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2021 Arab America Spring Interns and Fellows

2021 Spring Interns and Fellows

Meral Abu Jaser

Contributing Writer and Research Intern 

Meral Abu-Jaser is a Jordanian American who grew up back and forth in Irbid, Al-Sarih, and Las Vegas, Nevada. She is an undergraduate senior at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada (UNLV) finishing up her bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering while also completing a minor in Mathematics. Meral is involved in multiple activities at her university to influence, inspire and empower other female students. She is currently serving as the director of her university chapter “Girls Who Code” which is focused on encouraging female-identifying students into learning how to code. Meral is also a mentor for the UNLV ITEST project which aims to help female students become more involved in STEM majors specifically engineering, robotics, and programming. Aside from her academic involvement, she works as a contributing writer at Arab American where she writes articles that highlight the wonders and achievements of the Arab world. Meral is also working on the Research and Outreach team to expand the Arab American mission to promote an accurate image of the Arab American community and the Arab world.

Diane Bou Hamdan

Contributing Writer and Research Senior Intern 

Lebanese American University Graduate, Diane graduated with an Honors degree. She studied  Political Science/ International Affairs.  She was born in Kuwait, she also lived there until the age of 13. After, she moved to Lebanon and studied in an American high-school where she learned more about her Lebanese heritage. Diane is known for her positivity. She lives by “تفاءلوا بالخير تجروه” which means: “be positive about everything, and you will attract positivity.”

Claire Boyle

Contributing Writer and Editorial Senior Intern 2020 

Claire Boyle is from Chicago, Illinois. She is currently a first-year MA in History student at DePaul University. She graduated Magna cum Laude from Benedictine University with a BA in Global Studies, Minor in Arabic, and an Emphasis in Interfaith Studies. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Morocco for a short-term trip in May 2017 and fell in love with the country. Claire is also a trained COVID-19 Contact Tracer as well. Her research interests at Arab America and in graduate school include the history, culture, religion, and politics of Arab Americans, the Arab World with an emphasis on North Africa, and 1960s protest movements in the United States. She has experience in administrative support, writing, research, tutoring, and local Chicago history. Finally, she is hoping to pursue a career as a historian, archivist, museum curator, or librarian.

Christian Jimenez

Contributing Writer and Research Intern

Christian is Cuban and Puerto Rican from GA. He is currently studying at the George Washington University where he studies International Relations. Christian is a social media intern and contributing writer for Arab America. He is also in his third year of Arab language studies.

Wael Sultan

Contributing Writer and Outreach Senior Intern

Wael Sultan is an Engineering graduate from California State University, Long Beach. He’s currently residing in San Francisco, Ca, and has experience working at a Silicon Valley EdTech Startup. Wael joined Arab America to help spread awareness of the Arab identity, culture, and history in the United States. Presently, he’s a contributing writer and Outreach Coordinator for Arab America and aims to pursue his Master’s Degree at an Ivy League.

Ruqyah Sweidan

Contributing Writer and Editorial Senior Intern 

Ruqyah Sweidan is originally from Palestine. She grew up in the United Arab Emirates and moved to the US four years ago and have graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelors in Anthropology. She started as a senior intern for Arab America in January of 2021 and enjoys the work so much because she gets to connect with amazing community partners and write articles about the endless assets and accomplishments of the Arab world and their contributions to humanity. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her career, and she intends on continuing this work for her future career.

Samir Tahraoui

Contributing Writer and Research Senior Intern

Samir Tahraoui, a trilingual translator, interpreter, researcher, and assistant Professor of translation and language teacher at the University of Yahia Fares, Medea. As a contributing writer for Arab America, I have a commitment to provide valuable keys and reliable references to understand the history and culture of North Africa, with a focus on Algeria.

Sara Tawfik

Contributing Writer and Editorial Senior Intern

Sara Tawfik is an Egyptian-American currently residing in Southern California. She is a Social Media intern and Contributing Writing for Arab America, as well as a freelance Digital and Social Media Marketer. She is currently in an Art Education master’s program at Azusa Pacific University. Sara believes in the diversity and equality of others and hopes to bring awareness and connection to the Western world on the Arab culture and community.

Mohamed Erekat

Contributing Writer and Research Junior Intern 

Mohammed Erekat is a Palestinian student and was born in Kuwait. He has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in San Diego, California. He is apart of Model UN at his school and the debate club. Mohammed has always been passionate about Palestinian advocacy, journalism, and activism around justice and human rights.

2020-21 Fellows

Raneem Ghunaim

Social Media Coordinator Fellow 2021

Raneem Ghunaim is originally from Palestine who grew up in New York. She is a second-year student pursuing a degree in International Management and Finance with an interest in Data Science. Raneem helps oversee and coordinate Arab America’s social media along with publishing articles and coordinating many events. Before Joining Arab America Raneem worked with admissions at her university. After her time at Arab America, she plans to continue her education by pursuing her Master’s degree. 

Mariam Kanaan 

Marketing Fellow 2021

Mariam Kanaan is a Lebanese-American from New Haven, CT. A graduate student studying Developmental Disabilities at Teacher’s College, Columbia University in the City of New York, she received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences at the University of Connecticut in 2018. Mariam is fluent in Arabic, English and has studied Mandarin Chinese. She is currently learning Spanish. Her primary fields of interest are Autism, special education, policy, development, and disabilities in the MENA region. Mariam has experience in marketing, social media, event-planning and non-profits.