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Learning Arabic

A guides to help students of Arabic.


The WU Libraries Catalog supports non-Latin text, however, many records are only searchable in Latin characters according to the American Library Association- Library of Congress Arabic romanization tables. Diacritics are not necessary for catalog searches.

Subject heading searches will be in English, and can be limited to Language-> Arabic in Advanced Search.

Arabic Names and Titles


It is not necessary to include Al- at the beginning the "last" or "family" name of an author search, unless:

  • This is how the author is commonly referred to in English
  • The name traditionally refers to a specific group of people or tribe

If an author commonly publishes in English, they will be searchable by the name as spelled on those publications.

Example author searches: Saʻdawi, Nawal, Khalifah, Sahar, Al-Asad, Mohammad, Hakim, Tawfiq

Al- is always spelled with "L" regardless if the following letter is a sun or moon letter.


Library of Congress subject headings are used across several catalogs, including WU Libraries, HathiTrust, and Worldcat. Use subject searches in combination with keywords and language limiters (see the Books tab for example searches) in multiple catalogs for best results.