“My interest in Arabic stemmed from multiple visits to Israel, learning Hebrew, and my awareness that I lacked exposure to the neighboring Arab culture, language, and peoples. After studying Hebrew for seven years, I began Arabic classes as a high school sophomore. I eagerly awaited Arabic class each day, and by the end of my first semester, I began to realize how my affinity for Arabic and my Hebrew proficiency complemented my career goals of working in the U.S. Foreign Service or in the intelligence community.
As a sophomore at Ohio State University majoring in Arabic and International Studies, I am enrolled in advanced intermediate Arabic. In order to truly understand Middle Eastern and North African culture, I believe it is fundamental to learn those cultures’ languages and to study the regions where they are spoken. The Arabic language education that I am currently receiving, and will continue to receive till I graduate from Ohio State, will play a central role in my future career plans and ambitions.
During the next academic year, I plan to attain enhanced fl uency in both formal and spoken Arabic. When I return to Ohio State next academic year, I will take colloquial, and literary Arabic courses in both the fall and spring semesters. This will allow me to complete the majority of Arabic language courses in four years. I also plan to spend a semester abroad in an Arabic-speaking country and to continue participating in Middle Eastern cultural organizations, such as the Arab Student Association. After graduating from school I hope to work for the federal government, and pursue a doctoral degree in international relations.
Fluency in Arabic is key towards achieving my career goals of one day furthering positive change and social justice in the Middle East, through enhanced communication between those who speak Arabic, those who speak Hebrew, and those who speak neither language. Real, practical experiences, combined with Arabic classes at Ohio State through FLAS funding, will give me the opportunity to perfect my language ability, and come closer to achieving my career goals of working in the U.S. Foreign Service or in the intelligence community.
As issues in the Arab world continue to arise, it is vital to understand the culture and language of its speakers in order to design the foreign policy of the United States."