Instructor, Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
-- Duke University
Maha Houssami has been an advanced Arabic language instructor for the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department since 2011.
Working with Duke Service Learning and the local refugee resettlement agency Church World Service, she led a program in which Duke students studying Arabic met weekly with local refugees from Iraq & Sudan for language and cultural exchange as well as formal tutoring. Out of the program emerged INJAZ, a student-run organization at Duke that fosters connections between students and native Arabic speakers in the Triangle area. Based on this work, Ms. Houssami was the 2014 faculty recipient of Duke's Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Award. The award acknowledges meaningful integration of service experience with course content, effective collaborations with community partners, and involvement in the service-learning community at Duke.
In Spring 2014, she received a David Paletz grant to take her Shami Dialect class to Washington, D.C. to meet officials in the Jordanian and Lebanese Embassies, network with Duke Alumni in the area, and shadow Arabic-speaking employees of the World Bank and Al Jazeera.