The CCAS congratulates second-year MAAS student Timothy Loh, who was recently named a 2016 Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace, as well as awarded a postgraduate MENAR Fellowship. Each summer, the Fellows for Peace program, founded in 2007 by the late Kathryn Wasserman Davis, provides funding for 100 “aspiring and experienced peacemakers” to attend the prestigious Middlebury Language School. The competitive fellowship provides full tuition scholarships and covers the costs of room and board at Middlebury. “Kathryn Davis Fellows for Peace receive the very best training in foreign language or policy studies and go on to use their skills for the greater good—in peace-related professions and initiatives all around the world.”
Loh, who has focused his academic work during the MAAS program on deafness and disability in the Arab world, will spend his two months at Middlebury this summer studying Arabic. “I have conducted anthropological fieldwork at a deaf school in Jordan, volunteered with a deaf association in Egypt, and written about deaf education in Palestine, and I hope eventually to earn a PhD focusing on deaf and signing communities in the Middle East,” says Loh, a member of Visual Language Visual Learning (VL2) Student Network based at Gallaudet University. “Since deaf Arabs live in societies where Arabic is the dominant language, I hope that a deeper knowledge of Arabic will enable me to read policy regarding the disabled in the region, to better learn Arabic sign languages, and to dialogue with policymakers and other Arabs about deafness in all its complexity.”
At the end of the summer, Loh will begin working at the Collateral Repair Project, a nonprofit based in Jordan that assists refugees and other victims of conflict. Loh was matched with the Collateral Repair Project through the MENAR Fellowship Program, which facilitates intercultural exchange by coordinating fellowships for recent American college graduates with non-profit organizations and businesses in the Middle East.
Enrolled in the Accelerated Program at Georgetown, Loh graduated magna cum laude in May 2015 with the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service, majoring in Culture and Politics with a concentration on sociolinguistics in the Middle East and North Africa. He is a candidate to graduate from the Master of Arts in Arab Studies (MAAS) program at Georgetown in May, 2016. In addition to deafness and disability in the Arab World, Loh’s other research interests include refugee and transnational movements; local, global, and special education; Islamophobia and Muslim-Christian relations; disability and religion; and disability in global contexts.