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Mustafa Menai

Lecturer in Foreign Languages (LFL) Urdu

Williams Hall 813
By appointment
917 815 7497


Ph.D. (ongoing), University of Pennsylvania
M.A., Columbia University
B.A., University of Massachusetts



Mustafa Menai is Lecturer of Urdu at the University of Pennsylvania South Asia Studies Department. After serving in strategic positions in the international and domestic non-profit education sector for over a decade, he conducted research in the areas of instructional planning, curriculum and assessment design at Mathematica Policy Research. He has been serving as a reviewer and consultant for the Defense Languages Institute. His research interest is focused on the history of Hindi-Urdu education, curriculum development and teacher training in South Asia. He is also interested in the pedagogy of teaching language through literature, and experimenting with different poetic structures such as ghazal, nazm and haiku. His teaching and research work is supported by an M.A. in International Education Development from Columbia University, and PhD studies (ongoing) in South Asia Regional Studies and Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a certified Startalk, ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and ILR (Interagency Language Roundtable) Foreign Language Instructor.

Research Interests

  • History of Hindi-Urdu education and curriculum development in South Asia
  • Instructional planning, curriculum and assessment design 
  • Teacher Training
  • Pedagogy of teaching language through literature
  • Experimenting with different poetic structures such as ghazal, nazm and haiku. 

Courses Taught


URDU 421 401Intermediate Urdu I

URDU 422 401Intermediate Urdu II

URDU 431 401Advanced Urdu

URDU 452 301Urdu Poetry in Translation: Poetry of Resistance, I Am Truth - Anul Haq

URDU 462 301Sufism in Urdu Poetry