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Undergraduate Alumni

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Here's what a selection of some of our alumni are up to:

  Laura Fish '11 is a doctoral student at University of Texas at Austin in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. Relying upon both her Persian and Arabic language knowledge, she focuses her studies on Iranian cinema, while also addressing Egyptian and Palestinian film. Her interests lie in determining the current digital distribution and viewing practices of mid-twentieth-century popular Iranian films through online platforms.

More recently, in 2013, Laura completed her Master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies at UT. Her thesis work focused on Iranian visual culture during the Iran-Iraq War.

Priscilla Cunha '10 is currently an Arabic Teacher at Austin High School. In May 2016 she recieved an MA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied Applied Linguistics, with a focus on the Teaching of Arabic as a Foreign Language. She is particularly interested in the teaching of Arabic Culture in both K-12 and university-level settings.

She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Near Eastern Studies, Linguistics and German Studies from Cornell University, and during her undergraduate career she participated in the inaugural year of Cornell's Intensive Arabic Program and studied abroad for a semester at the Hashemite University in Zarqa, Jordan. She has also lived in Cairo, Egypt and Doha, Qatar. She speaks Levantine Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, German and reads Classical Arabic and Latin.

Elias Saba '08 completed his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania and will continue on to teach at Grinnell College!

 Amy Pearlman '09 is currently a third year J.D. candidate at The George Washington University Law School and served as Program Coordinator for "Encounters" in Jerusalem from 2010-2014.

Ruth Kelty Wilford '09, M.A. thesis in History (Sultan Qaboos University, 2016) written entirely in Arabic:
"The Commercial and Diplomatic Actions of the American Consuls in Zanzibar, 1837-1915"

 Umair Khan '03  is currently working at the Office of New York City Public Advocate Letitia James as Deputy Counsel. He previously served as Assistant Counsel to State Senator Parker in the office of the Majority Whip. He started in the New York Senate as a Graduate Fellow with State Senator Bill Perkins. While at the Senate, Umair has led on a number of critical issues that include: education, energy, civil rights, health care, land use, financial and public authorities reform.  Before arriving in Albany, Umair served as the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies fellow with Congressman Mike Honda and a Legislative Assistant to Congressman Bob Filner.  He was also a founder of the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association. Umair is a graduate of Albany Law School, where he was an Associate Editor on the Albany Government Law Review, and received his bachelor's degree in Government and Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University.

 Hussein Hirji '03  is the Economic Counsellor at the Embassy of Canada in Washington. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University, before pursuing his Master’s in Development Economics at the University of London. He worked for the Aga Khan Development Network in Syria, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan before returning to Canada where he managed development projects in Egypt and Afghanistan. Since joining the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Hussein has covered the West Bank and Gaza and Middle East Peace Process, has been part of Canada’s delegation to the UN General Assembly, has covered Canada’s nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation policy and has been posted to the Representative Office of Canada in Ramallah.