Here’s a little bit about Samir, one of the students in the first DAMES graduate program cohort!
Tell us about yourself!
I graduated from North Carolina State University last year with a Bachelor’s in History and a Middle East studies minor. My initial plan had been to stick with History in my graduate studies, but I kind of fell in love with Middle East studies, so here I am! Studying Arabic is a big part of my field, so I was pleased to be part of the CLS (Critical Language Scholarship) Program over the summer. It was supposed to be in Ibri, Oman, but due to COVID, we did it online. It was still a great experience, and I really feel like it took my Arabic abilities to the next level. In my free time, I enjoy reading/watching sci-fi (go see the new Dune movie!), playing chess, and spending time with my partner and our lazy cat.
What program track did you choose?
I chose the Interdisciplinary track and intend to focus primarily on Middle East studies
What are you hoping to gain from your experiences here in DAMES and at UNC?
I was thrilled to be accepted into the DAMES program here at UNC because I tend to shy away from academic overspecialization, and the program’s commitment to a humanist approach to the decidedly complex issues that accompany Asian and Middle East Studies really resonated with me . I look forward to improving my language abilities, making connections with other departments, and interacting with my fellow DAMES students.