- E-mail: email@example.com
“So, why did you decide to take Arabic?” This is a question I have faced time and time again in the past five years.
Usually I spout off something generic, to the tune of “I thought it would be interesting” but this is only a half-truth. My main motivation in taking Arabic as a first-year student at Syracuse University was two-fold; I did not want to take a math class and high school Spanish had left me traumatized. Arabic was new and different, and I could easily justify its usefulness.
In hindsight, my decision to study Arabic is among the most important and life-altering decisions I have ever made. It influenced my entire undergraduate program of study, which focused on the political and social complexities of the Middle East. It led me to Egypt for a semester in 2010 where I truly came to understand the Middle East on its own terms, learning almost as much about myself in the process. It assisted me in earning a Critical Language Scholarship from the Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs which afforded me the opportunity to greatly improve my Arabic skills.
In May 2011 I earned my BA in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science from Syracuse University and in August 2011 I enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Texas, pursing an MA in Middle Eastern Studies. Here I plan to focus my research on the Arab Spring and the shifting political discourse in the region in the years prior to its onset. After earning completing my program of study in May 2013 I hope to utilize my knowledge of the Middle East and Arabic in a career working for the US Government.
In my free time (which as a graduate student I find to be minimal) I enjoy reading, traveling and watching Syracuse Basketball (Go Orange!).