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.

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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