— MA '14, University of Texas at Austin
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I started out thinking I was going to be a concert pianist and used to practice at the conservatory up to 8 or 9 hours per day. I moved to France to continue music studies and everything changed. I focused on French language there and quickly realized that I wanted to learn Arabic as well.
I eventually moved back to the States to finish my undergraduate degree and spent two years in Egypt studying in the Arabic Language Institute and Center for Arabic Study Abroad, respectively. I then lived and worked in Qatar for 5 years where my love of Gulf culture, heritage and - last but not least - dialects flourished. It was in Qatar that I knew that I would somehow have to work with Arabic in the future.
I love teaching Arabic and plan to maintain that as a major part of my professional life. Additionally, my research interests and work have permitted me to present at conferences on issues relating to Gulf Arabic dialectology and I will be presenting in the Jil Jadid 2014 conference.
My Master's thesis explores and identifies the character archetypes presented in Gulf television miniseries, a subgenre of Arabic media associated with Ramadan. In my thesis, I aim to link the story-lines and character archetypes with real world stereo-types, cultural values and gender expectations & prejudices faced or perpetuated by Gulf Arab citizens and residents.
Other interests include translation and interpretation work. Up until now, I've worked in those capacities with various NGO's, law offices and government agencies in America and abroad.