Our Team

    • Rula Hijazeen Karam
      Director

      Rula Hijazeen Karam

      Director

      Rula Hijazeen was born in Lebanon to a Jordanian family who returned to their homeland in 1974 at the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War. The year following high school, Rula moved to California where she resided 11 years and received a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and International Relations from Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, California. She worked in various educational associations and institutions and also became a U.S. citizen.

      In 2001, Rula moved to Washington, D.C. where she studied interpretation at the inlingua School of Languages in Arlington, Virginia. Her educational background also includes participation in the Arabic teacher training seminar at Middlebury College in Vermont; and a post-graduate degree in Marketing from the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom (Jordan Cohort).

      Rula’s credentials as a language instructor stem from her extensive teaching experience (while based in Washington, DC 2001-2006) ranging from undergraduate and graduate students, private citizens, congressional staffers, government employees, law enforcements personnel, as well as the military community. Rula has developed curriculum and teaching aids particularly for intensive training courses, which are custom-designed to meet the learning goals of each group, making her a sought-after instructor.

      Rula has taught Arabic full-time at the University of Maryland in College Park both for undergraduates and students in the Arabic Flagship Program; and at the Graduate School of the US Department of Agriculture in downtown Washington DC. She has served on the K-12 Arabic Project at the National Capital Language Resource Center [Georgetown University/George Washington University, and the Center for Applied Linguistics], and on the K-12 (Langnet) Arabic Culture Committee for the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland.

      From 2004-2006, Rula owned and operated “Alpha-Z language Center” in Falls Church, Virginia offering classes to adults and a weekend program for children of Arab descent. Upon moving to Oakville in December 2006, “Alpha-Z” was closed, and the vision to start a similar program in Canada temporarily put on hold.

      Since 2004, Rula has also been working in translation and received her ATA Arabic into English translator certification in 2009. More information can be obtained through the American Translators Association (ATA) website. She has since translated, managed, and/or edited several manuals and refugee welcome guides as well as countless documents and certificates.

      The Bulbul Academy Oakville headquarters was established in March of 2015, and with the help of friends and family, Rula’s dream to start an Arabic academy in the Toronto area came to fruition.

    • Eman Galal
      Secretary

      Eman Galal

      Secretary

      Eman joined the Bulbul Academy team in October 2017, and managed to quickly learn the ropes of the front office by organizing student records, taking over the invoicing process, and the various office files. She comes to Bulbul with a bachelor degree in accounting from the Modern Academy in Cairo. Eman also attended a few professional training and certification workshops and previously worked as a Junior Accountant at ESCO, Egypt and then volunteered as Administrative Assistant at HMC, Canada. With her strong organizational and time-management skills; her magical smile, and welcoming personality, she is a joy to have as the “face” of the academy.

      Being a mother of four under ten (with a set of twins age three), it’s a good thing she’s fast and organized. Her older children, Adam and Tia Omar have been students at Bulbul for around two years.

    • Zein Abu-Ata Nunu
      Teacher / Social Media Officer

      Zein Abu-Ata Nunu

      Teacher / Social Media Officer

      Zein Abu-Ata comes to Bulbul Academy with a B.S. in nutrition and food technology from the University of Jordan and has additionally received training in the fields of science and child education with experience teaching 4th grade science at the Rosary School, as well as teaching 2-4 year old students at Iman Early Learning Center in Amman. From 2012-2013, Zein completed an online certificate program with the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Early Childhood Education. As an artist and vocalist, Zein is a wonderful addition to Bulbul’s teaching team. She is passionate about seeing children enjoy their Arabic learning experience, which involves incorporating creativity and music to the academic curriculum.

      Zein is a gifted artist, able to create something from the simplest of materials. She spearheaded Bulbul’s classroom décor and many of the classroom craft projects.

      We also enjoy having Nadim, her son, as a student in the kindergarten class.

      As Bulbul’s social media officer, Zein is in charge of editing, designing, posting pictures and keeping up with our Facebook page and Instagram account.

