Carnegie Mellon University

Zeinab Ibrahim

Zeinab Ibrahim

Teaching Professor, Carnegie Mellon-Qatar

Department of Modern Languages, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Education City – Qatar Foundation, P.O. Box 24866, Doha, Qatar


I joined Carnegie Mellon University after more than twenty years of teaching all skills, all levels and many content courses at the American University in Cairo, Georgetown town University, Washington, D.C. and Middlebury College. My experience included many international activities as being the President of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic (AATA), the Executive Director of the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) and many other positions. The main attraction for me to teach at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMUQ), aside from being a very prestigious university was that it was offering Arabic for the first time. A new experience I looked for.

Teaching is a continuous process of learning on the side on the instructor as well. A professor is a life time student who should not stop learning till the end of one's career. The most important aspect in teaching is that students learn. We provide them with the tools by which their learning would become continuous inside and outside of the classroom since most of the learning takes place outside the classroom.

Research is the heart of teaching. It provides professors with deep insights in many issues related to teaching and also keep the professor update with the field. All my publications are actual research. The research questions I tried to answer were always points raised during the classrooms. Moreover, they were points that had literature gap in the Arabic sociolinguistic field which is directly related to teaching Arabic as a native or foreign language.

Supervising MA theses is important activity that enriches the students' knowledge as well as the supervisors and readers. It reflects the ongoing desire to deep knowledge and extending this knowledge to others. The many theses I have supervised have definitely added to me as a professor.


Ph.D., Georgetown University

Recent Work


  • Ibrahim, Zeinab, Beyond Lexical Variation in Modern Standard Arabic. London: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, April 2009.
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab and Sanaa Makhlouf (Editors). Arabic Teaching and Linguistics in an Age of Globalization. Cairo: AUC Press, 2008.
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab, Sabiha Aydelott and Nagwa Kassabgy (Editors).   Perspectives in Contrastive Studies. Cairo: AUC Press, spring 2004.
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab, Sabiha Aydelott and Nagwa Kassabgy (Editors). Diversity in Language, Linguistics, and Teaching: Arabic and English. Cairo: AUC press, November 2000.


  • Ibrahim, Zeinab & Mohab Attia. “Egyptian Native Speakers’ Awareness on the Relatedness of Varieties: The Case of Arabic.” in Language and Knowledge in Middle Eastern Societies. London: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, forthcoming, September, 2010.
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab. “Cases of Written Code-switching in Opposition Egyptian newspapers” in Bassiouney, Reem (Editor).   Arabic of the Media. Leiden: Brill, April, 201(23-45).
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab. "Language Teaching & Technology" in Ibrahim, Zeinab and Sanaa Makhlouf (Editors). Arabic Teaching and Linguistics in an Age of Globalization. Cairo: AUC Press, 2008(16-44).
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab. "Lexical Variation in Modern Standard Arabic" in The Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics (EALL). Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2008 (13-21).
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab. “Borrowing in Modern Standard Arabic” in Innovation and Continuity in Language and Communication of Different Language Cultures 9. Edited by Rudolf Muhr. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2006 (235-260).
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab and Jehan Allam. "Heritage Students: Past, Present and   Future" in Handbook for Arabic Language Teaching in the 21st Century.  Edited by Kassem Wahba, Zeinab Taha and Liz England. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, 2006 (437-446).
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab. "Polysemy in the Arabic Dialects" in Investigating Arabic.  Edited by Alaa Elgibali. Leiden: Brill Publishers, January 2005 (51-64).
  • إبراهيم , زينب . " الدلالات و التداعيات الثقافية و علاقاتها بالقراءة للفهم " في العربية : أبحاث لغوية و اجتماعية و تربوية . تحرير : علاء الجبالي و السعيد بد وي . القاهرة : دار غريب . 2002 من 179-188
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab. “Myths About Arabic Revisited.” Al-Arabiyya 33 (2000): 13-27. 
  • Parkinson, Dilworth and Zeinab Ibrahim. "Testing Lexical Differences in Regional Standard Arabics" in Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XII. Edited by Elabbas Benmamoon. Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1999 (183-202). 
  • Ibrahim, Zeinab and Deborah Kennedy. “Figurative Language in the Speech Patterns of Egyptians and Americans” in Understanding Arabic. Editor: Alaa Elgibali. Cairo: AUC Press, 1996 (181-209).

Courses Taught

For Native Speakers of Arabic

  • Business Arabic
  • Literature and culture
  • Readings in Islamic History

For Non-Native speakers

  • Elementary Arabic I & II
  • Intermediate Arabic I

Department Member Since