NEALA Team & Staff

Director of NEALA
Abedal-mutaleb Al-zuweiri
My role to lead, manage, teach and develop NEALA to ensure it achieves the highest possible standards of excellence in teaching, testing, and all the activities in the Academy. 

I have been over 10 years in the field of Arabic as a Foreign Language whether in teaching, training, translation, and developing programs of Arabic courses. I have an MA in Linguistics and Language Acquisition from Newcastle University and a first degree in English Language and Literature. I have obtained a Certificate of Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (CTAFL) from the School of Oriental and African Studies – University of London.

Views of teaching Arabic and about NEALA

“Teaching (and Learning) is a journey. This is how I view teaching Arabic as a Second Language. It is a journey where the participants are working in tandem, where the targets and destinations are identified, where each obstacle is looked upon as a challenge that motivates and drives towards the right destination, where the tools and equipment are prepared, where the flexibility and quick decisions are made whenever needed to keep the journey progressing, where the enjoyment and cooperation exist in every stage of journey, where participants share knowledge and information that help all the group to pass every milestone in the road with determination and comfort. Teaching is the journey where every minute is seized to fulfil the aims successfully. In this journey, I view myself primarily as a facilitator of learning, rather than as an expert who simply delivers information to students”

For all of that, NEALA and the team of NEALA are committed to make this journey of learning Arabic as enjoyable and rewarding as possible.

Administration Manager
Esraa Khalouf
From Syria, is a teacher, writer, and administration manager. She is one of NEALA’s first teachers and office administrator. 

a has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing (Short story, poetry and Film) from Newcastle University, 2011. She has studied Masters in Linguistics, Sociolinguistics at Aleppo University 2009 and Bachelors in English Language and Literature. She speaks Arabic, English, Japanese and Spanish. She administrates students and courses and teaches at NEALA.

Training course
Qualification in Teaching Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages (Feb 2017)
Children &Adult Safeguarding 2016
ICDL, Creative Writing Workshops and Basics of Journalism, Aleppo and Damascus, Syria.

In Syria, she taught ESL/EFL at Aleppo English Zoom Centre for three years. She also taught Arabic and English at EIEA, a non-profit organisation to eliminate illiteracy in Aleppo. She also tutored two Japanese students from KEIO University at Aleppo’s Japan Centre 2010/2011 using formal Arabic and lots of dictionaries. She has been teaching Reading, Writing and General Comprehension for 3 years to grade 7 and 9 at Newcastle Saudi Club. Other than teaching, she has worked for three years as a translator, proof-reader and Web content checks for a Medical company and Cotton Company in Syria. She writes occasionally to magazines and websites and practises Japanese Calligraphy as a hobby.

Views of teaching Arabic
Teaching is like acting. I come into the class, get the Hamlet and the Joker roles perfectly timed. All learners, whether young or old, are my audience. I think they should laugh and wonder equally if my class is successful. I’ve not always liked teaching, until I first tried. My mother is a teacher who worked in a public high school for over 25 years. It is 25 years of building generations’ minds and perspective of the world; she is my role model.  Arabic is my mother. Arabic is a vibrant living tongue. If you come to learn it, it’s not only language that you will learn. Culture, tradition, folklore and bewilderment are all on the list

Mrs. Shirin Almesleh
From Syria, is a teacher at NEALA Arabic school for children.

Qualification: Shirin has a B.A in Arabic Language & Literature from Damascus University, 2012.

Experience: Shirin taught Arabic back in Syria for various age groups at Syrian primary schools, as well as one to one tutoring for secondary school students.

Currently: She is teaching young children at NEALA Arabic school since September 2015.

Views on teaching Arabic
Teaching is a noble profession. It means that you have to show the others what you are capable of. The secret to successful teaching is to respect the students. My first experience as an Arabic teacher of non-native speakers of Arabic was very challenging and exciting. My first day in the classroom was nerve-wracking but delightful. I immediately knew that I had made the right decision to teach those children even though I was fully aware of the difficult road ahead. I enjoyed it because I had great students in my class. I believe that the teacher is the investigator and the finder of knowledge in the deep valleys of the students’ minds. And as soon as this knowledge is discovered, it will grow to unlimitedly.


Mrs. Dania Al-Samman 

From Syria, is a teacher at NEALA Arabic School for children.

Qualification: Dania has Diploma in Islamic Studies from Damascus, 2010.


Work experience:  Dania has volunteered in teaching Tajweed and Qur'an at the mosque for young children.

Currently: Teaching the youngest age-group children at NEALA since 2017

Views on teaching Arabic

I love teaching because I am sharing my knowledge with the future generation. At the beginning, teaching non-Arab children was a challenge for me because first they are small children , and so it is difficult to attract them to my classroom and make them enjoy the Arabic language. But I was able to accomplish my targets using the materials the school supported me with. I was able to create lots of activities and upgrade the children’s skills smoothly, and I  was able to fuse between activities and lesson so the children can be happy to come and learn Arabic in NEALA.









Mrs. Adiba Yousef
From Syria, is a teacher at NEALA Arabic school for children.

Qualification: Adiba has BA in Education – with a degree in Classroom Teaching from Al-Furat University, Syria.

Experience: She has taught Primary School children for more than 10 years in Syria (2003 – 2013) then taught in Iraq between 2013 and 2016.

Currently: She is teaching young children at NEALA Arabic school for children since Jan 2017. 

Views on teaching Arabic
I adore teaching; I would never have imagined myself in any different career! As for teaching non-speakers of Arabic, this is nothing new to me. All my years of teaching has been with non-native speakers of Arabic, and it was a great challenge to my professional abilities. I know from my experience that Arabic is not an easy language to learn and master. Thus, learning it should be based on a full understanding of the intellectual abilities of the brain, -  specifically the centre of decision-making in the brain – and the application of this understanding onto the four skills of Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing. One of the main difficulties students find in learning Arabic is the inability to differentiate between the soft/rough sound pairs in Arabic. The best thing we can do is to emphasise and re-confirm these sounds in all the four skills, and utilise the skill that the student excels in to emphasis their understanding and mastering, especially when teaching larger groups of students”



Mr. Mahammed Bouabdallah

From Aljeria, is NEALA’s Trainer and Programme Developer. Arabic Lecturer SOAS University of London. Member of The British Association for Islamic Studies BRAIS and the American Association for Teachers of Arabic AATA.

Qualification: He has an MA in Islamic Studies from London University, 2009. His mainly interested in teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language, Teaching Heritage Learners, using social media in teaching Arabic, Arabic for Special Purposes, Qur’anic Arabic, Islamic Law, Nawazil, Maqasid Sharia, Islam & Politics. He speaks Arabic, English and French.

Currently: He is a Teaching Fellow in Arabic at University College London. Arabic Examiner at Cambridge International Examinations and Coventry University. Arabic Lecturer at Middlesex University, SOAS, University of Westminster and Regent's University.