2018 Summer Instructors

Betul Acikgoz

Turkish Instructor


Betul Acikgoz completed her Ph.D. at Bogazici University in Istanbul with her dissertation examining the epistemological transformation in school textbooks in the 1910s and 1920s. Her academic interests focus on the history of education and ideas as well as the history of gender and minority rights. She published in international journals, namely History of Education and Children’s Literature, History of Education, Historica Paedagogica. She also co-authored an article on minority rights in the Early Turkish Republic published in Middle Eastern Studies Journal. Having taught courses on the Late Ottoman and Early Republican periods at colleges in Turkey, she has taught different levels of Turkish at institutions and schools in the US.


Salah Algabli

Arabic Instructor


Salah is currently a Ph.D. Student in World Language Education in UW-Madison. Salah has a master’s degree in African Cultural Studies with Pedagogy focus from UW-Madison and bachelor’s degrees in both International Economy and Legislation & Islamic Law. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Allegheny College and taught at the departments of Religious Studies and Classical Languages for two years. He is the founder of One Hand organization which aims to build a bridge between American students and Arab students to create a better understanding and appreciation for each other religions, languages, and cultures. He enjoys working on cultural and educational issues.

Mojtaba Ebrahimian

Persian Instructor


Mojtaba Ebrahimian is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona. He holds a BA and an MA in English Literature. His research interests include Iranian modern and contemporary literature and culture, as well as comparative literary and cultural studies. He has taught various courses on the histories, politics, and literature of the Middle East, as well as elementary to advanced level English and Persian language courses over the last twelve years.

Brahim Lafdouk

Arabic Instructor


Brahim is currently a graduate student in the department of African Cultural Studies with Pedagogy focus at the University of Wisconsin- Madison USA.  He holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics and advanced English Studies and a Bachelor degree in Culture and English Studies from Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the UW-Madison. He worked as a Reporter in the Arab Center for Media and Press in the UAE. Brahim has volunteered in “Tamghart” women association for three years to teach illiterate young people the basics of literacy and numeracy and is currently working as a Youth Program Coordinator in One Hand Organization, US.  Brahim is fluent in Fluent in Tamazight, Arabic, English and French. With a robust passion for experiencing other cultures, his studies have taken him abroad to work within children and young communities.

Fatemeh Mirsharifi

Persian Instructor


Fatemeh Mirsharifi is a lecturer of Persian and coordinator of the Persian program at the University of California-Berkeley. Fatemeh received her PhD in Second Language Acquisition with an emphasis on Persian from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 2007-2016 she taught Persian at the University of Madison. In addition, she has been working in APTLII (Arabic, Persian, Turkish Language Immersion Institute) since 2007. In the past, she has collaborated on a range of projects with the American Councils for International education as well as the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA). Fatemeh’s current research interests include second/foreign language acquisition and pedagogy with an emphasis on developing pedagogical materials for the foreign language classroom, motivation in language learning, and the role of learner attitudes in L2 motivation.

Jafar Shokrolah Zadeh

Persian Instructor


Jafar Shokrolah Zadeh is a PhD candidate at SUNY Binghamton in Translation Research Instruction with regional specialization in Middle Eastern Studies.  His interests extend from the philosophy of languages and translations including theoretical, historical, and philosophic thought on translated ideas and cultural intersection, to pragmatics of language pedagogy. His dissertation examines the contribution of Mirza Yusif Khan Tabrizi (1823-1895) to the intellectual and legal history of Iran, in particular with respect to sharīʿa and the reception of French Enlightenment ideas, as expressed in the Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen. By preparing a comprehensive historiography of translated ideas at the end of nineteenth and early twentieth century, he is examining how the complex Iranian political and cultural attitudes towards modernity, through the Persian Constitutional Revolution, were translated into the rule of law in the modern senseWith a new and complete annotated English translation of Yik Kalima (“The Book of One Word,” published in 1871), Shokrolah Zadeh analyzes and argues for the pivotal role of this prime work of Mirza Yusif Khan in the early 20th century pre-constitutional struggle to reform and modernize Iranian legal system and politics.

Mary Youssef

Arabic Instructor


Assistant Professor of Arabic, PhD 2012, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Arabic literature, Middle East Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Gender Studies, the Contemporary Egyptian Novel.