All Fellows

2018-2019 Fellows

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Hannah Byrd
English Teacher - ClubAnglais
Tunis, Tunisia

Hi! My name is Hannah Byrd and I am from Bellville, Texas. I just graduated from Baylor University with a BA in International Studies and Arabic and Middle East Studies. I also completed two summers in Middlebury College’s Arabic Language School. As a Virtual Student Federal Service intern for the State Department, I have spent the last year leading an online English-language movie club for Libyan students. I am thrilled to spend the next year in Tunisia, exploring part of the Arab world and practicing my Arabic in real time. My position at ClubAnglais combines my passions for youth empowerment and the MENA region. I am excited for opportunities of growth as I teach English and immerse myself in Tunisian culture.

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Mushfiqur Chowdhury
Civic Engagement Center Coordinator - Cosmos Organization
Tunis, Tunisia

Salam! My name is Mushfiq and I am a born-and-bred New Yorker! I completed my undergrad out on the West Coast at the University of Southern California, studying International Relations and Middle East Studies. Afterward, I returned to the East Coast and completed a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School in Religion Ethics and Politics. My interests are at the cross-sections of religion, movements, human rights, and conflict, closely looking at the way the ethics of force has developed in particular faith traditions and how its gleanings can help us navigate current humanitarian crises. Most recently, I gathered experience working for the Muslim civic engagement organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and persisted in my Arabic studies with another fellowship. I am continuing that experience with Cosmos, where I will be engaging with Tunisia's youth through the second-ever Presidential elections after the 2014 constitution. I am excited to return to the region and work with young Tunisians for the future of Tunisia!

Eliza Davis
Women's Programs Manager - Collateral Repair Project
Amman, Jordan

I’m Eliza, and I graduated from Tufts University in 2018, majoring in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. I’ve always been passionate about languages and first started exploring Arabic through the NSLI-Y summer program in Morocco in 2013. At Tufts, I began focusing on displaced populations and spent the summer of 2016 in Greece, volunteering at Katsikas refugee camp. I moved to Lebanon in the fall, where I participated in the year-long intensive Arabic program at IFPO and volunteered at the non-formal education initiative, 26 Letters. I’m excited to continue exploring these issues in Jordan and can’t wait to begin as the Women’s Programs Manager at Collateral Repair Project. I’m also looking forward to struggling to cook new Jordanian recipes and getting lost hiking some of Jordan’s beautiful wadis.

Maddie Ewbank
Civic Engagement Center Coordinator - Cosmos Organization
Tunis, Tunisia

Ahlan! My name is Maddie, and I’m part of Northwestern University’s graduating class of 2018 with a BA in Middle East & North African Studies and a minor in Film & Media Studies. The most meaningful experiences of my undergraduate career have been in service to Chicago’s immigrant and refugee populations, through organizations founded by members of these communities. I am very excited to continue serving grassroots organizations that promote community engagement, education, and empowerment as an Elite Center Coordinator with Cosmos in Tunisia. In the last four years, my pursuit of Arabic language has made it possible for me to live and study in Morocco, Qatar, and Oman. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to partner with Cosmos to teach and develop English language curricula, so that I can open doors through foreign language education for other students. My other passions include international cinema, hiking, and homemade ice cream — you can find me in my spare time producing and designing sound for student films, walking wherever my shoes will carry me, and experimenting with new ice cream flavors.

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Bryce Feibel
Product Manager - Bayt.com
Amman, Jordan

Hello! My name is Bryce and I am originally from Chicago, Illinois. I graduated from Dickinson College in 2015 with a BA in International Studies with a concentration in the Middle East. Additionally, I received a Security Studies Certificate and a minor in Economics and Arabic. During my time at Dickinson, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Amman, Jordan for a semester. It was during this semester that I fell in love with the country and promised myself that I would return one day to work. Prior to becoming a MENAR Fellow at Bayt.com, I worked for Aon Risk Solutions in the Aon Global Client Network as an International Broker Specialist. I am extremely excited to return to Jordan as a Product Manager for Bayt.com and learn about the Middle East’s tech and startup industry!

