Posted by Yasmin Hussein on September 05, 2016 in Blog

Jodutt Basrawi is a recent graduate who obtained a degree in Engineering Geology with a minor in Public Affairs from the University of California, Los Angeles.  He recently returned from Peking University in Beijing, China, where he studied both Mandarin Chinese and Geophysics.  Jodutt is of Saudi Arabian, Syrian, Turkish, and Circassian descent.  He lived in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia for 17 years; he last visited Damascus, Syria in 2011; he studied abroad in Istanbul Turkey for 10 weeks; and he danced for a Circassian performance group for 2 years.  Although Jodutt studied science inside the classroom, he was mostly involved with Arab-American student groups outside of the classroom, where he founded three Arab-American student organizations.  Jodutt is working as AAI’s Government Relations Intern.  He aims to increase the influence of Arab-American voters by not only assisting them with the voting process, but by also enabling them become more informed about American legislation, due process, and the means by which they can make a difference on Capitol Hill and beyond.


Basseem Maleki is a recent graduate of the University of Oregon where he minored in Political Science and majored in International Studies with a focus on conflict resolution and the Middle East. Basseem is of Iranian and Lebanese heritage and is passionate about issues concerning the Middle East and its people. Before moving to DC, Basseem studied abroad at the American University of Beirut and spent an additional semester interning for Search for Common Ground in Beirut, Lebanon. He wrote his senior thesis about Hollywood and the mass media’s portrayal of Arabs and Muslims. Basseem regularly travels to Lebanon and enjoys talking about his love of the country, its people, and its food to anyone who will listen. Basseem is an external intern with The Brookings Institution. 

Mahamed Omar is a recent graduate from Emory University, with a major in Political Science and a minor in Economics. Mahamed is a Somali American, and is passionate about community empowerment and social justice. Prior to his position with us as a Communications Intern, he has held various positions with the purpose to uplift those most disadvantaged. More specifically, he has worked as a Social Impact Fellow with Diplomat Rx in Flint, Michigan, a John Lewis Fellow with Humanity-in-Action in Atlanta, GA, and an Urban Education Leadership Intern with the DCPS in Washington D.C. Mahamed is committed to challenging the injustices made against the Arab American community, and playing a role in ensuring the Arab American community’s voice is heard in the 2016 election. In his free time, he enjoys getting in heated arguments with Trump supporters.

Manel Zitoun is a senior at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She was born in Tunisia, and spent a brief part of her childhood there. Her ethnic background has compelled her to major in Global Affairs concentrating in the Middle East and North African region with a minor in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Manel is particularly interested in national and human security within the MENA region in conflict states. After graduation, she plans on pursuing her Master’s degree. When she is not studying, Manel is interested in hanging out with friends, listening to music, and spending time at the beach. Manel is AAI's Programs Intern.