitles)

1. Shankaboot- The first Arabic web series from the streets and rooftops of Beirut; with English subtitles (52 short, addictive episodes).  Click HERE.

2.  MAMNOU3! - Season 1: A Lebanese web-series about the day-to-day inner workings of the country's censorship bureau. With English subtitles.  Click HERE.

3.  Mohannad Abu Rizk's Webseries "Around the World أسئلة حول العالم"  featuring thematic questions to everyday Arabic speakers in the streets.  With English subtitles.  Click HERE.

4.  Mosaiic Series "Tababa طبابة": Short films from Jordan that aim at grappling various social issues.  With English subtitles.  Click here.

WEBSERIES IN ARABIC (Colloquial, No English subtitles)

1.  The Rania Show: A satirical Comedy sketch show which highlights the life of five very different Arab female characters living in Jordan--all played by Rania Kurdi.  Originally aired on Roya TV.  Click HERE for playlist of all episodes.

2.  Rania Kurdi's Ma3ZOOM comedy series:  Comedy sketches in Arabic featuring Rania's hilarious characters as they attempt to learn various skills on with online instructors on Zoom.  Features guest appearance (5 episodes) by Ramzi Salti which you can watch watch HERE.


بودكاست بإيجابية مع رانيا: في بودكاست «بإيجابية مع رانيا»، تستضيف خلال شهر رمضان الفنانة ومدربّة المهارات الحياتية رانيا كردي أصحاب مبادرات ومؤسسات ملهمة من الوطن العربي استطاعوا استخدام خدمات موقع التواصل الاجتماعي فيسبوك لعمل الخير.  أنتجت «صوت» بودكاست «بإيجابية مع رانيا» بالشراكة مع «فيسبوك الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا».

صوت بودكاست هي منصة بودكاست تعمل على إنتاج وتوزيع برامج صوتية عالية الجودة باللغة العربية. ونلتزم بإنتاج محتوى صوتي باللغة العربية سعيًا لإيجاد بيئة حوار تناقش المواضيع المهمة والحساسة للمتابع العربي حول العالم، بالإضافة إلى خلق بيئة حوار تناقش مبادئ العدالة والتعددية وحقوق الإنسان عبر الإنتاج الصوتي. انطلقت صوت عام ٢٠١٦، مقرّها العاصمة الأردنية، عمّان، أنشأها حازم وطارق زريقات ورمزي تسدل لتكون شبكة بودكاست (برامج إذاعية حسب الطلب).

يلا نحكي بودكاست #yalla_ne7ki بودكاست بالعربي .. آمال القادري تتناول مواضيع عديدة من حياتنا اليومية.. ومحاورة لاشخاص كان لهم تجارب مميزة وربما مفيدة لآنه جميعنا نمر بقصص مشابهة ولكن بمواقف مغايرة..  


  • Dr. Ramzi Salti's Arabology is a radio program that is hosted in English by Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti, showcasing music and other cultural productions from the Arab world. 'Arabology' airs on KZSU 90.1 FM and all podcasts are housed here on Soundcloud.
  • The MARSM Music Elevator is an informative, entertaining and musical podcast in English, featuring some of the finest independent artists and musicians from the Arabic-speaking world. Click here.
  • Afikra is a global organization that aims to promote the diversity and richness of Arab culture and history. Its archive ft an impressive series of YouTube presentations and talks, in English, about various topics (also categorized by theme).  Main site:



Thursday, July 1, 2021

Rania Kurdi Interviews Dr. Ramzi Salti for Her "Breaking Free" Podcast (June 29, 2021)

Listen below or at

It was an honor and a pleasure to be interviewed by Rania Kurdi for her "Breaking Free" Podcast (June 29, 2021) in which we discussed everything from my 20+ years of teaching teaching at Stanford to my Arabology program to personal struggles and successes that I have rarely spoken about.

You can listen to the whole podcast BELOW or directly on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn.  You can also listen via this link.

