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Section 1

Content Section 1

Our instructors and staff are committed to giving students an enjoyable and worthwhile experience at the Summer Institute for Languages of the Muslim World. In addition to teaching, our instructors organize cultural activities and give lectures on their topics that are relevant to the languages. Our instructors make the list of "Teacher's Ranked as Excellent by Their Students" every summer that SILMW has been in session. Many of our instructors have a background in Linguistics and quite a few have been teaching these langauges for numerous years.

  • Dr. Eman Saadah is Director of the Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World, Director and Coordinator of Arabic, and Senior Lecturer of Linguistics at the University of Illinois. Dr. Saadah earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois in 2011. She has extensive experience in teaching Arabic and her name has appeared on the University of Illinois List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students throughout her teaching career at Illinois. Her research interests are in the field of Arabic, applied linguistics, phonetics and phonology. Specifically, her work focuses on investigating and comparing language acquisition of heritage speakers of Arabic and second language learners. Contact her at

  • abdulkafiDr. Abdulkafi Albirini is an Associate Professor of Linguistics and Arabic at Utah State University, where he also oversees the Arabic program. His broad research interests are in first, second, and heritage language acquisition, multilingualism, sociolinguistics, and pragmatics. He teaches courses in Linguistics, Arabic Culture, and methods in foreign language research. He has led several teacher-training sessions, workshops and seminars designed for college-level language professionals. He wrote several articles about the role of social context, culture, and social factors in language acquisition. Contact him at
  • Mary Gathogo

    Dr. Mary Gathogo
    Mary Gathogo is a lecturer of Swahili at the University of Illinois. She has a PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs and a Masters in Applied Linguistics from Ohio University, Athens. She holds a B.Ed in English Language and Literature from Kenyatta University, Kenya. Her research interest is in international education, specifically the development of intercultural competence through study abroad and foreign language learning. A secondary area of research is international academic collaboration focusing on the dynamics of academic collaboration between African and Western highereducation institutions. She has taught Swahili in the US at different levels since 2009. She will be joining SILMW to teach SWAH 403/SWAH 404. Mary can be contacted at

  • josephineJosephine Elkarkafi is an Arabic Instructor at UIUC. She is consistently placed on the UIUC List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent. She has expertise in the social sciences and clinical social work. In Lebanon, she earned her Master's degree and completed coursework for the PhD at the Université Libanais (UL), the premier public research university of the Arabic-speaking world. Her thesis looked at how French colonial attempts to "liberate" Lebanese women brought about their domestication into the private sphere, which lingered on even after women's emancipatory agendas multiplied from the 1960s to today. Her current research interests include Muslim-Christian interreligious marriage and the spiritual upbringing of the children. She was the manager of the Department of Social Services at Saad Specialist Hospital. For several years, she was in charge of the social work department's policies and procedures, patient assessment, and staff management. She also served as a key member of the hospital's accreditation and re-accreditation with US, Canadian, and Australian authorities. She uses this international background to contribute to the Summer Institute for Languages of the Muslim World. Contact her at

  • Zahra DastgheibZahra Dastgheib is a native speaker of Persian (Farsi) language and an Instructor for the Persian language course in the SILMW program. She holds a MA degree in French Teaching from Azad University in Tehran, Iran. Her past experience includes teaching French to undergraduate students in Iran and teaching Persian to American youth. She can be contacted at
  • Rana SawwanRana Sawwan joined UIUC as an adjunct instructor for the Arabic program in the Spring of 2015 and then the PhD program at the College of Education in the fall of 2015. Along with her appointment as an ESL instructor at Parkland College, she has taught courses of elementary Arabic (ARAB 201 and ARAB 202) at UIUC, and has been listed among the UIUC teachers ranked as excellent by their students. Rana holds a Master degree in M.A.TESL from Linguistics Department at UIUC and a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Philadelphia University. Being raised and educated in Jordan, she has mastered Standard Arabic along with a verity of Arabic Dialects including Egyptian and Levantine. Rana is interested in investigating and comparing language acquisition of heritage speakers of Arabic and second language learners. Contact her at
  • mamdouhMamdouh Al-Ghzawi is a PhD student of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Originally from Jordan, he has taught Arabic in the Arabic Program. Contact him at

