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Islamic Studies, Arabic, and Quran

Ustatha Jamila Naji, has been working as a teacher for about 30 years. She earned her teaching degree in Libya 1981, where she taught Geography and middle school English as a second language. She started her career in America as an Arabic teacher in a Saudi school in Portland, OR for three years. After settling in Kentucky, Ustatha Jamila worked with Fayette County as a preschool teacher in the Head-Start Program. During that time, she worked on getting her Associate degree in Early Childhood Education, then a Bachelor in Psychology.  For 25 years, Ustatha Jamila volunteered as a teacher at Masjid Bilal’s Sunday School. She was also one of the very first teachers who started working in LUA when it first opened. Ustatha Jamila is a mother of 6, two of whom graduated from LUA. During the start of LUA, Ustatha Jamila taught Kindergarten for the first seven years, then moved to Arabic, Quran, and Islamic studies for six years. She has been teaching Arabic only for about 8 years. "I feel LUA is my second home and the students are part of my family. Their success is my success. I am really looking forward to teaching the kids and beginning a new school year at LUA!”

Ustatha Omaima Alamawi, has been the middle and elementary school Quran, Arabic and Islamic Studies teacher at the Lexington Universal Academy since 2008. In 2002, she received the Tajweed Licience certification from the Muslim World League Association in Riwaya of Hafs an Asem an Al-Shatibiya. In 2007, Ustatha Omaima successfully completed Al-Qaidah An-Nooraneyah Program. And in 2013, she became a certified teacher of Al-Qaida An-Nooranyyah. "I'm honored to be given the opportunity to teach our children at LUA to perfect the recitations of Allah's Holy book, AL-Quran AL Kareem, so they can be of the Quran carriers In sha' Allah. With Allah's support I have been able to encourage my students to memorize several Ajza' of the Quran."

 Ustatha Fathia Shalash is an Arabic, Islamic Studies, and Quran Teacher  at Lexington Universal  Academy. She was born in Kuwait, where she received her high school degree. She then attended Islamic community college in Jordan, majoring in Mathematics, as well as receiving a certificate in Islamic studies and Tajweed. After collage, she became a kindergarten teach in Palestine for two years. After moving to America in 1996, she worked at a weekend Islamic school for a year. Ustatha Fathia has four kids, all of whom have graduated from LUA. In 2010 she was hired as a special needs educator with FCPS. After completing a year, Ustatha Fathia was hired at LUA as an assistant helping teach kindergarteners. This is her fifth year teaching Arabic, Quran, and Islamic Studies at LUA. "For me LUA is my Home. I love Teaching children and helping them apply Islamic values in their daily lives. Alhamdulillah."


Ustatha Monawar Meriden has been working as a Quran and Arabic teacher for about 20 years. She has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Damascus, Syria. In 2001, Alhumdulillah, she was honored to receive the Tajweed License certificate from Damascus, by the certified reciter, Muhiddin Al-Kurdi in Riwaya of Hafs an Asim an Al-Shatibiya. 

She has been blessed to be given the opportunity to teach Quran and Arabic for Pre-k4, Elementary, and Middle School in Damascus for more than 13 years.For two years, she volunteered as a Quran teacher at Masjid Bilal’s Sunday School in Lexington KY. Since 2017, she has been blessed to have been given the opportunity to have spent six years at Lexington Universal Academy (LUA), as a Quran and Arabic resource teacher.

Alhamdulillah, in 2020, she earned the Al-Qaidah An-Nouraniyah certificate from Furqan Group for Education & IT, and she has been teaching this technique for three years. Since 2020, she has been working with Beam Academy, as an online Quran and Al-Qaidah An-Nouraniyah teacher.

"During my journey in teaching Quran and Arabic, I believe that teaching our children Quran and Arabic is a very essential aspect to keep them on the right track InshAllah. With Allah's support and guidance, this year I will do my best to work with the children to achieve our goal in the LUA."


Ustatha Sarah Almohtasib, our new teacher, she has been working as Islamic Religion Teacher for about 4 years in Jordan at the Islamic Educational College School. She has a bachelor degree in Islamic studies from the Applied Science Private University in Jordan. During her studies, she earned more than 15 certificates from different training courses related to her major, like Alqaidah-Alnawraniah, Learning Management, Teaching-Planning, Teaching Strategies, and Integrating technology with education. Additionally, she joined a two-year training program that aimed to build a strong scholar (Da’eya) from all aspects. Her message in this life is to leave a deep influence on her students and strengthen their ties to Islam by making the Islamic studies class enjoyable through adopting creative and modern teaching techniques.

