Biography

Areas of expertise and research interests
  • Pedagogy of language acquisition

  • Integration of technology and cultural studies into the language curriculum

  • Colonialism and post-colonialism in the Arab world

  • Conflict and peace in the MENA (Middle East-North Africa) region

  • Sociopolitical and economic roots of popular uprisings in the Arab world

  • Political Islam

  • Women's activism in the Arab world

  • Maghrebi and Middle Eastern cultural and political history

  • Islamic civilization and cultures 

  • Contemporary North African writers 

I am a native of Oran, Algeria.  My parents’ home city of Tlemcen was the birthplace of modern Algerian nationalism, and my family’s history in the struggle for Algerian independence made an impression upon me from an early age.

 

I grew up during a time of political turmoil and activism in Algeria’s post-Independence period. As a youth, I witnessed the first democratic process in the Arab world that was abruptly halted by a military coup. This environment strongly influenced my long-term academic interests and research efforts.

In response to political instability in Algeria, I moved to France and completed my studies in political philosophy. My subsequent journey to the United States brought with it a career as a language educator. I became particularly interested in the pedagogy of second language acquisition, and the intersection of culture, history and politics with content-based language learning. My interests and expertise also grew in the areas of curriculum design and language program administration.

Before joining the faculty at the Monterey Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) in 2013, I taught Arabic and French in Boston, Massachusetts at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts-Boston, Smith College, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College and other educational institutions.  My classes have dynamically engaged students in research, writing and discussion of history, religion, literature, media, cultural traditions and current affairs in the Arab world.

Along with my teaching responsibilities, I have actively worked to introduce campus communities to Arabic culture, and to heighten awareness of critical political and social issues in the Arab world. Towards this goal, I have organized a range of events including guest lectures, cultural expositions, concerts, festivals, film programs, panels and a conference on Africa.

Through my work as a language educator, program coordinator and historian, I aim to contribute to a climate of increased intercultural understanding and tolerance.

My current research focuses on Algerian women’s role in the anti-colonial struggle and post-colonial period. I am also developing a content-based language curriculum series titled Changes in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Region. The first volume is focused on the Egyptian uprising of 2011. Volume 2, under development, addresses the Syrian civil war.

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