Dr. Eman Saadah – Program Director

Dr. Eman Saadah is Director of the Less Commonly Taught Languages Program. She is also the Director and Coordinator of Arabic and a lecturer of Linguistics at the University of Illinois. Dr. Saadah earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Illinois in 2011. She has over eight years of experience in teaching Arabic and has been placed on the University of Illinois List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent for the past seven years. In addition to teaching a variety of semester-based courses, she has also taught summer intensive classes at the Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World [SILMW] and served as a member of its organizing committee for the past three years. Her research interests are in the field of Arabic, applied linguistics, and phonetics and phonology. Specifically, her work focuses on investigating and comparing the language acquisition of heritage speakers of Arabic and that of second language learners. 

Instructor and staff of 2018 program

Zainab Hermes – Instructor

Zainab is a Ph.D. student of linguistics. She has taught elementary and intermediate Arabic and has been listed among the UIUC teachers ranked as excellent by their students. She has also taught in the intensive summer program SILMW. Zainab’s research focuses on articulatory and acoustic phonetics. She is currently the Graduate Assistant of the Less Commonly Taught Languages Program. 


Sanah Al-Tayeb – Resident Assistant

Sanah  is a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in Economics, and pursuing minors in Arabic and French. She has committed to mastering the language as she strives to become a lawyer, focusing on international human rights, with an emphasis on Middle Eastern politics.


Younis Ramahi – Resident Assistant

Younis is a Junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, pursuing a major in communication and a minor in Arabic. He was born in Jordan, where he finished most of his early schooling, he has great passion for the Arabic language and is constantly pursuing to learn more. He is full of curiosity and excitement to see where his career will take him and how it will bond him with others.  Email:

Khadija Motan – Program Assistant

Khadija is a senior at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and is majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology, with a minor in chemistry. After graduation, she hopes to go to a Physician Assistant Program to pursue her passion of becoming a PA. She started taking Arabic Language and culture classes at the University, because she believes that it is extremely important for medical professionals to be culturally competent to provide good care to their patients. She hopes that her knowledge of the Middle East, its culture and language will help her connect with her patients and global communities in her future endeavors.


Anastasia Chernetskaya – Graduate Assistant

Anastasia Chernetskaya has received her MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Bradley University. She is currently a MATESL student at UIUC where she has been teaching ESL Academic Writing courses for Graduate students for two years. She has also taught ESL to learners of various age and levels in Russia, as well as Russian Language and Literature in the United States while being on her Fulbright Scholarship.



For a complete list of SILMW instructors and staff, please our SILMW website