Ada Petiwala
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Ada Petiwala

Ada P.

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This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
As a native English speaker who has studied Arabic (both Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and the Egyptian dialect) for over 10 years, I have firsthand experience with the difficulties you may face learning this language. Having taught Arabic at a range of levels--from elementary schoolers to graduate students--I know how to personalize lessons for each phase of your learning journey. Most importantly, I teach Arabic through an immersive experience that does not rely on textbooks but materials from culture, politics, and society of different countries and cities across the Middle East.

About Ada P.

Hi! I'm Ada, a PhD candidate at NYU (Middle Eastern Studies) who loves teaching and learning from students of all ages. I teach English writing and Arabic, having taught both subjects at the elementary, high school, and university levels.

For Arabic students: I have worked as an Arabic-English translator for 5+ years, and am a lifelong student of the Arabic language--a language so vast and complex that it truly teaches you something new every day. As a non-native learner of Arabic who has gained fluency in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and the Egyptian dialect after studying intensively for 12+ years, I am able to relate to the common challenges non-native learners of Arabic face. I understand why English speakers make certain key mistakes when learning Arabic--because I once made them too!--and can give you the training and tools to master reading, writing, speaking, and listening in Arabic.

For English writing students: Although each piece of writing you produce is unique, to get there you need the same basic tools every time. I have used these tools to write and edit vastly different kinds of texts--anywhere from college and graduate school admissions essays, academic papers, and research presentations to curatorial statements, marketing pamphlets, and lectures. I can teach you these tools to make writing less intimidating, so that you can develop your won distinct voice and become self-reliant in the writing process. Whether we work on a school assignment or an application or something personal, I customize each session to reflect my student's goals and pursuits.


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Arabic Tutor
Sep 2016 - Present


I tutor Arabic to private students in elementary school and high school.

Linguist/Translator (Arabic-English)
Aug 2015 - Present

SDL: Language Translation & Content Management Company

Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA)
Jan 2017 - Jan 2018

NYU Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies Department

Taught for the undergraduate course “Politics of the Middle East” and two graduate courses, “Advanced Arabic” and “Media and Literary Arabic.” Graded written homework, quizzes, and exams; create lesson plans and teach course sessions every other week.

Arabic Language Coach
Feb 2016 - Jan 2018

NYU Speaking Freely

Lead semester-long language classes for NYU undergraduates across Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels of Arabic; produce and distribute specialized 12-week learning syllabi and resources for each class

Library and Archives Program Coordinator
Dec 2013 - Jun 2015

The Townhouse Gallery (Cairo, Egypt)

Curated and coordinated all library programming; created the “Townhouse Salon” monthly lecture and discussion series, inviting prominent Egyptian writers to lead text-based conversations in the library space; oversaw cataloguing of Library collection; digitized archives.


PhD, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
Sep 2017 - Present

New York University

MA, Near Eastern Studies
Sep 2015 - Jun 2017

New York University

BA, Political Science and Arabic
Aug 2008 - Jun 2012

Bard College



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Graduate Research Institute (GRI) Fellowship
Jan 2020

New York University

Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for Hindi
Jun 2018

U.S. State Department

Dean's Student Travel Grant
Mar 2016

NYU Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship (Arabic)
Sep 2015

New York University

Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) Fellowship
Jun 2013

American University of Cairo

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