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. 

Sonia Shiri

Sonia Shiri's picture
Academic Director of the Arizona Arabic Flagship Program

Dr. Sonia Shiri is Associate 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... Read More

Sarah Blakely

Sarah Blakely's picture
Arabic Special Programs Coordinator

Genliscia Edwards
Arabic Special Programs Coordinator

Federico Guajardo
Major: Linguistics

I am currently 26 years old. I was born in Nogales, Arizona and moved to Tucson still very young. I decided to learn Arabic after doing a project about Arabic loans words in Spanish of which there are many. This sparked my interest and I started taking Arabic classes at Pima Community College. My majors are Linguistics and Middle Eastern and North African studies. Aside from Arabic my major focus in school at the moment is linguistics. I'm mostly interested in 1st language acquisition and language development early on specifically in bilinguals, after the Capstone program I hope to go to graduate school for linguistics.

Charles Joukhadar

Charles Joukhadar's picture
Assistant to the Flagship Director

Charles Joukhadar is a Ph.D. candidate 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). He has been teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language in a number of American universities over the last ten years. His work experience includes teaching MSA and Levantine Arabic at all levels, in addition to courses in Media Arabic and in Arabic Grammar and Composition. He currently works as Assistant to the Flagship Program Director, recruiting students for Flagship and following up on their academic development, as well as coordinating different Arabic course levels and sections. ... Read More

Catherine Witt