I am trying to work with Arabic and English texts in the same buffer. They don't have to be in the same paragraphs.

A text like والإكرام و نوافج is shown as separate letters.

Contrary to English, in Arabic, the letters should change the form depending on their position (beginning, middle or end). I see the individual: و ا ل إ ك رام و ن وا ف ج.

Emacs recognizes that the Arabic text is left-to-right though. The backspace key deletes the last logical letter, that is,the letter to the right of the cursor.

  • What Emacs version are you using, and what font are you using? Does it happen when you start up Emacs without your init file (from the command line: emacs -Q)?
    – Dan
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 14:12
  • @Dan: Emacs 24.3, Courier monospace font, it happens without the .emacs too.
    – P. Ajrem
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 17:12
  • @Dan: if it helps, gedit has no problem connecting the letters, and it's using the fixed width Ubuntu mono font.
    – P. Ajrem
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 17:26
  • Dejavu sans mono (Linux) on monoco (OS X) both do Arabic correctly for me.
    – Dan
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 21:06
  • Can enabling or disabling auto-composition-modehelp?
    – Name
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


I found a solution.

1st run (print (font-family-list)) and get a full list of all fonts. Pick an installed Arabic font. In my case it was "clearlyu arabic".

Add this line to the .emacs file:

(when window-system (set-fontset-font "fontset-default" '(#x600 . #x6ff) "clearlyu arabic"))

Change the font name at the end to the name of the font you have installed.

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