Alumni Spotlight - Center for Contemporary Arab Studies | Georgetown University

Alumni Spotlight

MAAS graduates have distinguished themselves in fields such as diplomatic service, international finance, media, human rights and development, and as U.S. Congressional staff members and faculty in leading universities. 90% of our graduates are employed within six months of graduate. Recent alums hold positions at Google, U.S. Department of State, World Bank, United Nations, Citibank, Petroleum Finance Company, Al-Jazeera, and Carnegie Endowment, among many others. Find out below what some of our MAAS graduates are doing today.

Headshot of Natalia Sancha

Alumni Spotlight: Natalia Sancha (MAAS ’08)

MAAS alumna Natalia Sancha, originally from Andalusia, studied journalism because she wanted to cover important events and tell people about them. Now, after working as a reporter, writer, and photographer in Lebanon for more than a decade, she shares some of her experiences ...
Alumni Spotlight: Roya Soleimani (MAAS '11)

Alumni Spotlight: Roya Soleimani (MAAS ’11)

The power of Google is immense, but its also the work they do off-line that makes an incredible difference in the world. And for SFS alumnae Roya Soleimani (MAAS '11), to be a part of that humanitarian arm is a fulfilling moment of her career ...
Alumni Spotlight: Curt Goering (MAAS ’80)

Alumni Spotlight: Curt Goering (MAAS ’80)

While in college in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Curt Goering would frequently watch soldiers periodically enter and disrupt his classes and take students away. His classmates would often return with bruises on their bodies and grave stories of what the soldiers did to them. These narratives, and the time he spent studying abroad in the Middle East, led him to pursue graduate work on the region with a focus on human rights. He joined the MAAS program and graduated ...
Q&A with Kristin Smith (MAAS '14)

Q&A with Kristin Smith (MAAS ’14)

After receiving her undergraduate degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization at Harvard University, Kristin Smith began the MAAS program and graduated with a concentration in Culture and Society in 2014. Currently, Smith resides in Lebanon, and works as the Cultural Affairs Officer for the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.  ...
Q&A with Tighe Flanagan (MAAS ’12)

Q&A with Tighe Flanagan (MAAS ’12)

Tighe Flanagan is Director of Wikimedia Foundation’s Education Programs, which helps educators and students around the world contribute to Wikipedia in an academic setting. As Director, Tighe leads the education team and is also responsible for coordinating with the education programs in the Arab region and Africa. Prior to his work at Wikimedia Foundation, Tighe served in the Peace Corps and worked as a consultant for USAID and the World Bank. Tighe graduated from the MAAS program in 2012 and ...
picture of Deena Takruri standing in front of the DMZ border

Q&A with Dena Takruri (MAAS ’08)

Dena Takruri is an American journalist, presenter, and producer for Al Jazeera's all digital video network, AJ+, and a 2008 graduate of the MAAS program at Georgetown. In her time as a distinguished journalist, Takruri has interviewed such figures as Tony Blair, John McCain, Donald Rumsfeld, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Read more about her work in this Q&A with the Nieman Storyboard.     ...
Photo of Sherene Seikaly

Q&A with Sherene Seikaly (MAAS ’00)

MAAS Alum Sherene Seikaly (2000) recently published Men of Capital: Scarcity and Economy in Mandate Palestine with Stanford University Press (2015). Her book, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Palestine Book Awards, debunks common assumptions about class in British-ruled Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s by exploring the complexities of the emergent middle classes. In this interview, she chats with CCAS about her research. Dr. Seikaly is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara and serves as ...
Q&A with Grace Benton (MAAS '14)

Q&A with Grace Benton (MAAS ’14)

Grace Benton, originally from Mobile, Alabama, graduated from the MAAS program in 2014 and also holds a Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies from Georgetown. Grace received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and study in Jordan from 2011-12. Her fluency in Arabic has opened opportunities for her to live and work in several Middle Eastern countries, including Tunisia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. Most recently, Grace was the Egypt Program Director at the International Refugee Assistance Project and managed ...
Photo of Will Todman

Q&A with Will Todman (MAAS ’16)

Will Todman graduated from the MAAS program in 2016. Will is originally from the UK and received his undergraduate degree in Arabic and Hebrew from Oxford University. He currently lives in Washington, DC and works as an associate fellow for the Center for Strategic International Studies’ Middle East program, conducting research on political, social, and economic issues related to the MENA region.  ...
Image of Adila Laïdi-Hanieh standing in front of large abstract painting

Q&A with Adila Laïdi-Hanieh (MAAS ’92)

Adila Laïdi-Hanieh is a 1992 graduate of the MAAS program. After graduating, Adila went on to receive her PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason University. Adila is currently a postdoc fellow at the Arab Council for Social Sciences and lives in Ramallah, Palestine. She is a former student of the Turkish artist, Fahrelnissa Zeid and has recently published a book about her titled, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Painter of Inner Worlds. http://www.artbookspublishing.co.uk/fahrelnissa-zeid/  ...
Picture of Mhani Alaoui

Q&A with Mhani Alaoui (MAAS ’01)

Mhani Alaoui (MAAS '01) was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco.  Since earning her degree at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, she has conducted research in Paris, earned a PhD in Anthropology from Princeton, worked as a consultant for the United Nations in New York, and served as Research Director for a foundation affiliated with one of Morocco's largest public corporations. At 35 years of age, she plucked up the courage to quit her day job and focus on her ...
Picture of Judith-Mendelsohn-Rood

Q&A with Judith-Mendelsohn-Rood (MAAS ’82)

MAAS alumna Judith Mendelsohn Rood talks about her doctoral research as a Lady Davis Dissertation Fellow at Hebrew University and as the Islamic Court of Jerusalem’s first female researcher ...
Image of Lisa Hajjar

Lisa Hajjar (MAAS ’86)

MAAS alumna and university professor Lisa Hajjar discusses recent developments in the American public debate over the use of torture, and the personal road she took to speaking out against it. Interview by Steven Gertz and Brooke Sauro ...