    • Zeina Haddad Sam'an
      Teacher

      Zeina Haddad Sam'an

      Teacher

      Zeina joined the Bulbul teaching team in January 2016. She came to Bulbul with three years of teaching experience and holds a teaching license from the Abu Dhabi Ministry of Education where she taught English from 2009-2012. Her work experience also includes sales at the Marriott Hotels in Jordan.

      Zeina received her bachelor degree in English and Spanish (language and literature) from the University of Jordan. She also speaks French. Her love for linguistics and for children make her an outstanding asset to Bulbul Academy in Oakville.

      Bulbul’s Camp was rated the “best camp this summer” by the few students who attended in 2016 and it was all because of Zeina, who planned a fun and game-based, hands-on program ALL in Arabic, and did an amazing job in executing all of her wonderfully planned ideas.

      Zeina is extremely organized and works very hard to help her students achieve their best potential.

      Bulbul Academy is also happy to have her four-year-old son, George attend the preschool class.

    • Mary Saad
      Teacher

      Mary Saad

      Teacher

      When not at Bulbul, Mary is a full-time teacher in the pre-school classroom at Hopedale Montessori School in Oakville. She comes to Bulbul with four years’ experience teaching Arabic at the Armenian Catholic School in Cairo, Egypt and another four years working at various schools in Oakville as lunch room supervisor and in-class assistant.

      Mary obtained her bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Tanta and after moving to Canada took several training courses, including “Introduction to Autism” from the Geneva Centre for Autism, and an “Educational Assistants’ Course” (ESAO).

      Mary loves art and hands-on craft projects. She is cheerful, dedicated, and serious about her work. Mary was born and raised in Egypt to Syrian grandparents.

    • Rana Batshone
      Teacher

      Rana Batshone

      Teacher

      Rana has a B.Sc. degree in Accounting & Finance from the American College of Greece.  She has worked in management positions in customer service and in air transport, communications and information technology industries.

    • Lina Hammad

      Lina Hammad

      Lina, had her bachelor of Arts degree in Financial & Banking Sciences (Minor: English Literature) with distinction, she obtained her Masters degree in Development Management from the University of Wale.  She held many consulting positions with the UNICEF providing project management support for many programs, ex. Early childhood development.  She presented a paper and was awarded scholarship to International Interdisciplinary Conference on Children’s Rights.  Lina is fluent in spoken & written Arabic and English and good in spoken & written French.  Lina is also the happy mother of twin girls.

    • Rula Joudeh
      Teacher

      Rula Joudeh

      Teacher

      Rula joined Bulbul Academy in January 2018. She obtained her Bachelor of Economics and Finance from Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan.

      Rula has worked in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as Administration Assistant at the United Nations; Coordinator at Dar Al Arab Medical Clinics Insurance; and Senior Recruiting Officer at Brainlease. In Amman, Jordan, she served as Executive Secretary at Ideal Systems Co.

      Upon moving to Canada, she volunteered at Mckinnon Public School and later worked as an On-Call Head Secretary at Catholic Schools in Mississauga, ON.

    • May Darwich
      Teacher

      May Darwich

      Teacher

      May joins the Bulbul family with an extensive background in the teaching profession. She started her career as a homeroom teacher to elementary students, then also taught adults.

      Since moving to Canada in 2009, May has worked as an interpreter and translator, and obtained a Master of Education degree in Adult Education from Yorkville University with emphasis on teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language; her research project being the exploration of a viable method of teaching Arabic to adults.

      Despite her focus on adult geared teaching methodologies, May loves children and enjoys working with them.

      When neither teaching, interpreting or translating, she’s either reading or cooking dishes of her native Lebanon to enjoy with family and friends.

    • Emad Keriakus
      Music Professor

      Emad Keriakus

      Music Professor

      We are extremely fortunate to have Professor Keriakus join our team at Bulbul Academy.  He is an Egyptian National residing in Toronto, with over 20 years of musical experience, and several degrees from Helwan University in Cairo, Egypt: Bachelor of Music Education; Master of Music Education; and a PhD of Musical Education; he is a singer, stage performer, opera singer, composer, opera lyric translator, sheet music editor, piano instructor, and vocal teacher.