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The Department of Middle East and North Africa was established in 2003 at the Faculty of International and Political Studies, University of Lodz, and is a leading center for Middle Eastern studies in Poland. The research pursued by Department’s academic staff encompasses a wide range of topics in the history, politics, cultures and societies of the Middle East and North Africa region, as well as Turkey and Iran. The Department fosters a supportive learning environment, offers students the opportunity to learn Arabic and gain both interdisciplinary and in-depth knowledge on the region.


Research topics

History, politics, society, and culture of the Middle East and North Africa:

1. History of Islam and Muslims

2. History of Arabic studies

3. Quranic studies

4. Policies of Middle Eastern states

5. Ideologies of the Arab world

6. The political role of Turkey

7. Islam-West relations

8. Muslims in Europe, Russia, and India

9. Jewish identity and culture

10. Religious and ethnic minorities of the Middle East

11. Christian-Muslim relations

12. Ethnic relations in the Balkans

13. Anthropology of the Middle East

14. Islam and women

15. Arab culture, media, and literature



Workshops and lectures on Islam and Muslims for different target groups, i.e. soldiers, teachers, businessmen, high school students


Prof. Marek Dziekan is the Head of the Department of Middle East and North Africa. His main research areas include the history of Islam, history of Arab culture and literature, contemporary Islam in political context, Islam-West relations, ideologies of the Arab world and anthropology of the Middle East.




Izabela Kończak is a Professor in the Department of Middle East and North Africa. Her main research areas are Muslims in Russia, the use of Russian language in Islamic religious contexts, the history of Quran translations into Russian, women in the Middle East and Muslim women in Russia, history of Arabic studies, relations between Polish and Soviet Oriental studies.




Marta Woźniak-Bobińska is an Associate Professor in the Department of Middle East and North Africa. Her main research areas are religious and ethnic minorities of the Middle East, Christian-Muslim relations, diasporas, identities, gender and globalization, Arabic culture (literature, new media), domestic and foreign policy of Middle Eastern states, especially Egypt and Syria.




Agata Katarzyna Dąbrowska is an Associate Professor at the Department of Middle East and North Africa. Scholar of the Norway Research Council, the Foundation for Polish Science and the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv). She is currently working on her book devoted to the reception of Yiddish theater in Poland in the context of Polish-Jewish relations. Her research interests include Polish-Jewish relations, Jewish identity and culture in Poland and Israel, the culture of Yiddish-speaking Jews.




Andrzej Stopczyński is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle East and North Africa. In his dissertation Andrzej explores the political thought of Musa Bigiev, Tatar philosopher and theologian. His main research interests include history, sociology and identity of the Muslim community in Russia and the development of Muslim education in Russia.




Krzysztof Zdulski is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Middle East and North Africa at the University of Lodz. His research interests include the role of Turkey in policies of great powers in the 20th century, British foreign policy towards the Middle East in the 20th century, foreign policy of the Third Reich, military history of the 20th century.











Research projects/grants (from the latest) 

1. NCN OPUS 2020/37/B/HS5/00837 – Political dimension of the violence against cities. Urbicide in Palestine – a case study; investigator: Dr hab. Marta Woźniak-Bobińska, Assistant Professor (years: 2021-2024)

2. NCN OPUS 2014/15/B/HS3/02260 – Western Maghreb in the 19th century in "Kitab al-istiqsa" by Ahmad ibn Khalid al-Nasiri; Principal investigator: Prof. Marek Dziekan (years: 2015-2018)

3. EU HERA 291827 – Defining and Identifying Middle Eastern Christian Communities in Europe; principal investigator: Dr hab. Marta Woźniak-Bobińska, Assistant Professor (years: 2013-2015)

4. NPRH 11 H 16031984 – Philological and historical commentary and critical edition of the Tafsir of the Tatars of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (first translation of the Quran into Slavic language), investigator: Prof. Marek Dziekan (years: 2013-2016)

5. NCN HARMONIA 2 DEC-2012/04/M/HS3/00564 – Byzantium and the Arabs. The Meeting of Civilizations from 6th to Mid-8th Century, investigators: Prof. Marek Dziekan, Dr hab. Marta Woźniak-Bobińska, Assistant Professor (years 2012-2015)

