John A Samaha

John A Samaha

John A Samaha

Adjunct Faculty

Arabic: Arabic Dialectology, Arabic for the Professions, Arab-American Literature, Levantine Oral Folk Literature, Levantine Arabic Idioms

Professor John Samaha has been teaching Arabic at George Mason University (GMU) since 2006 where he assisted in instituting an Arabic minor in the Department of Modern & Classical Languages. In conjunction with his teaching at GMU, he has been simultaneously lecturing in the University of Maryland's Graduate Studies in Interpreting & Translation (GSIT) program since the fall of 2015. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Arabic at Virginia International University (VIU). Professor Samaha has had a distinguished 27-year career divided between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Justice where he served as an Arabic Language & Culture Instructor, Arabic Language Analyst, Foreign Language Examiner, Applied Linguist, Training Liaison, Liaison Analyst, Supervisory Translator, and National Foreign Language Program Manager. As a language and culture professional, Professor Samaha taught language-related domains in both the federal government and in academia. He developed and offered training for an Arabic Romanization course, which later was accepted as the Congressionally mandated transliteration standard for Arabic personal names for which he received an award. In addition, he oversaw the development of listening summary translation exams in five major Arabic dialects and a document verbatim translation exam, which are still being used to assess language proficiency. He further developed professional training programs and Arab cultural awareness seminars after 9/11 that he taught on occasion.

In addition to his government service and teaching at GMU, UMD, and VIU, Professor Samaha was a lecturer of Arabic at the Middle East Institute, Georgetown University, Northern Virginia Community College, and at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies where he prepared students for the Foreign Service language exam. While simultaneously performing in his government capacity, he served as a pedagogical expert for the Academic Consortium for Global Education where he worked on an Iraqi Arabic course to support the U.S. Navy’s humanitarian mission in Iraq, he reviewed learning objects at the National Foreign Language Center for a computer-based distance learning program for developing and maintaining language proficiency at the higher levels where he also was consulted on many occasions about the criteria for training government officials in the field of translation. For Central Michigan University’s Center for Charter Schools, he reviewed curricula used in Arabic charter schools in Dearborn, Michigan, the largest Arab-American community in the United States.

Courses Taught

Arabic 110

Arabic 201

Arabic 202

Arabic 380


Master of Science: Arabic Language & Linguistics, Georgetown University, 1989

Bachelor of Arts: French Language & Literature, George Mason University, 1981

Recent Presentations

Arab Cultural Awareness

Arabic Transliteration Standards

Translation Methodology

Translation in the Professions

Sight Translation

Consecutive Interpretation