Pre - K


Ustatha Islam Al Burai is the homeroom Teacher for PreK-3 at Lexington Universal Academy.  She has a bachelor's degree in Education. Previously, she has worked as an ESL teacher in Saudi Arabia and then as a substitute teacher at LUA. For the last few years, she has been working with Fayette County Public School as an assistant teacher for special education. Ustatha Islam grew up in Gaza, Palestine then moved to Puerto Rico (where she studied at The American University as a Special Education Teacher), and then moved to Lexington, Kentucky. She has two children, my son graduated from LUA and my daughter is still attending.  “I am looking forward to working with your child to help them reach their maximum education and apply the Islamic Values to their everyday teachings. I will continue to contact you through Parent square and send daily reports. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.”


Ustatha Amani Shalash has been a teacher at LUA since 2021. She is a proud alumnus of LUA and was a part of the first graduating kindergarten class. She received her bachelors in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education and International Studies from the University of Kentucky. While not teaching, she enjoys traveling to new cities, going to the gym, and spending time with family. Ustatha Amani is a proud Lexington native and is active in the local Muslim community. She enjoys being able to give back to the community that helped shape her as a child.


Ustatha Nowal Allouch is the kindergarten teacher at Lexington Universal Academy. She has lived in Kentucky all her life and has always wanted to become a teacher.  She received her Bachelor's in Elementary Education from the University of Kentucky.  She also obtained her Master's in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kentucky.  During her first year, she completed the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program at Lexington Universal Academy.  She began working at LUA in 2009, as a substitute teacher and office helper.  She began working as a first grade teacher in 2010.  She taught first grade for seven years and this is her sixth year teaching kindergarten.  She has one daughter, Selma, who attends LUA. She has been so blessed to be part of a wonderful school that is preparing our children to have a strong Muslim identity and become productive members of society.   

Ustatha Courtney is the first grade teacher at Lexington Universal Academy. She is going into her ninth year at Lexington Universal Academy, and her sixth year in the first grade; she was the preschool teacher for her first three years.  She obtained her Bachelor's Degree from Berea College in Elementary Education and  her Master's in Special Education from Georgetown College.  "I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember!  I serve as the school PBIS (Positive Behavior In School) Coordinator, the 504 Specialist, and as an assistant yearbook editor.  I have also worked with both elementary and middle school academic teams.   I look forward to all we will learn and the fun we will have this year!"


Ustatha Hanan Abdeldayem is the 2nd grade teacher at Lexington Universal Academy. Hanan is from Canton, Michigan and graduated with her bachelors in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University. She has taught for 3 years (2nd grade and kindergarten) in Michigan, and was highly involved in the Islamic community. She volunteered her extra time in an Islamic Sunday school. Hanan recently moved to Lexington summer of 2022 and is excited to teach at LUA. She enjoys teaching young students for the “light bulb” moment in the classroom , and being able to bring Islam into her teaching style within the classroom. 

Ustatha Saphia Isa is the third grade teacher at Lexington Universal Academy. She joined the LUA family in 2012. Ustatha Sofia is a proud mother of four children, two of whom are graduates of LUA. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and has worked in different school systems intermittently throughout Chicago and Lexington since 1996. Ms. Isa taught second grade for five years and is currently in her sixth year teaching third grade. Being raised in Lexington, in the public school system, she has a deep appreciation for Islamic education. She has traveled throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Europe and enjoys sharing her worldly experiences with her students. She feels a great responsibility in teaching and aspires to serve as an American-Muslim role model to the future Muslim ummah.

Ustatha Nadia Shalash is the fourth grade teacher at Lexington Universal Academy. She is beginning her 20th year at LUA, and has worked here since its opening, teaching grades first thru fourth. Ustatha Nadia has a Bachelor's of Science degree from the University of Kentucky, received her teaching certification (KG-5th) from Kentucky State University, and obtained her Master’s Degree as a Teacher Leader with an Endorsement in English Second Language from Georgetown University.  She has three children who are all graduates of LUA. In her spare time, she enjoys planning and decorating for social events.

Middle School

Ustatha Sunshine Al-Jumaily has a B.A. in History with a minor in Islamic Studies and a M.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Kentucky.  She has been a member of the faculty since 2009.  She hopes your child will walk away from her class with a desire to look at the world through a lens of curiosity, critical thinking, and compassion.


Ms. Briana has worked in the education field  as a teacher and administrator for over 20 years, teaching at the elementary, middle, high school, and post secondary levels. She holds a Masters in Education and a TESL certificate. She loves teaching language arts and is excited to share her love of reading with her students!!

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