Maddie Fisher
English and Arabic Teaching Assistant - EMIS
Tel Aviv, Israel

Hi! My name is Maddie Fisher and I am the MENAR fellow for 2018-2019 at Eastern Mediterranean International School (EMIS). I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University in 2017 with a degree in Arabic. Last year I was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Amman, Jordan at the Islamic Educational College for Girls in Jabal Amman teaching fifth through tenth grade Spoken English classes and interning for Jordan's Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies. As someone who is passionate about the MENA region and using education and religion as tools for peace-building, I look forward to joining the EMIS community that is committed to dialogue, sustainability, and peace. I am excited to continue teaching both English and Arabic as a language department fellow at EMIS and helping lead dialogue groups and work with the school's reconciliation center this year!

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 Hazlett Henderson
Classroom Teacher - Elm International School
Alexandria, Egypt

Hello! I'm Hazlett, originally from Kansas. I graduated from Swarthmore College in 2017 and spent last year working as an English assistant on Reunion Island, a French overseas department in the Indian Ocean. Having studied Arabic at Swarthmore and having spent a semester in Morocco, I am grateful for the chance to return to the MENA region to learn more about teaching in a multicultural context. I am especially excited to be a MENAR fellow for Elm, a school whose mission aligns closely with my values of open inquiry and global citizenship. I'm looking forward to a year of learning and teaching all around.

 

Lisa MacKenzie
Product Manager - Bayt.com
Amman, Jordan

Hi, my name is Lisa. I am from Underhill, Vermont and graduated from Bowdoin College in May 2017 where I studied International Relations. I was drawn to the Middle East and Arabic through participation in the Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program in Oman as a high school student, and I continued to pursue interests in the region and language as a student of Arabic in Amman, Jordan in 2015 and 2017. I spent the past several months working as a consultant in Portland, Maine, and I look forward to combining interests in growth strategy and the Middle East as a part of the Bayt.com team. In my free time, I look forward to frequenting cafes, playing football, and walking the hills in Amman.

 

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Jessie Miller
Community Center Programs Manager - Collateral Repair Project
Amman, Jordan

Hey there! My name is Jessie, and I will be moving to Amman, Jordan from Madison, Wisconsin. During my MENAR fellowship, I will be working for Collateral Repair Project as their Community Center Programs Manager. I recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with majors in Biology and African Literature and Languages. During my time as an undergraduate, I started a non-profit organization called Cardiac on Campus, which advocates for cardiovascular health and awareness. I also conducted neurobiology research during my time at UW Madison and engaged in public health advocacy at a local primary care clinic. I plan on attending medical school in 2020 with the eventual goal of serving Arabic-speaking refugee populations as a physician. I delved into Arabic language studies as a freshman, and they truly took flight in the summer of 2017 when I spent two months in Amman as a Critical Language Scholarship finalist. I love cooking food, going for runs, and reading good books in my free time, and I cannot wait to spend a year in Amman with Collateral Repair Project.

 

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Aiesha Savage
Classroom Teacher - Elm International School
Alexandria, Egypt

My name is Aiesha and I'm originally from Boston, Massachusetts. This year I graduated from Williams College where I double majored in History and Arabic Studies. I was fortunate enough to spend my junior year and the following summer abroad, first in Tunisia and then in Jordan, where I continued my language study and focused on topics critical to the region today. I was also able to do research on civic education in public schools in Tunis and Amman, and that's when I really became interested in education and decided I should try teaching. I'm thrilled to be joining the staff at Elm International School in Alexandria, Egypt to continue learning about international education and curriculum development in a more hands-on setting!


