I did not have a concrete idea of what I wanted to study.
However, I knew that I wanted to take advantage of NYUAD’s strategic location in order to learn about and explore the surrounding region.
After browsing the list of majors offered, I realized that what I really wanted to do was learn about the Arab world, its role as the geographical center of the Eastern Hemisphere, and the cross-cultural interactions that shaped the Arab world as we know it today.
I decided to pursue Arab Crossroads Studies to learn about the Arab world through diverse subjects.
It gives me the opportunity to explore these topics first-hand due to their geographical relevance and proximity.
My first two years consisted of various courses from several fields relating to the Arab world, such as music, politics, and history.
The Arab Crossroads Studies program allows me to develop a deep understanding of the region within which I am studying by collecting bits of knowledge from a broad range of subjects.
My favorite professor at NYUAD is Nathalie Peutz, a passionate, engaging, and dedicated educator.
I took Anthropology and the Arab World with Professor Peutz because it was an Arab Crossroads requirement, but soon grew to love the field of anthropology and studying the Arab region through this lens.
Professor Peutz assigned several texts, documentaries, and films throughout the semester that tackled the predominant topics in this field: identity, autonomy, and the interwoven realities of the Arab World.
She encouraged our participation in class discussions and really listened to the points that we made, while expanding our intellect by pushing us to think more deeply about different ideas. Her passion for the field and her vast knowledge about the topics that she taught were quite astounding and inspired me to gain a better understanding for everything that we learned; she made her students look forward to coming to class and learning about anthropology.
Professor Peutz’s energy and course content were quite refreshing; I had never studied anthropology and was not entirely sure of what this field was. She captivated her students by weaving stories from her field research in Yemen and Djibouti with other materials discussed in class in order to help us gain a broad understanding of topics affecting the region, and, ultimately, ourselves.
My favorite course at NYUAD is Arab Music Cultures, taught by Professor Andrew Eisenberg.
I chose this course because I wanted to broaden my interests within the macro topic of the Arab World, and explore a different side of it.
My favorite aspect of this course was our regional academic seminar to Kuwait. We met a renowned musician and professor at the Department of Music at The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training in Kuwait and had the chance to discuss with him a project that he was working on, regarding traditional Kuwaiti pearl-diving music and their national heritage preservation efforts.
We explored this field further by traveling to Kuwait and attending concerts and events with traditional musicians.