Our Team

Our worldly team has a wide array of experience, including teaching at major universities in the US and abroad, preparing students for degree requirements, preparing students for tests for government agencies, and more. We are dedicated to providing an encouraging environment to meet our students’ language needs and goals at all levels.

Aftab Ahmad

Aftab Ahmad

Hindi and Urdu

Aftab Ahmad is currently a Senior Lecturer in Hindi-Urdu at Columbia University where he has been teaching Hindi and Urdu languages and literature since 2010. He taught Urdu at UC-Berkeley from 2006-2010. He directed the American Institute of Indian Studies, Urdu Language Program in Lucknow from 2001-2006. He did his M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Urdu literature from Jawahar Lal Nehru University and B.A. from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh in modern Indian history.

With Matt Reeck, he has published Bombay Stories, a collection of Urdu short stories by Saadat Hasan Manto and Mirages of the Mind, the Urdu humorous novel (Aab-e-Gum) by Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi, and several other short stories and essays by Syed Muhamad Ashraf and Ahmed Shah Patras Bukhari. He has published Hindi translations of Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi’s s novel Aab-e-Gum with the same title, his semi fictional autobiography Zarguzasht  as Paapbeeti, and his book of humorous essays Chiragh Tale. His Hindi translations of essays and short stories from English and Urdu have been published in prestigious Hindi journals, i.e. Hans, Naya Gyanoday, Lamhi, Vyangya  Yatra, Samyantar, Samkaleen Janmat, Pakhi, Banas Jan, Gagnaanchal, Kathakram, Saraswati, Garbhnal, Setu, Lahak etc. He has also published into Urdu translations of several short stories by the Slovenian author Lili Potpara. His memoir about his experience of being a minority in India was published in the Hindi magazine Aksar and in the Urdu newspaper Aag. A winner of a PEN-Heim Translation Grant, he is working on a translation into Hindi of Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi’s Zarguzasht.

Aminur Rahman

Aminur Rahman

Bengali

Aminur Rahman is a 25-year veteran educator with a variety of experiences and expertise. He has taught at several universities such as the University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, and University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He taught the Bengali language to US diplomats for over a decade.

Rahman also provided translation and interpretation services to several reputed organizations such as Diplomatic Language Services, Global Language Services, and International Language Institute. He worked as a senior consultant to the JTG’s machine translation project.  

In his current role at George Mason University, Rahman teaches courses on World History and South Asian Cultures in the undergraduate and Master programs in an adjunct capacity. 

He did his Ph.D., in Cultural History from The University of Manchester, UK. Rahman did his M.A., in Bengali Language, and Literature, and his B.A., in Bengali (Major), History and Philosophy (minors) from University of Dhaka Bangladesh.

In his free time, Rahman enjoys writing short stories and poems.

Mohamad Esmaili-Sardari

Mohamad Esmaili-Sardari

Persian

Mohamad Esmaili-Sardari is an Academic Coordinator of the Middle Eastern Languages Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. He began his teaching career in 1998 at Georgetown University where he taught  Persian and Spanish. He’s gone on to teach at Middlebury College, the Catholic University of America, the Middle East Institute, Diplomatic Language Services, and most recently, the University of Maryland’s Roshan Center for Persian Studies. In 2005, he received the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Catholic University of America. He is the author of several articles and book chapters on current perspectives and future directions of the teaching of Persian as a foreign language. His textbook “Persian in International Relations and Foreign Policy: A Content-Based Approach” is forthcoming.

Shabbir Gilani

Shabbir Gilani

Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi

Shabbir Gilani has more than 20 years of experience in foreign language teaching, curriculum development, interpretation, translation, and journalism. Gilani taught Urdu, Hindi, East Punjabi, and West Punjabi at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, Diplomatic Language Services, Middle East Language Institute, and several other institutions. He received his master’s degree in Urdu language and literature from the University of the Punjab and a second  master’s degree in English language and literature from the prestigious Government College University. Gilani has served as a TV and radio producer, international broadcaster, and  media editor in Pakistan, Japan, Canada, and the United States. He has also conducted over 2,000 language tests as a certified tester and examiner. Most recently, he has served as an editor at the Voice of America and a senior linguist in the Washington DC area. Gilani has a passion for English and Urdu literature and has contributed many articles to various publications.

Wafadar Husain

Wafadar Husain

Hindi and Urdu

Wafadar believes a supportive environment is vital to building confidence in his students and helping them succeed.

He worked as a coordinator of the South Asian Language Program and lecturer of Hindi and Urdu Languages at School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Johns Hopkins University from 2012 to 2021. He worked as a Hindi Language and Culture Instructor at Foreign Service Institute (FSI), taught Urdu language courses at South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI) at the University of Wisconsin, and taught a variety of Urdu language courses in an intensive program at the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) center in Lucknow, India.

Wafadar is a native speaker of Hindi, Urdu, and Awadhi languages. He holds MA and BA degrees in Urdu Literature from Lucknow University. In addition to his extensive experience teaching Hindi and Urdu, he has also designed many proficiency exams and course syllabi for Hindi and Urdu language classes.

In his free time, Wafadar enjoys spending time with friends and family and riding roller coasters with his young children.

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