Kerstin Wilsch, Ph.D., Director of the School in Jordan
Kerstin Wilsch has spent many years in the Middle East and North Africa in a variety of academic positions. Her Ph.D. is in Arabic Language and Translation, from the University of Leipzig. For the four years prior to becoming the Director of the program in Jordan, Kerstin was living in Jordan, working as the Coordinator of the Translation Section at the German-Jordanian University in Amman, where she also served as acting Vice Dean. Before coming to Jordan, she was at the German University in Cairo for two years, and from 1999 to 2005, she was the Coordinator of the German Department at the Ecole Supérieure Rio Fahd de Traduction at the University Abdelmalek Essaadi in Tangier, Morocco. Kerstin has also taught Arabic at the University of Oxford for three years, and spent some time early in her career in Yemen.
Elsa Belmont Flores, M.A., Assistant Director of the School in Jordan (In-coming, fall 2016)
Elsa is from Mexico City. She completed her MA degree in Arabic Language and Pedagogy at Middlebury College's Arabic School in the summer of 2015. Between 2012 and 2014, Elsa served as the Teaching Assistant for the Arabic program at Middlebury College, where she was in charge of the department's cultural program, extracurricular activities, and the Arabic House. Elsa has experience living in Mexico, Wales, Egypt, and Jordan, and loves to travel, play Badminton, and read. She began working with the School in Jordan in the fall of 2014 as a Resident Coordinator, and she thoroughly enjoys helping students settle in and discover Jordan.
Mohammad Alabbadi, B.A., Resident Coordinator of the School in Jordan.
Mohammad graduated from the University of Jordan in 2012 with a double major in English and German Language. In his third year of study, he spent a month in Berlin, Germany for an intercultural language course. After his graduation he started working for the Language Generation Center in Amman, assisting local and foreign students. Since his university years, Mohammad has regularly volunteered in the fields of culture and education. He is eager to meet the new students of the Middlebury program and looks forward to helping them have a wonderful time in Jordan.
Emily Goldman, B.A., Resident Coordinator of the School in Jordan
Emily received her B.A. in Development Studies and Middle East Studies from Brown University in 2014. Emily was a student of the Middlebury School in Egypt during her undergraduate studies, where she completed research on cultural diplomacy and rap. Emily first moved to Amman in 2014 and has been based in Jordan since, working for humanitarian aid organizations and a local youth arts initiative called Studio 8. Emily has also lived in Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay, Mali, and Senegal, and is passionate about using the arts as a way to bridge cultural difference. She is thrilled to join the School in Jordan and looks forward to helping students integrate into their host community and to facilitating cross-cultural learning experiences for all involved in the program.
Nadia Al Assaf, MA, Instructor, Modern Standard Arabic
Nadia received her BA in Arabic and MA in Teaching Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Jordan (UJ). She worked at the UJ Language Center as a part time lecturer since 2009 until 2014, when she became a full-time lecturer. Nadia began working with the Middlebury program in fall 2011, teaching MSA and Colloquial Arabic. She is also part of the Middlebury team working on designing a comprehensive colloquial Arabic curriculum. Nadia has published three research papers and presented in conferences for the teaching of Arabic as a foreign language at UJ in 2014 and 2015. She is a certified ACTFL "OPI" (Oral Proficiency Interview) tester.
Abeer Dababneh, Ph.D., Instructor, Gender Studies
Upon graduation with a Ph.D in Gender Studies from the University of Leicester in England, Abeer Dababneh began teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses at the Women's Studies Center, and the Faculty of Law at the University of Jordan. She concentrates on issues of democracy and human rights, Jordanian constitutional law, women and law, and women's political participation. Regarding research, Dr. Abeer’s research focuses on human rights issues in general and women's legal rights in particular. She is a member in the Jordanian Bar Association, AMNESTY International, the Jordanian Higher Council for Science and Technology, the Jordanian Higher Council of Youth, the Arab Women Legal Network, and the Legal Committee at the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW). Currently, Dr. Abeer is working on translating a number of books on gender and feminism.
