On March 21st alumni of the NSLI-Y Arabic summer program in Jordan shared about what their lives were like in Jordan on the NSLI-Y program. Following the presentation, audience members were invited to engage with the speakers during the live Q&A session. We invite you to watch the recording of the first virtual event showcasing the NSLI-Y program in Jordan.
Introducing the speakers for the event:
Organizer: Deni Hoxha – 2016 Summer
My name is Deni Hoxha and I am from Worcester, MA. I studied Arabic as a junior in high school during the 2016 summer through NSLI-Y in Amman, Jordan. Arabic is a difficult language and not many American citizens are able to speak it. There are many misconceptions in my community that surround the rich Arab culture as well. I wanted to study Arabic to change this, connect with Arabic speakers and go beyond false impressions to learn about a culture and language different from my own. Currently I am a freshman at Harvard College concentrating in Economics. I am also a NSLI-Y Alumni Representative and love interacting with other alumni in the Greater Boston area. Click here to watch Deni’s opening remarks.
Shraddha Joshi – 2017 Summer
I am an alumna of the Arabic Summer 2017 program in Amman, Jordan, and a junior at Meridian World School, near Austin, Texas. I started learning Arabic because I wanted to expose myself to a language and culture that was very different from my own. In addition, as an active volunteer for the refugee community, and an enthusiast of international affairs, I was keen on studying the Arabic language as it connected to my personal and career goals. I currently serve as a 2018 NSLI-Y Alumni Representative, and I have been continuing my Arabic studies with a Jordanian tutor on Skype, as well as using it regularly with the refugee students to whom I teach ESL. Blog: https://shraddhajoshiblog.com Click here to watch Shraddha’s presentation.
Julia Stewart – 2017 Summer
My name is Julia Stewart, I’m from Leesburg, VA, and I participated in the NSLI-Y Summer Arabic program in Jordan. My decision to study Arabic stemmed from my interest in U.S.-Middle Eastern relations, and my desire to promote better understanding and communication between Americans and Arabs. Since I returned to the U.S. and began my studies at the University of Virginia, I have been looking for ways to expand on the cultural and linguistic experiences I had in Jordan, through taking formal Arabic classes, joining my college’s Arabic conversationalist club, and networking with other study abroad alumni. I am currently in the process of applying for summer internships in D.C. dealing with public policy and Middle Eastern relations and am beginning work as a volunteer for AFS. Click here to watch Julia’s presentation.
Sophia Vahanvaty – 2016 Summer
I’m Sophia Vahanvaty, a junior in high school from the San Francisco Bay Area. I studied Arabic in Amman, Jordan in the summer of 2016 with NSLI-Y and have continued my Arabic study both with a Jordanian teacher over Skype and through local classes since then. I’ve also continued my study of the Arab world in general through programs like Seeds of Peace, where I lived with a group of Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian students for 4 weeks and had daily dialogue about the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Next year, I am excited to be returning to Jordan for my entire senior year! Blog: http://summerinjordan.weebly.com Click here to watch Sophia’s presentation.
Orion Zydlewski – 2017 Summer
I am a senior at Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine. I chose to study Arabic because I believe that the Middle East is an area of the world that is largely misunderstood. In order to better understand a region and culture, I believe it is necessary to learn the language and meet the people who live there. My experience in Jordan has allowed me to develop a deeper cultural understanding as well as the ability to share this understanding with others. I recently volunteered for a weekend at an international affairs conference called the Camden Conference and enjoy any opportunity to volunteer at events focusing on politics. I will be attending Columbia University next year. Click here to watch Orion’s presentation.