American Univesity of Beirut

Al-Abhath Journal: More than Seventy Years in Producing Knowledge

Al-Abhath is an internationally refereed journal of scholarship on the culture, history, literature and languages of the Arab World and the Middle East.  Originally titled The Journal of the Center for Arab and Middle East Studies, al-Abhath was first published in 1948 as a quarterly for Arab Studies.  It has been appearing in one annual volume since 1970.

Al-Abhath is published annually by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the American University of Beirut (AUB), and covers many fields of interest ―Arab and Islamic studies, sociology, numismatics, history, economics, language, psychology and astrology―all focused on the Arab world.  It appears in both Arabic and English and is a necessary and useful reference for anyone interested and engaged in the scholarship of this part of the world.

 “Al-Abhath participates in knowledge production about the region, from the region. The journal adheres to the highest standards of peer-reviewed journals and contributes to scholarship on the Arab and Islamic world in English and Arabic,” said Dr. Bilal Orfali, co-editor of al-Abhath.

Every article is sent to international reviewers and selected editors copyedit the article in several drafts. Peer-reviewed academic journals in the Arab world are indeed few, and al-Abhath stands out among them.

“According to many scholars in the field of Arabic and Islamic Studies, al-Abhath is the most prestigious academic journal that attests to the distinguished status of the American University of Beirut (AUB) in the field,” added Dr. Orfali.
Dr. Ramzi Baalbaki, co-editor of al-Abhath, emphasized the journal’s leading role by stating that “This publication is a point of references for academics in the region. The journal is witnessing a revitalization as we aim to sustain and further energize this platform of knowledge.”

The latest issue, a double volume, has just come out and includes nine articles, four of which are in English and the rest in Arabic. Contributors to this issue come from all over the world: the Middle East, North Africa, and the United States are examples. The articles take up various topics, such as Sufism and Hadith; al-Niffarī and his mawāqif experience; and the social, religious, and cultural roles of al-Quds during the second ʿAbbāsid, Ṭūlūnid, and Ikhshīdid periods. One article investigates the prose poem in Arabic and the relationship between the poetic text and photography; another article concentrates on the Nobel- Prize-winning author Agnon and Freudian psychoanalysis. Yet a third article deals with sources of Saudi law and legal documentation.   

Among the articles in Arabic are ones covering the lexical meanings of words in the Arabic language, and the importance of ibdāl to modern linguistics.
The volume also includes seven book reviews on an array of topics, mostly dealing with Arab and Middle Eastern Studies.

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