PHOENIX (August 9, 2023) – Due to increased demand, the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County has hired its first-ever Arabic-language interpreter.

Zenab Khouder recently joined the Court as a certified interpreter, helping to support access to court services for justice-involved community members. 

“Zenab is the first Arabic interpreter to ever be directly employed by the Court, and her arrival is a major step forward to ensuring that all court proceedings are accessible to people who speak Arabic. In our Court, Arabic is the second highest requested language after Spanish and the demand continues to increase,” said Dr. Chris Bleuenstein, administrator of Court Interpretation and Translation Services (CITS).

Prior to Khouder’s hiring, Superior Court contracted with Arabic interpreters and translators to provide language assistance to Arabic-speaking court customers.

“We are happy to have Zenab join the Judicial Branch. She will be a valuable asset to the Court because of her exceptional experience and the fact that she knows multiple Arabic dialects. Zenab will go through a rigorous in-house training process, so she is fully aware of our court system and the terminology we use," Dr. Bleuenstein said.

Khouder is a highly qualified interpreter with a wealth of experience. She is certified by the Arizona Supreme Court at the Tier III level, the highest level of credentialing available. She is also a member of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and has international interpreting experience.

In addition to her formal qualifications, she has a deep understanding of the Arabic language and culture. She is fluent in Modern Standard Arabic and several regional dialects including Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Saudi, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Egyptian. Khouder also has legal system experience having worked as a court interpreter in California.

“I am honored to be the first Arabic interpreter for the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County. I am committed to providing high-quality interpreting services to people with limited English proficiency who speak Arabic as their primary language,” Khouder said. “I believe that everyone has the right to understand and participate in the legal process, regardless of their language. I am excited to help the court make the legal system more accessible to the Arabic-speaking community.”

Khouder will spend approximately four weeks training with the Court before she officially starts interpreting.

The CITS department supports the fourth largest general jurisdiction court in the United States. In addition to Khouder, CITS has a team of 23 Spanish interpreters and two Spanish translators and oversees a contract system responsible for interpreting more than 100 other languages.

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