Volume 32, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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In this study I examine the interplay of Islam, Arabic and intra-Asian student mobility. Specifically, through semi-structured interviews with three Indonesian male students who are pursuing their Arabic medium of instruction (AMI) degrees in Islamic Sharia at the Islamic University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia, I investigate two central questions: (1) What are the driving forces behind Indonesian Muslim students’ mobility to Saudi Arabia for pursuing their degrees in AMI? (2) How do Indonesian Muslim students perceive Arabic in general and AMI programs in particular? The findings reveal that the participants’ desire to move and pursue their AMI degrees in Saudi Arabia were charged with different expectations, objectives and agendas. At the heart of these differences lies what I term as the phenomenon among the participants. This very phenomenon refers to the ways in which Arabic (including its practice) is construed by the participants as beneficial in this world and the Hereafter; as a linguistic vehicle for sustaining Islamic identity; and as a tool through which they show their true engagement with and commitment to Islam and Islamic life. I conclude the paper with a call for serious scholarly engagement with the phenomenon in the emerging scholarship of intra-Asian student mobility within the Asian region.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Arabic; intra-Asia; Islam; medium of instruction; mobility; student
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