Department of Middle East Languages

Today’s Department of Middle East Languages of MGIMO-University is the educational, scientific and structural successor to the Arabic studies Department founded in 1871–1872 at Lazarev’s Institute of Orient Languages.

The Department has preserved the tradition of the Russian school of Arabic and Orient studies and successfully developed it to a new level. In 1920 Lazarev’s Institute of Orient Languages was reorganized to the Central Institute of Live Orient Languages, and in 1921 — to the Moscow Institute of Orient Studies. In 1954 it was united with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations by the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Every year the Department graduates approximately 20–25 bachelors and masters in international relations specializing in Arabic studies, which substantially contributes to the number of qualified experts-orientalists who work in international, political, economic, law, media and scientific spheres both in Russia and abroad.

Since the moment the Department was established in 1954 the Turkish language has been taught by its lecturers recognized for their high level of theory and practice qualifications and distinguished for combining academic in its contents and creative in its form approaches in teaching Turkish, bringing to life Russian academic practices and MGIMO traditions.

Since mid-1970s Hebrew has been taught by the Department’s lecturers as well. In 1995 a Turkic language sector has been established within the Department offering Turkic languages such as Azerbaijani (since 1995), Turkmen and Uzbek (since 2000) for studying.

Head of the department

Department of Middle East Languages

Andrey Shtanov, PhD


+7 495 229-38-73 (inner 13-60)
Room: 3102