Abeer Mohamed Hamza
Sadly, Abeer is basically the only professor teaching the Arabic language classes at UCLA. Her class was so unorganized, unclear and poorly taught classes I have ever taken at UCLA. When explaining grammar, if a question was asked in English 4 times out of 5 she would not understand or answer the question correctly. If you asked more questions, she would begin to take it personally, getting seemingly infuriated with the student asking the question. Also, Al-Kitaab is probably one of the worst books to learn Arabic from, at least at the Intermediate level and above. Overall, UCLA has a strong Arabic program, but teaching adjuncts like Abeer sadly do not reflect that fact.
I took Arabic 102A, B, and C and Arabic 111A, B, and C with Dr. Mohamed. She is a fantastic Arabic teacher, one of the best I have ever had. She is also one of the nicest profs I have ever taken. She gladly answers questions after class and is very helpful during office hours. Her only fault is that she may be a little too nice, she rarely puts students on the spot or asks them do do things she knows they cannot. Her MA is in translation between Arabic, English, and Spanish and she is very good at helping students translate the meaning and is flexible with translations on tests. She explains difficult grammar concepts very clearly and almost always explains things in a much better manner than the book. She also does her best to speak as much Arabic in class as possible. She is a very generous grader and wants her students to succeed. The biggest problem with Arabic at UCLA is that the classes aren't demanding enough. Many students expect to be able to walk in, do the homework and "learn" Arabic and if they don't they blame the teacher. Learning a foreign language (especially a difficult one) is not like any other class. Constant review is required. You can't forget chapter 1 when you're in chapter 3. In fact, you need to know chapter 1 better in chapter 3 than you did for the chapter 1 test. Language learning is much like learning an instrument, you must build upon and constantly review everything in order to move forward. It's not like a History class where you can skate by and memorize a bunch of facts for a test and then brain dump, every test is a cumulative final. The Al-Kitaab text is not the best, but it's the one most universities use and in fact, there aren't many other texts to choose from. Use of Al-Kitaab also allows students from other universities to study at UCLA and vice versa. My favorite class I've taken at UCLA was her Egyptian Arabic (111A, B, C) class. The first two quarters were difficult and I felt like I wasn't learning a whole lot, but by midway through the third quarter we had finally covered enough material that things started to click. All of a sudden I could just understand. I now can watch Egyptian movies and actually know whats going on. I am looking forward to taking Advanced Egyptian (Arab112) with Abeer next Fall.