Annie Samhouri, a native of Colorado, received a BA in political science, with minors in Middle Eastern studies/Arabic and international development, and is currently pursuing an MS in sociology from BYU. Samhouri studied Arabic for two years and put that knowledge to use with two internships with the Jordanian Ministry of Social Development. She also has three years of experience supervising the BYU Jordan international development internship with the Ministry of Social Development and Professor Ralph Brown (her thesis chair). As a recipient of both a Boren and a Fulbright award, Samhouri hopes to seek employment with USAID in the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment or with the United Nations.
Kelly Danforth expressed interest in “picking up a North African Arabic accent. Arabs make fun of my Egyptian every time I open my mouth, so its time they had something new to laugh at!” she said.
Winner of a Critical Language Scholarship for Arabic language study in to Morocco, Danforth is a Middle East studies and Arabic major. A native of Cody, Wyoming, she says her best preparatory experience for the award was a study abroad to Cairo, Egypt, during summer 2010. While in Egypt, “[My] Arabic improved, and I grew to love the people and culture,” she said, noting that Arab children were often her most willing conversation partners. Danforth’s plans include looking for any opportunity to improve her language skills and spend time in the Middle East.