Posted by Arab American Institute on June 15, 2015 in Blog
Every summer, AAI selects a small group of interns from an applicant pool of over 100 undergraduates and recent graduates. Chosen 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 organizations in Washington, DC and abroad, ranging from advocacy groups and political parties to members of Congress and government agencies.
We are looking forward to working with our Summer 2015interns, selected from a remarkably competitive field for their impressive history, experience, and motivation. Each person has unique skill sets and many have already produced excellent research and reports. Learn more about this summer's interns here!
Gabrielle Borg is a junior at the University of Michigan. She is majoring in Political Science and double minoring in Arab and Muslim American Studies, along with a Women’s Studies minor in Gender, Race and Nation. In her free time, Gabby works with the Mid-American Global Education Council and the College Volunteer Facilitator Corps. Through these organizations, she is able to mentor young students in leadership and diplomacy. Gabby is passionate about social justice, current events and global affairs. She loves to travel and hopes to visit every continent more than once. As a second generation Palestinian American, Gabby is dedicated to her community and hopes to help shape a brighter future for Arabs in America and around the world. Gabby will be placed externally at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee working on campaign organizing.
Beshouy Botros was born in Egypt and raised in Southern California. He grew up with a strong Egyptian community and parents who insisted he speak Arabic. Although his family fled Egypt when he was four years old, his extended family and the Coptic communities of Los Angeles created a sense of home and pride for Beshouy. As a tutor, translator, deacon, and organizer he served the LA community regularly and over the years has become increasingly engaged politically. As a student and a community organizer in the 2012 election cycle, Beshouy built meaningful bridges between the America he navigates everyday and the slice of Americana he shares with fellow Egyptian Americans. Beshouy is a rising junior studying history, religion, and economics at Pomona College in California. He seeks to continue to bridge gaps of understanding, achievement, and privilege, in search of knowledge and purpose through his placement at the Brookings Institution this summer.
David Curtis is a 2015 graduate of Davidson College, where he received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Arab Studies. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, David has studied or worked in a variety of Middle Eastern countries, including Oman, Jordan, Egypt, and most recently, Iran. Improving his Arabic dramatically with an intensive four month language program in Amman, Jordan through Middlebury College, David would become a volunteer Arabic tutor at Davidson. In Jordan, David volunteered weekly teaching music classes at an orphanage for boys, many of whom had been refugees from Palestine. While in college, David was the Chair of Philanthropy and Service for his fraternity, and the Music Director for Davidson's only all-male acapella group, the Davidson Generals. David has worked as an intern over the past few summers for the Pittsburgh-based American Middle East Institute, which led him to assisting in the organization's inaugural business conference in Cairo, Egypt last summer. David's chief interests lie in Middle East foreign policy, cultural and business diplomacy, and community service. This summer, David is interning at AAI's headquarters with the Communications Department.
Annie Gergi is a rising senior at the University of Manchester in England where she majors in Middle Eastern Studies. Annie has travelled extensively in the Middle East and has lived and studied in Beirut, Lebanon for one year. While she was born and raised in New Jersey, Annie has always been extremely proud of her Lebanese heritage and this has given her an added passion and curiosity in understanding the region. In high school, Annie was an active member of Seeds of Peace, an organization that works to bring together and empower youth from conflict regions to better their future. Annie has also worked as a research assistant at the Middle East Center of the London School of Economics. Annie believes that when people of good faith come together to engage in positive dialogue, it is possible to shed light on, and perhaps even heal, seemingly unbridgeable rifts. Annie speaks English and Arabic fluently and is proficient in French. This summer, Annie is placed at the Truman National Security Project where she will be working on policy recommendations.
Neveen Hammad is a native of Chicago, Illnois and a proud 2015 graduate of Saint Xavier University. She majored in Political Science and Philosophy and hopes to attend Marquette University Law school in the fall. Neveen is Palestinian American and she feels deeply connected to her background. After visiting Palestine in 2011, she found herself increasingly dedicated to serving and protecting the citizens of the Middle East with their diverse political and social values. Due to this desire and commitment to civil service and justice, Neveen feels studying international law would be the right for her. While at Saint Xavier University, Neveen participated in many community service projects and events. She has served as the president of the Environmental Concerns Organization, volunteered as a basketball coach with the Special Olympics and participated in the Chicago Marathon to raise funds for the Special Olympics. Neveen is placed at the Churches of Middle East Peace this summer to learn more about the Arab Israeli conflict and conflict resolution.
Hunter Headapohl is from San Diego, California. Hunter is a rising sophomore studying International Security Policy with a minor in political philosophy at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. While at GWU, Hunter was selected to participate on the Model United Nations travel team, which is ranked ninth in the nation. He has competed in conferences around the country, debating various topics including UN interventions in the Middle East and the invocation of the UN’s “Right to Protect” in the Syrian conflict. Hunter is interested in the Arabic language, Middle Eastern politics and the region’s changing dynamics as a whole. In the summer of 2014, Hunter travelled to Palestine to study the ongoing Arab Israeli conflict firsthand. He has also extensively travelled throughout the Middle East and Asia. Hunter is working with the Government Relations team at AAI's headquarters this summer.
Nicole Khamis is a rising junior at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and is placed at AAI’s headquarters as our Programs intern. Born to parents who were displaced in Palestine both in 1948 and 1967, Nicole’s Palestinian identity has become a catalyst for her passion for Social Justice and Human Rights, both in the classroom and on a larger scale. Continued involvement with the Arab Students Association, including human right groups and Intergroup Relations, have opened up new interests of dialogue and conflict resolution that Nicole hopes to build on with her professional experiences. Nicole is majoring in International Studies with a minor in Arabic and she hopes to continue onto law school to pursue International Law. When she returned to her hometown of Ramallah, Palestine two years ago, she became concerned by the refugee crisis and started volunteering at Jalazone Refugee Camp. Nicole observed the large gaps and injustices between Refugee Policy and the people they impacted. For the first half of her upcoming junior year, Nicole will be pursuing Refugee Policy Research at the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut to learn more about this issue. This summer, Nicole is working with the Programs team at AAI's headquarters.
Sabrin Qadi is a Palestinian American born in Jordan, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated last year with honors from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, receiving her BA in English. At UMKC, she served as President of the Prelaw Society and Students for Justice in Palestine, Secretary of the International English Honors Society, and rehearsed trials as an attorney/witness in Mock Trial Association. Sabrin was offered a full scholarship in 2013 to serve as a scholar in an intensive program with Karamah, a human rights law firm in Washington, D.C. featuring prominent Muslim women attorneys. She spent the summer learning to analyze legal opinions and statements in Islamic jurisprudence, while emphasizing her individual talents of leadership and conflict resolution. She is currently studying and applying to law school. She has a passion for human rights, foreign policy, and law that is the force that drives her to pursue international law, human rights, and extradition. This summer, Sabrin is working with No One Left Behind, a nonprofit that assists Iraqi and Afghani translators gain their U.S. Special Immigration Visas.