NYU Abu Dhabi Instructors Publish First Emirati Arabic Dialect Textbook
A copy of the Arabic textbook Ramsah at the NYUAD library. Professor Nasser Isleem and Ayesha Al Hashemi, who worked as a Language Immersion Specialist of Arabic Studies at the university, co-authored the first-ever modern standard Arabic language textbook for the Emirati dialect. Deepthi Unnikrishnan/NYUAD

NYU Abu Dhabi Instructors Publish First Emirati Arabic Dialect Textbook

‘Ramsah’ is first ever teaching guide for students of the Emirati dialect

Press Release

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Arabic Professor Nasser Isleem and Ayesha Al Hashemi, who worked as a Language Immersion Specialist of Arabic Studies at NYUAD, have co-authored the first-ever modern standard Arabic language textbook for the Emirati dialect. Titled Ramsah, which means "talk" in Emirati Arabic, the 352-page workbook and audio guide will serve as a resource for educators and students in the UAE and beyond.

Commenting on Ramsah’s publication, Professor Isleem said: “Arabic is the sixth most commonly spoken language in the world, and a strong knowledge of both written and spoken is in high demand. Ramsah is therefore designed to provide learners with the tools they need to learn the Emirati dialect used in the UAE and the surrounding region. By providing learners with a rich cultural and linguistic approach through real life situations, along with the audio materials that accompany the textbook, we hope it will make the acquisition of Emirati Arabic easier to learn as a living language for everyday use.”

The instruction and exercises in Ramsah, which is published by Kuttab Publishing House, are designed to build a solid foundation in the Emirati dialect for the learner, concentrating on the structure, vocabulary, pronunciation, culture, grammar, and the real-life daily use of the language. Following the main dialogues, Ramsah provides learners with strong cultural and linguistic dimensions that are relevant to their own lives to introduce them to new experiences and perspectives. The book is designed to help guide learners through an active use of language, real life situations, and interactive audio materials.

Al Hashemi said: “With Ramsah, my hope is that language students as well as interested visitors and residents, not only at NYUAD, will now have a new resource to use in their language and culture learning experiences be it in an academic setting, as part of their cultural or professional development, or individually. With this project becoming a reality, I also hope that it will shed light to the importance of this field, and the possibility of having further contributions from young Emiratis in the future.”

Ramsah is designed mainly for non-Arabic students with an interest in learning the Arabic language. While learners do not necessarily need prior knowledge of modern standard Arabic, the majority of the materials in the book are presented in Arabic script, with some transliteration in the beginning chapters. A good understanding of written Arabic is therefore beneficial.


About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.