6. MNiSW SONATA 2 2011/03/D/HS2/00876 – Cultural context of the socio-political changes in the Arab world after 2010; investigator: Dr hab. Marta Woźniak-Bobińska, Assistant Professor (years: 2012-2015)

7. NCN N N103 398140 – The image of woman in Egyptian literature and culture, investigator: Dr hab. Marta Woźniak-Bobińska, Assistant Professor (years: 2011-2014)

8. Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Muslims in Poland and Eastern Europe. Widening the European Discourse on Islam, investigator: Dr hab. Marta Woźniak-Bobińska, Assistant Professor (year 2011)

9. European Refugee Fund 1/7/2009/EFU – Revolutions in the Arab World: political, social and humanitarian aspects; investigator: Dr hab. Marta Woźniak-Bobińska, Assistant Professor (year 2011)


Cooperation with foreign centres:

1. Algeria, University of Algiers

2. Azerbaijan, Baku State University

3. Austria, University of Salzburg

4. Czech Republic, Charles University in Prague

5. Denmark, University of Copenhagen

6. Denmark, Roskilde University

7. Egypt, American University of Cairo

8. Germany, Technische Universität Chemnitz

9. Greece, The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

10. Iran, Allameh Tabataba'i University in Teheran

11. Jordan, Ewan Institute in Amman

12. Lithuania, European Humanities University in Vilnius

13. Morocco, University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez

14. Oman, Sultan Qaboos College in Mana

15. Ukraine, National University of Ostroh Academy

16. Sweden, Uppsala University

17. Sweden, University of Stockholm

18. The United Kingdom, St Andrews University

19. The United Kingdom, Lancaster University

20. The United Kingdom, School of Oriental and African Studies in London

21. Turkey, Koç University in Istanbul

22. Slovakia, Comenius University, Bratislava


Cooperation with the national centres:

1. CERANEUM (Waldemar Ceran Research Centre for the History and Culture of the Mediterranean Area and South-East Europe) in Lodz

2. Center of Migration Studies in Lodz

3. Committee of Oriental Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, in Warsaw

4. Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, in Warsaw

5. University of Warsaw, Section of Arab and Islam Studies

6. University of Warsaw, Department of Regional and Global Studies

7. SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Middle East and Central Asia Unit

8. Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Institute of the Middle and Far East

9. Cracow University of Economics, International Relations Department

10. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Department of Asian Studies

11. University of Wroclaw, Section of Eastern Studies

12. Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Arabic Language and Culture Unit


Selected publications:

1. Dziekan M.M. 2020. Towards the Change of a Paradigm: Did Literature exist in 19th Century Morocco?, “Journal of Modern Islamic studies”, No. 2: 54-61.

2. Woźniak-Bobińska M. 2020. Modern Assyrian/Syriac Diaspora in Sweden, Department of Middle East and North Africa University of Lodz, Lodz. pp. 368.

3. Bania R., Dziekan M.M., Zdulski K. 2020. Arab Spring and the Arab World in the beginning of 21st century [in Polish], Lodz University Press, Lodz. pp. 296.

4. Kończak I. 2019, Why Do Russian Women Convert to Islam? “Studia Religiologica”, Vol. 52, No. 1: 1-13.

5. Zdulski K. 2019. Middle Eastern barrier. Turkey in the British politics from 1939 to 1942, Lodz University Press, Lodz. pp. 720.

6. Stopczyński A. 2019. Outline of the political thought of Musa Jarullah Bigiev expressed in his Alphabet of Islam, „Studia Religiologica”, Vol. 52, No. 1: s. 15-26.

7. Dziekan M.M. 2018. Ahmad Ibn Halid an-Nasiri. The 19th-century Marocco in Kitab al-istiqsa. Translation from Arabic language, introduction, edition and references, Lodz University Press, Lodz. pp. 420.

8. Woźniak-Bobińska M. 2018. Big fat Assyrian/Syriac weddings: rituals and marriage traditions among Middle Eastern Christians in Sweden, “Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies”, Special Issue: Rituals of Migration, Vol. 44, No. 16: 2684-2700.

