Sara Shams Nimis is dean at Al-Wāḥa. Shams was introduced to the language villages as a villager at Lac du Bois Hackensack and Les Voyageurs, and has come back over the years as a counselor, as leadership staff and as a villager parent. Shams holds a PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Georgetown University’s Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, an MA in Political Science from Miami University, and a BA in International Studies from Macalester College. Her passion for Arabic-speaking communities, and for promoting understanding across cultures, grew out of years working, studying and traveling in Morocco, Egypt and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Shams completed a graduate diploma in Middle East Studies and an advanced diploma in Arabic language at the American University in Cairo. She has taught Arabic language at Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, TN, at Georgetown University’s campuses in Washington, DC and in Doha, Qatar, and in the CLV Language Training Center program. This will be Shams’ third summer as leadership staff at Al-Wāḥa.