Modern Languages and Cultural Studies

Mai Hussein

mai hussein


I earned my Bachelor of Arts in 1992, my Master's degree in 2003 in French Literature from Alexandria University in Egypt, and my PhD in 2014 in French Literature from the University of Alberta. Now, I'm an instructor of French and Arabic at the University of Alberta, Concordia University of Edmonton, and Macewan University.

What is your favourite thing about teaching?

For me, teaching is a two-way process. I mean, I teach my students but I also learn from them. My best moment ever in teaching is when I explain a challenging concept and I feel that students get it. As an Arabic language instructor, I also feel a huge accomplishment when non-native speakers pronounce some foreign or exotic letters in the right way after practicing.

What is the last book you read and loved? 

Other than literature and educational books, I have recently read a book entitled "Plato Not Prozac". This book is simply amazing as it guides the reader through very complicated philosophical concepts in such an easy way. The book also is teaching life lessons such as how to understand people you deal with and how to overcome your own stress. These topics are much needed nowadays.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

I was just thinking about this, as seeing the world is my next plan in life. I'd love to go to Japan, as I know they have an exciting culture that I want to explore. They have lovely and colourful kimonos, as well as attractive food and drinks.

What three words best describe your experience as a teacher?

Passion, challenging, rich.

What is your favourite word in Arabic?

My favorite word in Arabic is ليل which means night. I love it because it can be read from right to left and from left to right in the same way and have the same meaning!