"Being interviewed by RANIA KURDI for her "Breaking Free" podcast was an honor, a pleasure and an experience that I will not soon forget. Rania knows how to make her guests feel at ease and allows them to "break free" by sharing various aspects of their struggles and successes in a way that will hopefully inspire others to do the same."--Dr. Ramzi Salti


Episode title: Breaking Free: Expression through Language with Dr. Ramzi Salti

Episode Date: June 29, 2021

Episode Description (taken from this site; courtesy of Rania Kurdi):

Have you ever tried to learn a language but found the process challenging and dull? Or maybe you were blessed with a special teacher that made learning an enjoyable and memorable experience.

My guest this week is Dr. Ramzi Salti, a recipient of the Stanford Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. He is an author, a radio host and a lecturer in Arabic at Stanford University for over twenty years. He believes language goes hand in hand with learning about the culture and introduces his students to all styles of Arabic music and popular TV shows in an interactive and modern way.

Today, we discuss how we met on his radio show Arabology, after my sketches from The Rania Show became a big part of his teaching. Ramzi describes how he broke free from teaching Arabic in the traditional way and how he started his Radio show in English during the Arab Spring in 2011. He also discusses his book "The Native Informant" tackling culture, family issues, and sexuality and going viral before viral even existed in 1994.

In this episode, you will learn:
  • Dr. Ramzi explains why he thinks podcasts are here to stay. (1:40)
  • Dr. Ramzi talks about growing up in Lebanon before the civil war broke out in 1975 and his family moved to Jordan. (3:20)
  • How Ramzi’s mother was instrumental in him getting a Doctorate Arabic and Comparative Literature. (5:00)
  • What it felt like for Dr. Ramzi to receive the Stanford Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. (16:20)
  • How Dr. Ramzi combined culture and language when teaching Arabic to his students (21:25)
  • How breaking free was a process of unlearning the way he had been taught so he could make it more reachable to a new generation. (23:17)
  • How Dr. Ramzi started his radio show at Stanford University KZSU (26:45)
  • Discovering the groundbreaking and controversial Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila (31:58)
  • How the series Ramy, winner of a Golden Globe award in 2021, was appreciated and accepted in the Arab world after it got the stamp of western legitimacy (34:38)
  • How Rami Malek won the Oscar for playing the part of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. (36:08)
  • Dr. Salti tackled feminism and marginalized sexualities in 1994 when he published his book The Native Informant and Other Stories.
  • Dr. Ramzi Salti describes how proud he felt to be published by Three Continents Press who owned at the time most English translations of Nobel prize winner author Naguib Mahfouz’s books. (44:42)
  • A reading by Rania Kurdi of one of Dr. Ramzi’s short stories titled "Vivian and Her Son."  Text available here.


I’m Rania, a transformational life coach, comedian and former host of the Pan-Arab TV talent show Pop Idol. I will be sharing my own life adventures and those of my inspirational guests from all over the world to discover how they found their authentic voice and purpose, in hope that it will inspire you to break free from whatever is holding you back.

Follow Rania Kurdi's Podcast and other works at


Arabology Interviews Rania Kurdi (December 2019)
Dr. Ramzi Salti interviews singer/actress/producer/motivational speaker Rania Kurdi who candidly speaks about her TV/Film/Music career, her cathartic work as a life coach, and the many projects she has on the horizon.  Listen below or at this link.

Arabology Spotlights Rania Kurdi PART 1: Bio ft Music Excerpts (August 2013)

Arabology Spotlights PART 2: Ft Exclusive Interview (August 2014)
Rania Kurdi Returns with New Season of "The Rania Show" by Zoom

Ramzi Salti Guests on Rania Kurdi's Show Ma3Zoom (YouTube Playlist)

Connect with Rania Kurdi:
Instagram: @Kurdirania 
Twitter: @rania_kurdi

10th Anniversary of Dr. Ramzi Salti's Arabology Program Features All Episodes on Soundcloud + YouTube (Click here)

All 13 seasons of Dr. Ramzi Salti's  Arabology  podcasts  are now available on Soundcloud, for a total of 101 episodes. Additionally, al...