Who We Are
Bita Gholamali Born and raised in Tehran, Bita received degrees from Azad University and Allameh Tababtaba'ee University. Since 1995 she has taught Farsi and English in Tehran and San Francisco. She has also developed several language assessment tests. Bita teaches Farsi at PAR.
Jamal MavrikiosJamal developed a love for the Arabic language while studying with Dr. Henry Chaim Toledano at Hofstra University. He continued his Arabic studies at New York University and the United Nations Language Training Institute, and studied translation theory at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the founder and managing director of Pacific Arabic Resources. Jamal teaches Standard and Moroccan Arabic at PAR.
Jamye Ford Jamye discovered his love of languages at a young age and is fluent in Mvskoke (spoken by the Creek Nation and Seminole Indians of Florida and Oklahoma). He has also studied French, Mandarin and Ancient Greek. A graduate of Columbia University, Jamye teaches Standard and Moroccan Arabic at PAR.
Liza Xydis Liza was born and raised in Athens, and came to the U.S. to study at Swarthmore College. Aside from her background as a language teacher, she has also taught filmmaking, made documentary films and worked as a translator and writer for the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. She is fluent in Greek, English, French and Italian. Liza teaches Modern Greek at PAR.
Maher Sabry An accomplished language teacher, Maher is also a published author and poet. He founded the Egyptian independent theater company Maraia, co-founded the Shrapnel Theater Troupe, and was a cartoonist and illustrator for Egyptian periodicals, including the "Cairo Times." In May 2002 he received the Felipa de Souza Human Rights Award. Maher teaches Standard and Egyptian Arabic at PAR.
Max Weinryb A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Max has been immersed in Semitic language studies since childhood. He has taught Hebrew and Aramaic in the Bay Area for many years. Max has also taught sailing, piloting and celestial navigation courses. When not teaching, he is a computer consultant and urban homesteader. Max teaches Biblical and Modern Hebrew at PAR.
Nasser Riyadh An editor by profession, Nasser attended the Juilliard School and graduated from Columbia University. The Bay Area native began learning Arabic in New York, with further studies in Beirut and Cairo after many Standard Arabic and dialect courses at PAR. He is also familiar with Greek, Japanese and several other languages. Nasser teaches Standard Arabic at PAR.
Rama Karabala Rama grew up in Damascus and has a solid background in the Arabic language. She earned her B.A. in English Literature at Damascus University, and taught English and Standard Arabic in Syria before coming to the U.S. She has also studied Farsi, French, Greek and Italian, and is interested in learning other languages. Rama teaches Levantine and Standard Arabic at PAR.
Sara Asefaw Sara lived and studied in Addis Ababa before moving to the U.S., earning a B.S. in Mathematics from Marshall University. She then completed a Certificate in Healthcare Interpretation at City College of San Francisco, and has worked as an Amharic and Tigrinya interpreter in the Bay Area since 1999. Sara teaches Amharic and Tigrinya at PAR.