Associate Teaching Professor of Arabic • Arabic Language Coordinator

Wednesdays 10 am-12 pm and by email appointment

Hello, and thanks for visiting my page!

Social life of languages, particularly Arabic, is very intriguing to me. I am interested to understand the dynamics of language use as a means of communication, and I am working on finding ways to facilitate learning Arabic as a foreign language.

Before coming to CU Boulder in 2015, I taught Arabic language and translation at The American University in Cairo, Leiden University in The Netherlands, and The International Language Institute (IH-Cairo). I also have a professional experience in translation, machine translation, and publishing.

I did my PhD project with Tilburg University in The Netherlands. The study looked at the effects of globalization and superdiversity on Arabic cross-country communication. More specifically, it explored the linguistic and semiotic resources used by Arabs on a pan-Arab TV show and investigated the relationship between this usage and identity in The Arab world.

*Winner of The Best Should Teach Gold Award of 2019.
*ASSETT Faculty Fellow 2019-2020.
*Nominated for Excellence in Teaching with Technology, 2018.
*Faculty Celebration Magazine Mention, Center for Humanities & the Arts, CU Boulder.
*Founder of Qahwa Arabi Platform.

Publications and Presentations: 

  • De Ruiter, J. & Attwa, M. (2021). Allah, Allah, Allah: The Role of God in the Arab Version of The Voice. Religions 12:412. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12060412 Presented at MESA Conference, 2021.
  • Co-panelist, "Online Games and Activities for Language Learners", hosted by CU ALTEC, Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
  • Attwa, M. (2020). Arabizi: A Writing Variety Worth Learning? A Revisit. Taha, Z. (eds.) Revisiting Levels of Contemporary Arabic in Egypt. Essays on Arabic Varieties in Memory of El-Said Badawi. AUC Press. Cairo.
  • Attwa, M. (2019). Structuring Arabic inter-dialectal Communication: pan-Arab popularity and media. Presented at: MESA Conference, New Orleans.
  • Attwa, M. (2019). On the Way to Understand the Pan-Arab Voice. Miller C. et al (eds.). Studies on Arabic Dialectology and Sociolinguistics: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of AIDA held in Marseille from 30th May – 2nd June 2017. Aix-en-Provence: Institut de recherches et d’études sur les mondes arabes et musulmans. Collection: Livres de l’IREMAM. https://books.openedition.org/iremam/4449
  • قضية الألفباء: التاريخ والنظام الكتابي والصعوبات وكيفية التغلب عليها في تدريس اللغة العربية كلغة أجنبية
  • The Arabic Alphabet: the history, the writing system, and the challenges in teaching Arabic as foreign language and suggestions to overcome themPresented at: The Joint ATS-BRISMES conference “Mapping Arabic Heritage”, The American University of Sharjah, 14-16 April 2014.
  • Muhammed, R., Farrag, M., Elshamly, N., & Abdel-Ghaffar, N. (2011, February).Summary of Arabizi or Romanization: The dilemma of writing Arabic texts. JīlJadīd Conference, Austin, TX. Retrieved from http://www.jil-jadid.org/past-meetings/jil-jadid-2011/

Research Interests:

Sociolinguistics, language choice, e-Arabic, identity and ideology, and language pedagogy.