Kitab: Learning The Arabic Keyboard

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What Is Kitab?
Download Kitab!

About Kitab

Kitab is a typing tutor for the Arabic keyboard layout. It is still in development, however most of the functionality is there. It is written in the Java programming language, using Java2D for graphics and the AWT/Swing API for window construction and keyboard reading. Kitab is developed on the Linux platform (Ubuntu, currently), but should be supported on any system with a Java Runtime Environment (this means Windows and Mac). There are many planned improvements for the future including: better AI in the levels, different level formats, and prettier graphics. If you have any suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact me. However, I am a student so please understand that I cannot devote all my time to this program.


February 5, 2006

As promised a couple days ago, I have uploaded and released the new version 0.4 of Kitab. The most important new feature is the addition of levels which test your ability to type entire words as opposed to single letters. The idea is that after completing the initial 3 levels which focus on recall of key position, the user will apply that knowledge to stringing letters together and actually 'typing.' Please download the new version and test it out--let me know if you find any errors in Arabic spelling or grammar or any bugs in the software. Also, please don't hesitate to offer comments and suggestions to At version 0.4, it looks like the program is getting closer to a completely useable condition. There are still things that need to be implemented here and there, but the most important thing is that the general framework of the program is more or less complete. Check it out in the screenshots and downloads sections!

February 2, 2006

I suppose it would be good of me to give a status update. I have only been able to work on Kitab briefly in the past few weeks; however, more recently I have added some new features and improvements. One really cool one that will boost the utility of this application considerably is that there are now advanced levels which have complete words (instead of single letters) falling as well. This feature will be useful because once you start typing the word it also shows the English translation of the word! It'll help improve typing speed by forcing the player to string together the letters, it'll help vocabulary (both for those learning English and those learning Arabic), and it'll force improvement of reading skills with the time constraints. Before I can release this version I have to create a larger Word Bank so that the levels are more interesting as well as clean up a few other things here and there. If you want to add your own vocabulary to the word bank, contact me.

Expect a new release with these cool features soon. If it's been more than a couple days and you're still waiting, I may have gotten bogged down in other work and forgotten to upload the new version. If that's the case, please send me an e-mail and bug me! I won't be annoyed! My e-mail address is Until then...

December 26, 2005

What a better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a new and improved release of Kitab! I uploaded v0.3 today, which besides looking somewhat prettier, has more functionality than the last version. Levels now require a bit more skill to pass them, as accuracy has come to play a role. Some improvements to speed should be noticeable by users. More importantly, this is the first release that is actually USEABLE and should help any user get familiar with the keyboard. Of course, there is still more work to be done now that the base functionality is complete. In the works for the next release are an implementation of the different difficulty levels, better AI in deciding which letters to drop, and more quality assurance to make sure that all letters on the keyboard have been learned. Long-term, perhaps two or three releases down the line, you can hope to see new levels which teach typing words that are strung together. Please check out the version and report any problems you might find :) See the downloads section.

December 10, 2005

This is just a notice that the project is still active. I have been adding many improvements and updates in my free time from school. A lot of my time has also been dominated by the recent establishment of, which is a discussion board related to Syria and its civil society. Fret not, however. Finals for school are this week and I should be back home around the 18th. Sometime before the end of the month I will be releasing Kitab v0.3 which should be ready for users to utilize en masse.

October 15, 2005

Kitab v0.2 has been released. I've updated it to use prettier graphics for the backgrounds of the levels, and for level/difficulty selection. Three levels are currently implemented: the first is the home row, second is the upper row, third lower row, etc. There is progression within the levels. Also, the player actually dies now. Check out the downloads section. Also, there are screenshots in the screenshots section.

October 11, 2005, pm

Kitab v0.1 has been released for the sake of establishing a landmark and point of reference for the future. It is NOT by any means intended for actual use right now. Most of the basic features have been implemented. General program flow has been coded. Much more development is necessary. Check out the downloads section.

October 11, 2005

The Kitab project has just been approved on SourceForge. There is a barebones version in development right now. As soon as a few more perks have been added, the first release will be uploaded for your testing pleasure. Please do not be scared away by it--many improvements are planned and I am confident they will happen!


The following screenshots are of Kitab v0.4, released on Feb 05, 2006:
The intro screen from version 0.4

The difficulty select screen from version 0.4

The level select screen from version 0.4.

An ingame screenshot from level 3 in v0.4

A new level to test vocabulary recall and typing of words in 0.4 

Download Kitab!

  • Kitab v0.4: Released February 5, 2006. Includes the most important new feature of typing full words as opposed to single letters. Basic framework of program is complete, the next release will most likely focus on improvements to functionality, graphics, and artificial intelligence.
  • Kitab v0.3: Released December 26, 2005. Now ready for basic widespread use. One should get a good feel for the Arabic keyboard using the program now. Doesn't feel so competitive yet, but it will in the future.
  • Kitab v0.2: Released October 15, 2005. Is ready to be used by some users, though it may not be so appealing at the moment. The full keyboard (no shifted characters) is now tested in the first three levels. Difficulty is not implemented. Multi-character not yet implemented.
  • Kitab v0.1: Released October 11, 2005. Not meant for users. The JAR file is executable and includes all the source code.

  • Contact

    If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, bug reports, please do not hesitate to contact me. My name is Yaman Salahi and my email address is

    The Kitab project is graciously sponsored by SourceForge, who provide room for this webservice, a host for all the downloadable packages, and a plethora of other services viewable at the project website: Logo

    Kitab: Learning The Arabic Keyboard