Past Fellows

2017-2018 Fellows

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Tonia Bartlett
Classroom Teacher - Elm International School
Alexandria, Egypt

Howdy! I’m Tonia - a Missouri native, though Colorado has been home for the past few years. I recently finished my undergraduate degree at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies, where I focused on the Middle East, sustainability, and leadership studies. After four months studying in Amman, Jordan in fall 2016, I’m excited to try Egypt on for size. In my spare time, you’ll find me exploring some of Alexandria’s beautiful coast, attempting to cook traditional Egyptian dishes, or finding an excuse to practice my Arabic with just about everyone I encounter. International youth education and empowerment is a real passion for me, and I’m thrilled to be pursuing that with Elm International School this year!


Katherine Butler-Dines
Associate Sales & Marketing Manager - Experience Morocco
Casablanca, Morocco

Hi! My name is Katherine and I just graduated from Georgetown University with a BS in Regional Studies: Middle East and North Africa. I am particularly interested in the intersections of gender, economic development, and political participation. I am also passionate about cross-cultural exchange and education to foster dialogue and break down stereotypes. Having studied abroad Morocco, I am thrilled to be returning to Casablanca to work for Experience Morocco where I will have the chance to help others visit this enchanting country.

 

Lilly Crown
Programs and Administration Fellow - Collateral Repair Project
Amman, Jordan

I'm Lilly, and I will be moving to Amman from Deltaville, Virginia as the MENAR Fellow at the Collateral Repair Project.  I graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures and Certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. My love of the Arabic language first took me to Oman to study as a SALAM Scholar. Then after in Jordan, I launched an online language-exchange program called Banaat Connect out of the Hopes Women's Center in the Jerash Refugee Camp, while also conducting research in Amman that examines the usage of information technology for gender development in Jordan. In my free time, I produce podcasts with Kerning Cultures and get lost in overly-complicated knitting patterns and dessert recipes.

 

 

Laura Humes
Classroom Teacher - Elm International School
Alexandria, Egypt

Hello! My name is Laura and I'm originally from Seattle, Washington. After graduating from Macalester College in 2016, I embarked on a year of independent travel and learning through the Watson Fellowship, which involved engaging with displaced communities around the globe. These experiences grew my appreciation for the MENA region and affirmed that in my work moving forward, I want people to be at the center. That's why I'm incredibly excited to join Elm International School this year in Alexandria, Egypt. I'm looking forward to joining a global community and immersing myself in a new place as one of this year's MENAR Fellows.

Jordan


Jordan Lee
Policy and Research Fellow - Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI)
Doha, Qatar

Hello! My name is Jordan and I'm from Richmond, Virginia. I just graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in Modern Middle East Studies as well as a certificate in Energy Studies. I am particularly interested in energy systems in the Middle East and how the region is adapting to changes in the global energy landscape, such as the growing role of renewables and natural gas. I am also interested in state-building in the Middle East and how some of the wealthier nations in the region can facilitate reconciliation and reconstruction in post-conflict zones. I am incredibly excited to work as a MENAR Fellow at the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI), which does pioneering research and policy analysis in Doha, Qatar.

 

Cassidy Lyon
Product Manager - Bayt.com
Amman, Jordan

I am currently a first-year M.A. student concentrating in Middle East Studies and Emerging Markets at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). I spent the last two summers in Morocco, where I fell in love with Arabic, the desert, and sitting around in cafes. I grew up in Georgia, where I attended the University of Georgia and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in International Affairs. During my time at UGA, I also lived in DC, where I interned at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy. Prior to attending SAIS, I worked for a technology incubator in Athens, GA where I fell in love with the opportunities and development that tech is cultivating on a global scale. I am excited to immerse myself in the technology and startup scene while working with Bayt.com in Amman, Jordan. 



Marie Panchesson
Product Manager - Bayt.com
Amman, Jordan

My name is Marie and I come from pretty much all over the West Coast of the United States. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Religion from the University of Puget Sound back in 2014. As an undergrad, I studied in Morocco and throughout my four years completed coursework in Islam and Arabic. In 2016, I lived in Amman, where I continued to study Arabic, interned, and traveled throughout the region. I am incredibly jazzed to be returning to Amman to work for Bayt.com and continue working in the city I love. Bayt’s team is absolutely amazing and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from them and the community I have built there.

