Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Blog

Every summer, AAI hosts 10-12 interns from an applicant pool of over 100 undergraduates and recent graduates. Selected interns are deeply involved in their communities, highly successful in their studies, often speak multiple languages, and demonstrate hard work and enthusiasm in all aspects of their lives.  Interns are selected to represent AAI at a variety of D.C. organizations, ranging from advocacy groups and political parties to members of Congress and government agencies.

We are particularly proud of our 2012 interns, selected from a remarkably competitive field for their impressive history, experience, intelligence, and motivation. Each brings a unique skillset and passion to the group, and many have already produced fantastic reports, analyses, research, and reports.

AAI will periodically feature the writings of our interns in the coming months, so look out for guest posts from each of the people below:


Nashwa Gewaily

Nashwa Gewaily is a student at Boston University School of Law, where she is furthering her interest in the fields of civil and human rights law, and is an active member of the Public Interest Law Journal. She graduated from NYU with a BA in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Journalism. Previously, she has worked for the World Policy Institute, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Human Rights Watch, Pacifica Radio Network, and the Sudanese Refugee Ministry in Cairo. Nashwa joins the AAI team as a Summer Fellow at the U.S. Department of State’s Global Partnership Initiative.


Johara Hall

Johara was born and raised in Rabat, Morocco. She recently graduated from Providence College where she received a B.A. in Political Science and where she worked as a Political Science Research Assistant doing advocacy work for Latino Americans. Prior to joining the AAI team, Johara interned at the State Department in the Near East Asia Division at the Foreign Service Institute where she worked on forming training material for diplomats posted in the Middle East. Previously, Johara interned for USAID Morocco where she engaged in community outreach programs including a Ramadan Outreach Program. At AAI, Johara works with the Community Relations Department where she conducts research on Arab American party delegates.


Taif Jany

Taif is a recent graduate from Union College in Upstate New York with a B.A in Sociology and French. Taif is originally from Baghdad, Iraq where he stayed there until he finished high school. In 2006, Taif moved to Damascus, Syria and lived there for two years where he joined the Iraqi Student Project and arrived to the United States in 2008. At Union, Taif was the Teacher Assistant for Arabic for two years. During his last term of his senior year, Taif interned at Congressman Keith Ellison’s office in Washington D.C. where he wrote and edited constituent letters, conducted research on various foreign affairs topics, and attended briefings and hearings on behalf of the office. Taif recently joined AAI as a government relations intern. Taif’s future plan is to attend law school and work for the UNHCR. Taif plays classical guitar, loves travelling, political debates, and falafel.


Sara Jawhari

First generation Palestinian-American Sara Jawhari joins AAI as a summer communications intern. Sara grew up in Kansas City, MO and received an AA in Journalism before transferring to the University of Kansas to pursue a degree in Anthropology and minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and is active in groups that work toward preserving the rights and self-determination of citizens in conflict zones, particularly in her native Palestine. She hopes to one day work as a traveling journalist, producing documentaries, research and partaking in relief efforts in areas she profiles. Did we mention she attends KU? Sara is also an avid basketball fan. Kentucky fans, beware.


Nama Khalil

Nama Khalil received her Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Khalil’s Thesis Exhibition was derived from her personal experience, exploring instances of silenced and suppressed voice in post 9/11 society. She explores the notion of "Otherness" in her work while attempting to speak for herself as an Other, or acting as a mediator between her subjects and her viewers. She recently completed a Master's Degree in Modern Middle East Studies from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she is also a PH.D candidate in Anthropology. Nama is working at Foreign Policy in Focus, where she writes and researches on issues pertaining to The Arab Spring.


Dan Korey

Dan Korey is a Lebanese-American student at American University in Washington, D.C. studying Political Science and Communications. At American, he serves as the Vice President of the Catholic Student Association and Grant Coordinator for Students Fighting Homelessness and Hunger. Dan is placed at Churches for Middle East Peace where he works to mobilize Christians to advocate for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Nasser Siadat

Nasser is a member of the inaugural class at New York University Abu Dhabi, where he majors in Social Research & Public Policy. Having experienced hate crimes and verbal abuse for his heritage and religion as a child after September 11th, he grew up wanting to be a cultural ambassador to bridge the divide between western misconceptions and stereotypes of the region and its peoples. Since then, his extensive travel in the Middle East and advanced studies in the Arabic language have helped to better-equip himself with the understandings of the various cultural, historical, and political diversities of the Arab world. Nasser will spend next year at the New York University Washington Square campus, and while still deciding future career plans, is most interested in advocacy work or public service. In his free time, Nasser enjoys ping-pong and rice, and would like to take up home-made ice cream making as a side hobby.


Tess Waggoner

Tess Waggoner is a rising senior at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where she is a Religious Studies and Asian Studies joint major, with a concentration in Islamic Civilization and Cultures and a minor in Philosophy. At Kenyon, she serves as president of the Middle East Student Association and the Kenyon College Chasers a cappella group. She also serves as a contributor and editor for The Kenyon Observer, the College’s oldest political and cultural magazine. Ms. Waggoner works as a campus tour guide and mentors incoming students as an Upper Class Counselor. She is also currently serving as a campus intern for the Yalla Change campaign. The proud granddaughter of the late Maryse and Ramzy Mikhail, she also serves on the speaker selection committee for their Memorial Lecture Series at the University of Toledo, which sponsors an annual lecture pertaining to Middle East culture and politics. This summer, Tess is placed at the Unite Lebanon Youth Project in Beirut, Lebanon, developing curriculum and teaching SAT prep courses to Palestinian and Lebanese students.


Radwa Wahba

Radwa was born in Austin, Texas, to Egyptian parents and was raised in Egypt, Germany, UAE, and parts of the US, but mostly in Virginia. She graduated this May from George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia, with a major in Global Affairs, a concentration in World Arts, and a minor in Linguistics. This summer Radwa was fortunate enough to have been chosen for the AAI Summer 2012 internship, and placed in Representative Karen Bass’ (CA-33) office. She covers any and every topic that needs further research, but is specifically interested in learning more and helping with the Congresswoman's position and work on the Foreign Affairs Committee. She looks forward to the remainder of my time with AAI and Karen Bass’ team, as well as pursuing a future career in Foreign policy/service.





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