  • Zainab Hermes is a PhD student of linguistics and a TA in the Arabic Program. She has taught elementary and intermediate Arabic and has been listed among the UIUC teachers ranked as excellent by their students. She has also taught in the intensive summer program SILMW. Zainab’s research focuses on articulatory and acoustic phonetics. She can be contacted at

  • Anne LutomiaAnne Lutomia is a native of Kenya. She has been teaching Swahili courses at the elementary and varying advanced levels in the department of Linguistics at UIUC. She has also taught intensive courses in the Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World. She is a doctoral candidate in the Education Policy, Organization and Leadership department with a minor in Gender and Women Studies as well as Women Gender and Global Perspectives. She holds a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University in Minnesota and a Bachelors degree in French, Management and Education from Kenyatta University in Kenya. Her scholarship includesinternational organizational collaborations, adult learning, small nonprofit leadership, Kenyan feminisms, labor mobilityand other mothering. Her dissertation research seeks to understand how scientists collaborate internationally by looking at the case of Scientific Animations Without Borders in the US and Benin. Anne enjoys photography, music, writing poetry, West African dance, travelling, cooking and interior designing, She is a native of Kenya. She will teach SWAH 201 this year. Contact her at

  • hichamHicham Zemmahi is a native of Morocco who was born and raised in the imperial city of Meknes where he did most of his schooling. He earned a BA and MA in English at Moulay Ismail University in Meknes where he also taught English as a foreign language. He came to the United States through a Fullbrign grant to teach Arabic at Iowa State University and holds a secomd Masters from the University of Northern Iown in Organizational Communication. Hicham has been teaching classes of intermediate and beginner's Arabic since 2009 in multiple institutions in the US and Morocco, most notable at the University of Wisconsin=Madison and Middlebury-Monterey Academy and Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morcco. In the fall of 2011, he joined the PhD program in Curriculum and Isntruction and the Arabic program in Linguistics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His teaching experience amounts to 9 years, 5 of which were teaching Arabic as a foreign language. You can contact him at
  • morMor Gueye is a native of the Senegal. He is a PhD student of Education at the Universeity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a speaker of Wolof, English, French, and German, and has considerable familiarity with Arabic. Consistently listed among the teachers ranked as excellent by their students, Mor has taught several language classes including French and Wolof. He teaches Wolof at the Summer Institute for Languages of the Muslim World. His research interests include language pedagogy, curricululm design and development, English as a Second Language, and intercultural communication. He can be contacted at
  • Ozge EvcenOzge Evcen is a native speaker of Turkish and a PhD student in Curriculum and Instruction with the focus of bilingual education and sociocultural aspects of second language teaching. She earned her MA degree in Teaching English as a second language (TESL) from the University of Mississippi and a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature in Ankara, Turkey. She taught Turkish courses from elementary to advanced level in the department of Linguistics in 2014-2015 academic year and also during 2015 SILMW summer courses. She has 10 years of teaching experience totally, 3 of which were teaching Turkish as a foreign language. Her research interests are bilingual education, second language acquisition, and multiliteracies. Contact at her
  • judeJude Krushnowski is an MA student in Hispanic Languages and has served as a Teaching Assistant in both the English as a Second Language (ESL) and Spanish programs, where he has taught learners of both languages from beginner to advanced level and has been listed as among UIUC teachers ranked excellent with outstanding distinction. As a strong proponent of bilingualism and multiculturalism, he serves as a Graduate Assistant for SILMW. His research interests include listening and speech perception in second-language and heritage speakers. Contact him at