• Sema ceremony in Istanbul

    Photo by Eric Politzer

  • Children in a fountain, Tel-Aviv

  • The Kaaba at Mecca

  • Jerusalem's Tower of David Museum

    Photo by Dustin Farrell

  • Jerusalem street scene

  • Mural in Kurdistan

  • Bedouins, in Jordan

  • Mediterranean Sea and surrounding area

What is NELC?


The NELC office will be closed due to the current situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. Staff will be working remotely during normal business hours and can be contacted via email. Please see the Harvard Guidelines for general information, and we will update this page as needed.


The Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Department (NELC) is devoted to:

  • the languages, literatures, cultures, and histories of the ancient, medieval, and modern Near East
  • the study of the Hebrew Bible, its sources in the Ancient Near East, and the history of its interpretations
  • the study of Arabic-, Turkish-, and Persian-speaking Islamic civilizations in the Near East, Africa, South Asia, and elsewhere
  • the study of Hebrew-, Aramaic-, Judaeo-Arabic, and Yiddish-speaking Jewish civilizations in the Near East, Europe, the New World, and elsewhere.