Nariman Moustafa traveled all the way from her native Egypt to help teach Arabic at the University of Louisville as part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program.
The program places early career educators as foreign language teaching assistants at U.S. colleges and universities with an objective of improving U.S. students’ foreign language abilities and knowledge of other countries. In addition to performing teaching duties, FLTAs engage in coursework, conduct language and cultural activities in their host communities, and improve their English language skills and knowledge of the United States.
Moustafa is an assistant lecturer at Misr University in Cairo and holds a master’s in Media and Mass Communications, a rare degree among Egyptian Fulbright scholars. Back home, she is working on a dissertation investigating the effects of social media on the children of immigrants. She selected UofL from a list of five possible institutions, citing her love of country music as one reason she chose to make the journey to Kentucky.
Moustafa said she has been inspired by many professors, including her Fulbright advisor, Arabic program coordinator Khaldoun Almousily; Spanish professor Gregory Hutcheson, who serves as her academic advisor; Classical and Modern Languages department chair Alan Leidner; and English professor Hristomir Stanev.
“I hope to apply everything I learn here back home, from writing syllabi to making students love the course,” she said.
Living and working here has been a horizon-broadening experience for Moustafa, but she said she will also walk away from it with a new appreciation for her own country.
“When I got here, part of me was happy to be in the U.S. and learning something new, but also part of me acknowledged that Egypt is good, Egypt is great,” said Moustafa. “I will come back thinking I’m actually proud to be an Egyptian.”