Abdulla Almarzooqi

The liberal arts education at NYU Abu Dhabi allowed me to explore vastly different areas including business, history, and art.

“The liberal arts education at NYU Abu Dhabi allowed me to explore vastly different areas including business, history, and art. This breadth of knowledge allowed me to ultimately narrow down my focus. Despite my transition from business to history, my understanding of business comes in handy when exploring areas which I am interested in, like the history of trade in the Arabian Gulf.

When I arrived at NYU Abu Dhabi, my plan was to study economics. This changed to business and eventually history. As I started taking more courses on the history, culture, art, and literature of the Middle East, I realized that this is where my interests lie. Moreover, as I navigated the scholarship and conversed with professors, I noticed how heavily understudied the Gulf is, which is why I have decided to specialize in it.

A significant experience during my time at NYU Abu Dhabi was co-founding, editing, and writing for Alnakheel Magazine, NYUAD’s first student-led Arabic publication. Our goal was to provide a platform for students, faculty, and staff to publish their writings in Arabic. Another key experience was serving as a Sufara’a Cultural Ambassador with the NYUAD Student Life Office, helping to bridge the gap between students and the broader UAE community by organizing cultural events.

Home Region: Dubai, UAE
Current: MA Candidate in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University
Location: Cambridge, MA, USA
Major: Business, Organization and Society
Minors: Economics, Arab Crossroads Studies, and Art History

Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, where I am currently based, is the oldest and one of the most prominent in the United States. It was established in 1954. I was particularly interested in working with Professor Rosie Bsheer who specializes in the Gulf and focuses on state formation and historiography. 

Gulf or Arabian Peninsula studies is a relatively new field with limitless potential. The Gulf has traditionally been seen as lacking history and culture within the Middle East, and the field faces other challenges internally. These problems present a unique opportunity for renewal and new directions in research.

My most meaningful achievement at NYU Abu Dhabi was the relationships I managed to build with professors, staff members, and peers. I continue to stay in touch with many of them. They remain a source of constant support, guidance, and friendship. I am indebted to every individual who helped me grow and realize my potential.”