Hometown: Buffalo, New York
Research interests: Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Women and Gender in the Middle East, Palestine/Israel, Neoliberalism, Educational Development, Current Marriage and Dating Trends, Human Rights
Born to Palestinian immigrant parents, Samah Asfour tailored her educational and career goals to reflect her Arab identity. At the University of Buffalo, Samah majored in Political Science and Global Gender Studies and minored in French. To advance her language skills, Samah studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. While there, she began conducting research for her honors thesis topic on the discrimination against Muslim women in France and their counter-public spheres. After graduating magna cum laude in May 2015, Samah embarked on a Fulbright assignment in Amman, Jordan where she lectured at Jordan Applied University. During her year teaching business English and tourism English courses, Samah also volunteered with Madrasati, a Queen Rania Initiative, where she created and implemented interactive English games for elementary education. She is also the first recipient of the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Endowed Scholarship, concentrating her graduate work on women and gender in the MENA region.