College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Faculty > Arabic > Nesreen Akhtarkhavari

Nesreen Akhtarkhavari

  • nakhtark@depaul.edu
  • Associate Professor & Arabic Program Director
  • ​​

  • Modern Languages; Arabic
  • Faculty
  • ​​PhD, Florida State University​​​
  • 773-325-8639

Dr. Nesreen Akhtarkhavari is Associate Professor and Director of Arabic Studies. She received her degree in Law from the University of Jordan, and a Master’s in Criminology, and Ph.D. in Multi-lingual Multi-Cultural Education from Florida State University.

She is the co-author of the National Standards for Teaching Arabic in the United States. Her collection of Arabic short stories, “Between Present and Absence”, in addition to her numerous translations, granted her a membership in the Jordanian Writers Society, and the Arab Writers Association. She translated a collection of short stories about prison experience, “Walk” by Saud Qubailat (2012), “Desert Sorrows”, poems on love and politics by Tayseer Al-Sboul (2015), “You as of Today My Homeland”, a historical novel about the 1967 War from a Jordanian perspective by Tayseer al-Sboul (2016), “Love is My Savior” a collection of Rumi’s Arabic poems (2016), “The Cat Who Taught Me How to Fly”, a prison novel by Hasheem Gharaibeh ( 2017), “The Wine of Reunion”, the second volume of Rumi Arabic poems (2017), and “The Tree Stump” a historical novel rewriting the history of the Arab’s engagement in World War I, by Samiha Khrais (2019).  Her articles, short stories, translations appeared in Afkar, the Journal of the Jordanian Ministry of Culture, AlRai, Al-Zamman, Mantis, Ezra, Banipal, among others. She is the editor of Michigan State University Press Series on Arabic Language, Literature, and Translation. Her translation projects were supported by the Jordanian Writers Society, The Jordanian Consulate in Chicago, The Jordanian Ministry of Culture, consecutively. Her OpEd was published in the Christian Monitor and she was interviewed by Al-Jazeera, and the Al-Hurra television stations on Middle East politics and minority rights.

She conducted numerous workshops and presentation at national and international conferences including the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL), American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), and Northeast Modern Languages Association (NEMLA), The National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL), Middle East Studies Association (MESA), Women Leaders Conference in Abu Dhabi, and TAKAFUL Conference on Community Engagement in Amman, Jordan, among others. Her presentations covered a range of topics including pedagogy of teaching foreign language and literature, education for engagement, Arabic prison literature, eroticism in Arabic literature, Arabian Nights, translation, and other topics.

In addition to her experience in literary translation, Dr. Akhtarkhavari is a legal and content translator and interpreter with focus on media, legal, and commercial translation and interpreting. She is a federal court interpreter and consults with the Public Defender’s Office at the Northern District of Illinois. She is also a simultaneous and consecutive conference interpreter.

Building on her experience as a manager of $36 million capital campaign which she raised for an NGO in less than five years, she secured and managed grants and secured students’ scholarships for a total of about a million dollar. These include Federal grants for teaching high school students Arabic and training Arabic teachers in schools and universities, a Department of Education Grant to plan and manage Teacher- to-Teacher workshops, foundation grants to establish and direct Illinois Arabic Teachers Council, grants to organize and host national and regional conferences on teaching Arabic, and student scholarships mentor for Arabic students at DePaul.

In addition to directing the Arabic Studies Program, Dr. Akhtarkhavari served at various capacities at the university, including college representative on Faculty Council, member of the DePaul Women Network Board, member of the College Community Engagement Taskforce, and the Chair of the Department By-Laws Committee. She also served on the board of the BUILD Program – for faculty training on diversity and delivered workshops on racial biases. Currently, she serves as the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences’ Diversity and Inclusion Advocate.

Further, Dr. Akhtarkhavari serves on a number of non-profit boards including, president of the Board of Directors of the World Engagement Institute, member of the board and chair of Amman Chicago Sister City International Education Committee; Board Member of the Wilmette Institute, and a featured women leader on the Arab Women Leaders Initiative sponsored by the Gibran Chair at the University of Maryland.
While working overseas, she collaborated with the American Culture and Press division at the American consulate, and with the British Council in supporting the development of civic and professional organizations in the Arab world, especially in Saudi Arabia. She chaired annual conferences that promote civic development and delivered training on leadership, program development, networking, teamwork, board development, fund-development, international communication, diversity, and international consulting. She founded the Saudi Association of Teachers of English (SATA), one of the first professional organizations in the Kingdom, participated in the launch of Arabian Society for Human Resource Management (ASHRAM) as its female membership director, and helped launch Ma’an, a public awareness NGO sponsored by Arab News.

Dr. Akhtarkhavari owned and managed Global Education and Training Services, Inc., an education and training company, serving as its president and a senior consultant. She worked with major educational, business, and civic organizations in the United States and the Middle East, including Florida State University, the University of Maryland, Middlebury College, Illinois State University; DePaul Language Academy; Illinois Board of Education, Dar Al-Hekma College, CET Study Abroad Program at Yarmouk University, the University of Jordan Language Center, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, Jeddah Women Training Center, Wazn for Development and Services, Saudi National Guard Hospital, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Chicago Public Schools, Virginian City School District, the American International Schools-SAIS, and Dar Al-Fikr Schools, among others. ​