Drury University’s Middle Eastern Studies minor program allows students to study Arab nations in depth—from politics to culture. But what better way to study the Middle East than to learn from a native Arabic professor.
Professor Dina Ramadan traveled from her home in Cairo, Egypt to teach classes within the program. She came to Drury this fall with the help of an education grant.
“At the very beginning, I applied for the program by Fulbright, which is FLTA—the Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship,” Dina explains. “Then at the interview, they asked us about a preferable place and I wrote ‘Midwest’ as my preferable place, so they assigned me to Drury because they have Arabic language and teaching.”
This fall, Dina has been teaching two language classes—elementary and advanced level Arabic. She will continue teaching at Drury through May 2013.
During her time here, Dina hopes that students grasp a better understanding of the Arab world.
“I think that we need to have more teachers from the Middle East and from Arab countries because I feel here that people—a lot of them—don’t know much about Egypt and don’t know much about the Arab world, about Muslims,” Dina says. “I feel that the culture exchange programs are very important to get people informed about Muslims.”
Professor Ramadan also has other goals she wants to accomplish while she is in the U.S.
“I want to publish some academic research papers here because in Egypt, in order to get promoted, to being an assistant professor and being a full-fledged professor after that—I have to publish papers internationally and locally,” Dina adds. “So here, I feel this is a good opportunity for me to publish the international papers.”
In addition to teaching to publishing work, she would also like to travel to different parts of the U.S.
“I want to visit as many places as I can while I’m here. I want to visit of course Washington D.C., New York City, Emily Dickinson’s museum at Amherst, Massachusetts, and San Francisco,” she says.
To learn more about Drury’s Arabic classes or the minor program, contact the director of the program, Dr. Jeff VanDenBerg, at firstname.lastname@example.org.