Arabic Studies Chair

Established in 2005, the Arabic Studies Chair was funded by Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this Chair is to provide a Distinguished Visiting Professor to teach Arabic language and culture in the Department of Foreign Languages. Proficiency in Arabic language is necessary for US global roles and relationships.

Current Professor
Hisham Khalek
Foreign Languages

Hisham Khalek has held the ARDI Chair in Arabic Studies since 2014. Born and raised in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon, he eventually traveled to the US for secondary education where he received a BA in history and political science. He went on to achieve an MA in international relations and comparative governments from the University of Minnesota. Khalek completed his Ph. D. program in comparative international education at the University of Minnesota and then served as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dr. Khalek taught summer immersion Arabic at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, and has contributed numerous publications to his subject of expertise, including Exploring Arabic, a six-textbook and media curriculum for middle and high school students. Khalek co-authored a high school Arabic curriculum as well as a computerized assessment program in Arabic.

Other achievements and publications include a series of Arabic textbooks for college level, Marhaba Alif Baa’, Marhaba Elementary, Marhabtayn Intermediate, as well as an Arabic-English dictionary.

Additionally, Khalek  assisted in the editing of three scholarly textbooks on Middle Eastern history and politics. His current research includes a forthcoming textbook, Marahib, for advanced level Arabic studies.

Founded in 1984, ARDI has a unique and singular focus: to support and fortify the academic mission of the United States Air Force Academy.  Today, ARDI funds multiple endowed chairs and continues to contribute to the excellence of education through the United States Air Force Academy.


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