• Next offered 2022 Term 4 (October-December)

Date & Time:

  • This class meets on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00pm during school terms, beginning on Wednesday 19 October 2022, with 8 consecutive weekly sessions. The final class of the Term will be held on Wednesday 7 December 2022.

Time Zone equivalents:

for live-streaming Zoom Sessions from New Zealand

  • Honolulu, Hawai’i: begins Tue 18 Oct 2022, 7:30-9:00pm

  • US Pacific: begins Tue 18 Oct 2022, 10:30pm-1:00am

  • US Eastern: begins Wed 19 Oct 2022, 1:30-3:00am

  • London, UK: begins Wed 19 Oct 2022, 6:30-8:00am

  • Paris, France: begins Wed 19 Oct 2022, 7:30-9:00am

  • New Delhi, India: begins Wed 19 Oct 2022, 11:00am-12:30pm

  • Bangkok, Thailand: begins Wed 19 Oct 2022, 12:30-2:00pm

  • Singapore: begins Wed 19 Oct 2022, 1:30-3:00pm

  • Sydney, Australia: begins Wed 19 Oct 2022, 4:30-6:00pm


  • “What’s the use of stories that aren’t even true?” (Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories)

  • This course is an introduction to Arabic literature. We begin with Pre-Islamic poetry and the influence of the desert on imagery and themes of the Arabian Nights full of magic and intrigue, probably the earliest known example of magical realism. We then move to the modern novel and voices of protest to contemporary women writing overseas about the homeland they have lost and about their attempt to adapt and find a new identity. The course will challenge the stereotyping of Middle Eastern women and outline the injustices and challenges they face at home and abroad.

  • Please note that this course is offered via Zoom only and has no in-person component. You can access the live-streamed sessions and interact with the rest of the class and the teacher, or you can choose to watch the video recordings of the live sessions, which are usually available 1-2 days after each session (which allows time for our video editors to edit and post each session to the course web page).

Meet our Instructors:

Arabic & Arabic Literature Instructor Dr Leen Al - Hadban, PhD

Dr Leen Al-Hadban, is originally from Iraq, and her mother tongue is Arabic. She came to New Zealand to do her PhD in English Literature and ended up staying in beautiful Aotearoa. Leen is passionate about women’s rights, education and comparative literature, she enjoys working with learners and assisting them in their learning. She also works with Arab refugees and migrants as an interpreter/translator. She considers language diversity a significant bridge connecting people from different ethnicities and views literature and education as important tools in the fight against racism, and the progression of women’s rights. Leen teaches the Arabic Literature courses and Conversational Arabic for EarthDiverse (beginning in 2021 Term 3). When Leen is not interpreting for the Arab community in Hamilton, there is a good chance that she is hiding somewhere with a book, or getting her hands dirty doing pottery!


This course is offered as a Zoom-only course and is available via the live-streamed sessions or the posted video-recordings of each live session posted 1-2 days after each class session. The EarthDiverse Centre is located at 401 Anglesea Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton (located just north of the Hamilton Central Bus Station) (entrance is located on the left side of the building, see map). Those looking for parking for our evening classes can park just in front of the building in any of the available car parks. Daytime parking can be found in our dedicated car parks, or free 2-hour on-street daytime parking can be found just in front of Anglesea Street.

Distance Learning:

This course has distance-learning options only. Students have two options for attending our courses once they have registered:

  • Attend our live on-line classroom sessions via Zoom at the regularly scheduled day and time.

  • Watch the live-recorded class sessions at your leisure, at a time, day and place more suited to your schedule.

Distance-Learning option:

  • In addition to our in-person classes in Hamilton, our courses offer distance learning options for those unable to attend classes in-person. Live-streamed Hamilton classes are available via free Zoom software for those living outside the Waikato. Live-streaming allows you to participate fully in your own learning, ask questions of the instructor and participate fully in the same way as if you were in the physical classroom.

  • Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time.

  • Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning components will be sent after completing your registration. There are no additional fees for this service. However, distance learners will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a good quality web-camera (tablet devices and mobile phones can also access our live-streamed classes), a built-in microphone (most modern laptops have built-in microphones) or a headset with a microphone. You will also need to download and install the free Zoom software on your computer or device. Those accessing the video recordings will be able to do so with a simple web browser on any device.

Pricing options:

All prices in New Zealand dollars. Unwaged includes students, seniors and retirees.

Course curriculum:

Week by week new material will be posted throughout the duration of the course. Video recordings of each weekly session will be posted here after 1-2 days after each class.

    1. EarthDiverse Zoom instructions

    1. Pre-Islamic Poetry: The Seven Golden Odes:

    1. The Arabian Nights: Tales from A Thousand and One Nights:

    1. Modern Arabic Novel: Naguib Mahfouz and The Cairo Trilogy:

    1. Week 5: Poetry of Protest: Nizar Qabbani’s Journal of an Indifferent Woman.

    1. Week 7: Women’s rights or their absence in the Middle East: Fadia Faqir’s My Name is Salma.

About this course

  • $150.00
  • 7 lessons
  • 0 hours of video content


  • Detailed Syllabi are available at the start of each Term.

  • Any Term can be taken independently of the others, and there are no prerequisites for any of the Term courses.

  • This class has no assignments, quizzes, tests or exams.

  • Some preparation however is required for familiarising yourself with the short stories, myths and texts prior to each course session.

  • Sources for accessing and reading these are provided each week, either via PDF or web-based URL for on-line reading, downloading or printing at home.

  • You will not need to purchase any reading materials. All classes encourage questions and group discussion.

  • PDF copies of each class presentation are posted on the coursewebpage each week (along with the recorded videos) and are available for all registered participants. You are most welcome to come, sit back, relax, take part in and enjoy the discussions!

  • Guests of registered participants are welcome to attend a single session without registering.

  • Certificates of Completion for any particular Term Course or Series are available for Professional Development purposes upon request at the end of each Term or Series.


  • There are no prerequisites for this course.

Students reviews: