Faculty and Staff

To ensure the success of the Arizona Arabic Flagship, engaged and collaborative Arabic faculty work closely with a well-trained instructional team of instructors, tutors, TAs, and peer language partners. The extensive experience and efforts of the faculty and staff work to build rigorous, coherent, and supportive, structured, semi-structured and unstructured learning environments that develop professional-level Arabic. The Academic Director, Dr. Shiri, ensures that Flagship scholars receive the highest level of instruction and support. 

Faculty and Staff

Riyad Al-Homsi's picture

Riyad Al-Homsi

Arabic Language Instructor
Riyad Alhomsi is a third year PhD candidate at the SLAT program (Second Language Acquisition
& Teaching) at the University of Arizona. He is also an instructor of Arabic language at the Middle
Eastern and North African Studies department at the University of Arizona. Previously, Riyad
taught English at public and private universities in Syria from 2003-2011 and at the University of
Arizona in 2013. From 2011-2013, he taught Arabic language at Manhattan College and Lehman
College in NYC. He is currently teaching Arabic language at the University of Arizona. His
research interest is technology integration and its effects on students' motivation, autonomous
practices and language gains.
Muhammad Al-Khudair's picture

Muhammad Al-Khudair

Arabic Language Instructor & Flagship Arabic Tutor

Previous Work ExperienceTeaching assistant of Arabic at the University of Arizona 2010-2014; English language instructor for Kalamoon University, Syria, 2006-2008; English language teacher, Syrian Ministry of Education, 2002-2005; English language teacher for a private language schools for more than two years; Sworn-in translator.

EducationMaster’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies and B.A. in English/Arabic Translation

Mohamed Ansary's picture

Mohamed Ansary

Arabic Language Instructor

Mohamed Ansary is currently a lecturer of Arabic as a Foreign Language at the University of Arizona. He has been participating in programs for teaching Arabic in Egypt and abroad since 2007. In 2009 and 2010, Ansary worked at the Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS), a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. In 2008 and 2009 he worked for Concordia Language Villages, Concordia College, where he still collaborates annually with its workshops for k-12 teachers of Arabic in the USA. His area of interest in these workshops is: application of 21st century skills to the Arabic language classroom, assessment of functional abilities of Arabic language learners, using technology into the classroom, teaching culture as a fifth skill and how to integrate it into the classroom.His research interests include social media, instructional technology in the AFL classroom and integrating culture into the classroom.

Blog: http://mohamedansary.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mohamedansary72 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mohamedansary72

Hicham Assaoui's picture

Hicham Assaoui

Arabic Language Instructor
Hicham Assaoui is currently a PhD student in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
program with a minor in pedagogy and cognitive science. He is also a graduate teaching assistant in
Arabic at the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies. His research interests include,
but are not limited to: Acquisition of Arabic as a second language, teaching Arabic as a foreign
language, language pedagogy, Arabic dialects, bilingualism, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and
sentence processing.
Genliscia Edwards's picture

Genliscia Edwards

Arabic Special Programs Coordinator
Ahmad Ismail's picture

Ahmad Ismail

Arabic Language Instructor
Ahmad Ismail is from Egypt and teaches Arabic as a Foreign Language in MENAS. Ahmad is a
PhD student in SLAT (Second Language Acquisition and Teaching) at the University of Arizona.
Before joining the U of A, Ahmad taught Arabic at the French Cultural Center in Egypt and at
Leiden University in the Netherlands. Ahmad has an M.A. in applied linguistics from The
American University in Cairo (AUC). Ahmad’s research interests include sociocultural approaches
to SLA, corpus linguistics, and heritage language pedagogy. Ahmad speaks English, German,
French, Spanish, and Italian at an advanced level, Dutch, Hebrew, and Japanese at an intermediate 12 Level.
Outside of academia, Ahmad likes playing the piano and hiking. I also enjoy practicing
mindfulness and Arabic calligraphy.
Charles Joukhadar's picture

Charles Joukhadar

Arabic Language Instructor

I am a third-year Ph.D. student in Arabic Linguistics at the Department of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona, minoring in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT). I have been teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language in a number of American universities over the last eight years. My work experience includes teaching MSA and Levantine Arabic at all levels, in addition to a class on Arabic Grammar and Composition. I currently work as Assistant to the Flagship Program Director, coordinating different levels and sections, and organizing cultural activities. My research interests are: language variation and change, and using technology to enhance language learning and intercultural competence.

Mahmoud Shaaban Abdelsalam Azaz's picture

Mahmoud Shaaban Abdelsalam Azaz

Assistant Professor of Arabic Language & Linguistics and Flagship Arabic Instructor

Dr. Mahmoud Azaz has just received his Ph.D. with Distinction from the Second Language Acquisition & Teaching (SLAT) Program at the University of Arizona in August 2014. He is an applied linguist and a researcher-practitioner whose research focuses on Arabic second language acquisition and pedagogy, Arabic verb morpho-semantics, Arabic psycholinguistics, Arabic historical sociolinguistics and translation studies. Two publications from his dissertation on the acquisition of Arabic and English noun phrase configurations are going to be under consideration very soon in the journals of Al-Arabiyya and Foreign Language Annals. He is also a professional bi-directional translator of Arabic and English, and a book translation manuscript (from English into Arabic) by Mahmoud is currently in press. In 2012, he received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award at the University of Arizona. In 2013, he received the Second Language Research Forum (SLRF) Top Proposal Award. Before joining the University of Arizona, Mahmoud taught at Cairo and Ain Shams University in Egypt and at California State University in Chico. 

Dr. Sonia Shiri's picture

Dr. Sonia Shiri

Academic Director of the Arizona Arabic Flagship Program

Dr. Sonia Shiri is Assistant Professor, Middle East Language Programs Coordinator and Academic Director of the Arabic Flagship Program at the University of Arizona.  Prior to joining MENAS, Dr. Sonia Shiri coordinated the Arabic Program at the University of California, Berkeley, taught Arabic at Oxford University and held a Research Fellowship at the Center for Women and Gender at Stanford University. From 2009-2012, she acted as Senior Academic Director of the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), overseeing curriculum development, program administration, and teacher training in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Oman.  During 2002-2005, she served as the Academic and Outreach Coordinator for the Berkeley Language Center. In 2007, Dr. Sonia Shiri received UC Berkeley’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of Graduate Student Instructors” then CALICO’s “Access to Language Education Award” in 2008.