The heart of the Zaytuna Summer Arabic program is the faculty. Zaytuna recruits teachers who are not only deeply grounded in the Arabic language, but also effective communicators who have proven their merit in a number of pedagogical situations. A core tenet of our teaching philosophy is that knowledge resides in the hearts of humans, not in the lines of books.
Instructors for each summer are finalized in the Spring. Below, you’ll find a list of previous instructors who have taught at our Summer Arabic Intensive.
Abdullah bin Hamid Ali is a full-time faculty member at Zaytuna College who specializes in Islamic law, theology, and hadith science. A graduate of the University of al-Qarawiyin in Fes, Morocco, he is currently also a Ph.D. student at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
Dawood Yasin is the Director of Student Life at Zaytuna College. In this role, he focuses on four primary areas: Residential Life, Community Engagement, Student Development and Student Counseling. He spent four summers, from 2008 to 2011, teaching Level I Arabic at Zaytuna's Summer Arabic Intensive.
Elsa Elmahdy is the Arabic Language Coordinator in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the UC-Berkeley.
Fadi Elhin is the Program Director and an Arabic instructor at the Summer Arabic Intensive. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Jordan, in Amman, and has taught Arabic at the University of Montana and Bergen Community College. He has also taught Arabic in many other educational and community-based settings, including in the Missoula County Public Schools system in Montana.
Faraz Khan has studied the traditional Islamic sciences in Amman, Jordan. He has also served as an instructor and academic advisor at the Qasid Institute, also in Amman.
Joanna Bell completed her Master's from The Ohio State University in 2012, specializing in Arabic Language and Literature and Islamic Studies. Her research interests include Islamic Philosophy, Qur'anic studies and Arabic Teaching Pedagogy. She also enjoys reading Arabic and Persian poetry and playing the piano at home.
Usama Canon is the Founding Director of Ta'leef Collective, a community based non-profit organization focused on assisting converts to Islam and creating healthy social and sacred spaces. He has studied the Islamic sciences in the United States and abroad and has also previously served as the Outreach Director and an Arabic Instructor at Zaytuna Institute.
Yusuf Mullick graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, studying pure mathematics and Arabic. He has taught Arabic at the University of San Francisco and also taught elementary, intermediate, and advanced Arabic for three years at Zaytuna College. His academic interests include Arabic lexicography and etymology.