 

Jessie


Jessie Wyatt
Director of Jordan Programs - Reclaim Childhood
Amman, Jordan

My name is Jessie and I come from the beautiful state of Minnesota. I graduated from Harvard University in 2016, joint-concentrating in The Comparative Study of Religion and Social Studies. I have been living in Amman, Jordan for the past year working in a bakery and learning Arabic. I’m very excited to extend my stay here and start working as a MENAR Fellow for Reclaim Childhood, an organization that provides spaces for girls to play sports. As a former athlete myself, I’m looking forward to exploring how sports instill self-confidence and encourage teamwork among players of all ages and backgrounds.  


2016-2017 Fellow

Timothy Loh
Programs and Administration Fellow - Collateral Repair Project
Amman, Jordan

Hello! My name is Timothy Loh and I hail from sunny Singapore. I am currently a second-year MA Candidate in Arab Studies at Georgetown University, where I also earned my BS in Foreign Service with a major in Culture and Politics in May 2015. Aside from refugees and transnational movements, I am interested in deafness and disability in the Arab world; local, global, and special education; and sociolinguistics in the Middle East and North Africa. I am really excited to be moving to Jordan to work as a MENAR Fellow for the Collateral Repair Project, which is doing amazing work in Amman! I'm looking forward to community, ‘ammiyyeh, and shawarma. Follow me on Twitter @tim_loh


2014-2015 Fellow

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Rachel Webb
Fellow - Endeavor
Dubai, UAE

Rachel joined Endeavor, a global non-profit supporting high-impact entrepreneurship, in their Dubai office in August 2014. She recently completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, also earning a certificate in Near Eastern Studies. Though she grew up in Ohio, study abroad experiences in Morocco and Turkey sparked her interest in working in the Middle East. While at Princeton, she interned with a refugee settlement agency in Ohio, AMIDEAST Lebanon, and the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. Rachel's hobbies include eating Lebanese food and traveling on budget.


2012-2013 Fellow

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Tal Eisenzweig
Fellow - Amadeus Institute
Rabat, Morocco

The MENAR Fellowship Program offered one fellowship post during the 2012-2013 fellowship year, under the auspices of the Princeton in Africa program. The 2012-2013 fellow, Tal Eisenzweig, graduated from Princeton University in 2012 with a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and certificates in French and Near Eastern Studies.Through the MENAR Fellowship Program, Tal served as a fellow at the Amadeus Institute, based in Rabat, Morocco. She has gone on to pursue a Fulbright Fellowship in Canada on the topic of refugee policy, inspired in part by her experiences in Morocco. Click here to read further reflections by Tal on some of her highlights and proudest accomplishments while working with the Amadeus Institute.

I am a very proud first fellow of the MENAR Fellowship Program. When I learned that my placement would be in Rabat, the political capital of Morocco, I was ecstatic: a 2010 intensive Arabic summer course had provided an initial orientation to the many beautiful historical sites of Morocco, and I looked forward to further exploring the complexities of its modern socio-political and cultural reality.

In Rabat, I found an apartment in a diverse downtown neighborhood, a mere ten-minute walk from the historic medina, and neighboring a lovely Norman creperie, a fixture among European expats. A newly launched light rail train, which united the poorer city of Salé with Rabat, ran parallel to my street, and provided excellent transportation to my work in the suburbs – as well as an interesting microcosm of the socioeconomic dynamic between the sister cities. Almost sandwiched between the rail and my street stood an impressive church, where many sub-Saharan asylum-seekers and migrant workers would gather every Sunday. Although Rabat is sometimes downplayed as the smaller, cleaner, and even lackluster headquarters of the Moroccan government, I found in it the very manifestations of a country torn between tradition and modernity, between Africa and Europe – and between poverty and privilege.

It would be impossible to illustrate the myriad layers of Moroccan reality in such a short space. As a fellow, I was given the opportunity to live and work amidst it; my work in a research institute further allowed me read about, and discuss, the political ramifications. For this I will be eternally grateful.
— Tal Eisenzweig