9. Kończak. I. 2018. Polygyny Amongst Muslims in the Russian Federation, “International Studies. Interdisciplinary Political and Cultural Journal”, Vol. 21, No. 1: 141-156.

10. Woźniak-Bobińska M. 2018. Turkey [in:] Encyclopedia of Christianity in the Global South, ed. Mark A. Lamport, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham-Boulder-New York-London: 812-816.

11. Woźniak-Bobińska M., Solarz A.M. (ed.), Introduction to the foreign policy of the Muslim states in the MENA region, Scholar, Warszawa. pp. 476.

12. Paulsen Galal L., Hunter A., McCallum F., Lei Sparre S., Woźniak-Bobińska M. 2016. Middle Eastern Christian Spaces in Europe: Multi-sited and Super-diverse, “Journal of Religion in Europe”, Vol. 9, No. 1: 1-25.

13. Stopczyński A. 2018. The Arab Spring – Implications for the Russian Federation, „International Studies. Interdisciplinary Political and Cultural Journal”, Vol. 21, No 1: 127-140.

14. Woźniak-Bobińska M. 2014. Modern Assyrians and Arameans. Middle Eastern Christians in search for national identity [in Polish], Lodz University Press. pp. 374.

15. Kończak I.  2013.  From the history of the Russian Arabist studies. Kultūm Awda – Klavdia Viktorovna Ode-Vasilyeva [in Polish], Lodz University Press, Lodz, pp. 408.

16. Dziekan Marek M. 2011. Golden capital cities of the Arabs [in Polish], Czytelnik, Warszawa. pp. 306.

17. Zdulski K. 2009. The Third Reich and the World of Islam [in Polish], Ibidem, Lodz. pp. 179.

18. Dziekan Marek M. 2008. The history of the Arabic culture [in Polish], PWN, Warszawa. pp. 543.

19. Dziekan Marek M. 2007. Civilisations of Islam in Asia and Africa [in Polish], Książka i Wiedza, Warszawa. pp. 464.

20. Dziekan Marek M. 2005. Iraq. Religion and politics [in Polish], Elipsa, Warszawa. pp. 274.


Examples of courses:

• Basic Arabic. An introduction to the language (workshop for the high school students)

• Islamic culture (workshop for the high school students)

• The Syrian refugee crisis (lecture for the high school students)

• Negotiations with the Arabs (workshop for the businessmen)

• Doing business in the Middle East (workshop for the businessmen)

• Arabic-speaking students. Challenges for the academia and education sector (lecture for the teachers)

• War, conflict and violence in different religions (lecture for the soldiers)


Subjects of diploma theses are related to investigations being carried on at the Department and concern history, politics, society, and culture of the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Muslim and non-Muslim communities originating in the Middle East living in the diaspora.

Exemplary titles of BA theses:

• Political situation in Algeria and Sudan after 2010. Is it the new Arab Spring?

• When authoritarianism leads to the victory of fundamentalists. The analysis of social and political situation in Egypt

• The formation of the Islamic State and the political situation in Iraq (2001-2014)

• History and Persecution of the Chosen Christian Denominations in the Middle East. The Iraqi Example

• The situation of the Muslim community in Russia after 1989. Selected issues

• The conflict between the Tatars and Muslim immigrants in Poland

• Polish-Iraqi Economic Relations after 2003. Press Release Analysis

• Internet as a modern way of Muslim cluster in France. The analysis of French-language websites

• Emancipation of Iranian Women Presented in Marjane Satrapi’s Graphic Novels


Exemplary titles of MA theses:

• The role of the United Nations in the conflict between Kuwait and Iraq

• Consequences of Turkey’s accession to the European Union

• Chances for the establishment of the Kurdish state

• Muslim organisations in France

• The sixth pillar of Islam and its war dogs. Jihad in the context of past and contemporary events

• Women of Iran between the tradition and the modernity (Farah Diba Pahlavi and Shirin Ebadi)

• Forgotten brethren. The Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt

• Judaism in the life of the modern Israeli society

• The magic and sorcery in the Arab culture