Nour Afaneh, MA, Instructor, Modern Standard Arabic & Colloquial Arabic
Nour received her BA in Arabic and her MA in Teaching Arabic Language to Foreign Learners from the University of Jordan. She has worked at the University of Jordan’s Language Center as a lecturer since 2012. Nour began working with the Middlebury program in the fall of 2013 teaching Colloquial Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic. She is currently working toward becoming a certified ACTFL OPI tester.
Khetam Al-Wazzan, MA, Instructor, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)
Khetam received her BA in Arabic and her MA in Teaching Arabic Language to Foreign Learners from the University of Jordan where she has been working in the Language Center as an instructor of Arabic since 2008. Khetam began working with Middlebury program in the fall of 2011 teaching MSA and Colloquial Arabic. She is currently working on obtaining OPI examiner certification.
Dalal Al-Assaf, MA, Instructor, Modern Standard Arabic & Colloquial Arabic
Dalal received her BA in Arabic and her MA in Teaching Arabic Language to Foreign Learners from the University of Jordan. She has worked at the University of Jordan’s Language Center as a lecturer since 2011. Dalal has also worked at the Columbia University Middle East Research Center every summer term since summer 2010. She began working with the Middlebury program in Fall 2013, teaching Colloquial Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic. She is currently working toward becoming a certified ACTFL OPI tester.
Samar Muhareb, Instructor, Refugee and Forced Migration Studies
A human rights activist at heart, Samar Muhareb is the co-founder and Director of ARDD-Legal Aid. She works in the field of human rights with the vision of increasing access to justice for all in Jordan and the wider MENA region. She graduated with a Law Degree and a Masters in Human Rights and Development from the University of Jordan. Samar has worked extensively in the human rights field, beginning by providing services to refugees in the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. During the Iraq war in 2003 she was part of the effort that established the NGOs Coordination
Ayesha Sartawi, LLM, Instructor, Refugee and Forced Migration Studies
Ayesha received her BA in law from the University of Jordan, where she took a lead role in the Anti-Human trafficking clinic and the Iraqi Refugee Assistance project. She represented the University of Jordan in the Jean-Pictet competition on International Humanitarian law (IHL), and attended the San Remo IHL course. Ayesha interned, and later worked, with several units of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Amman. She completed her LLM degree in Public International Law at the Queen Mary University of London, where she specialized in International Human Rights Law, International Law of the Rights of the Child, and International Law of Armed Conflict.
Rasha Jalees, MA, Instructor, Modern Standard Arabic
Rasha Jalees received her BA and MA degrees in Arabic Literature from the University of Jordan. Between 2010 and 2012, Rasha worked as an editor for Ad-Dustour Newspaper. In 2012, she began teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language at the Jordan Language Academy and the Modern Language Centre until 2015, when she became a part-time lecturer at the University of Jordan's Language Center. Rasha began working with the Middlebury program in the Fall of 2016 as an MSA teacher and is also a member of Kulimun, a project that develops strategies and curricula for Arabic teaching at schools.
Balqees Al-Noubni, MA, Instructor, Media Arabic
Balqees completed her MA degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Jordan in 2007. She currently teaches Media Arabic at the Middlebury School in Jordan. Balqees has also worked with other educational and research organizations such as American Council for Oriental Research, and the Qasid Institute and International Studies Abroad where she taught MSA and Colloquial Arabic. In 2009-2010 Balqees obtained Fulbright grant (FLTA) to teach Arabic at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. Before that she had been a public school English teacher in Jordan and a part time lecturer at the University of Jordan.
Maryam Tulic, MA, Instructor, Intro to Contemporary Political Issues
Maryam completed her MA degree in Journalism and Contemporary Media from the University of Jordan. Since 2014, Maryam has taught Arabic as a foreign language and specializes in teaching Arabic Media. Starting Fall 2016, Maryam has been teaching Introduction to Political Issues with Middlebury. She enjoys journalism and media and continues her work as an independent video journalist and blogger.