Faculty & Administration



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.

Kerstin has published a number of translations, in a variety of literary genres, from Arabic to German, and has worked several years for Lisan magazine. Her most recent translation is a collection of short stories by Mariam Nasser titled Café der Engel (2009).

Udai AbuLteaf, M.A., Assistant Director of the School in Jordan

Udai is from Syria. He completed his MA degree in Arabic Language and Pedagogy at Middlebury's Arabic School in the summer of 2016. In order to expand his knowledge about the cultural dynamics of globalization and the intersecting dynamics of regimes of oppression, he then finished an MA in Cultural Studies at SOAS in London. The experience of crossing borders, meeting people and navigating institutions fuels Udai's interest in education and pedagogy as a space for promoting cultural awareness, advocating for human rights, and struggling for social justice. This mission guides his passion for connecting communities and learners with grassroots dynamic to facilitate collective solidarity and horizontal structures of governance. The journey of personal and academic growth is an interactive as well as a reflective one, and he is not only excited about helping students navigate this informative process, but he is also looking forward to learning from them.

Nadia Zuheir, B.S., Resident Coordinator of the School in Jordan

Nadia graduated from Jordan University of Science and Technology in 2013 with a major in Industrial Engineering. Having been active in volunteer organizations, she went on to work at a refugee aid organization after finishing her studies, serving as an assistant engineer for an urban shelter project in northern Jordan. During this time, Nadia became acquainted with the human rights world, and began exploring the development side of it. This work led her to shift the focus of her work to woman's rights, a cause close to her heart. She took on several roles at a Euro-Med feminist organization, finishing as a coordinator for a program that promoted gender-sensitive laws and constitutional reforms for Syria. She is now excited to join the Middlebury team in Jordan, to share her experiences and help students make the most of their journey through cultural and linguistic immersion. Nadia is interested in issues of social change and environmentalism. She enjoys doing yoga, as well as caring for stray cats.

CJ Sutherland, B.A., Resident Coordinator of the School in Jordan

CJ received his B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University in 2016.  Following graduation, he lived and studied in Amman as a CASA Fellow for the 2016-17 academic year.  CJ has also spent time studying and interning in southern France and Belgrade.  He is an avid traveler and an enthusiastic adventurer who enjoys hiking, photography, and puns.  CJ was a student of the School in Jordan in 2014 and is super excited to be back as a Resident Coordinator!

Zain Alabweh, B.A., Resident Coordinator of the School in Jordan (Outgoing, Summer 2018)

Zain graduated from the University of Jordan with a double major in English and Spanish language & culture. Directly after graduation she went to work on a USAID project that focused on improving Customs procedures and Trade in Jordan. During the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academmic years, Zain "had the most amazing experience" as the Teaching Assistant for the Arabic Department at Middlebury College, and she is happy now to continue working with Middlebury, back in Jordan. She enjoys hiking, cycling and cooking, but her true passion is playing badminton, and recently squash. She looks forward to welcoming students to Jordan and sharing with them what her beautiful country has to offer.

Emily Goldman, B.A., Site Director, Jiran: The Arabic Community Action Summer

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 moved to Amman in 2014, where she worked for humanitarian aid organizations and a local youth arts studio for a number of years. She returned to the Middlebury community in 2016 to serve as Resident Coordinator for the Middlebury School in Jordan from 2016-17. Emily is currently the Site Director of Jiran: The Arabic Community Action Summer, a new Middlebury Arabic summer program that focuses on colloquial Arabic learning and challenges facing refugees/immigrants in the US by pairing Arabic students with underserved Arabic-speaking families in New Britain, Connecticut for an intensive linguistic and intercultural learning experience.



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. Dalal has an OPI certificate from ACTFL. She has published a number of academic articles in Jordanian and Arab journals, in addition to participating in multiple conferences within Jordan and abroad. Currently, she is working as the assistant to the director of the foreign students' affairs in the Language Center in Jordan.

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.

Nour Moghrabi, MA, Instructor, Contemporary Issues and Challenges of Middle East Economies

Nour Moghrabi is an expert in economic development and economic integration and inclusion of youth and women. She received her Global MBA from Lancaster University in 2014. Having worked with a number of international development agencies, she gained extensive experience in implementing economic development programs with multiple partners in government, civil society, and the private sector. Nour is currently a project manager for the EconoWin Program with German Development Cooperation, GIZ, and focuses on fostering dialog between government, civil society, academia and the private sector to ensure well-integrated solutions. Her main passion is tackling issues such as high youth unemployment, low women economic participation, local development policies, and bridging the gap between labor supply and demand in the MENA region. She is the Jordan Ambassador for the Female Wave of Change.

Peter Stavros, J.D., Instructor, Forced Migration and Refugees Studies 

Peter Nash Stavros is a Staff Attorney with the International Refugee Assistance Project, based in the Amman field office. Peter received his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. Prior to joining IRAP full time, he was a fellow at UNICEF’s Jordan Country Office in the Child Protection Section.
    At Harvard Law School, Peter was a student attorney at both the International Human Rights Clinic and the Harvard Immigration Project as well as co-director of IRAP’s Harvard Chapter. He also interned at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague; the U.S. Protection Unit at UNHCR in Washington, D.C.; the Child Protection Section at UNICEF in Amman, Jordan; and the International Program at Earthjustice in San Francisco. Peter studied at The Hague Academy of International Law, obtained a Certificate in Transnational Law from the University of Geneva, took classes at the Graduate Institute of International and Development studies in Geneva, and taught Environmental Law and Policy at Boston College.
    Peter received an Honours B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Toronto and is a fluent Arabic speaker. He enjoys good coffee, authentic travel experiences, and the outdoors.