So I have finished up my third week of my internship, and have been back in Amman for four weeks now. In the last week and a half I have noticed that my Arabic skills are growing although I am currently not studying or reviewing any material. My speaking and listening has reached a level I never thought it would without review or study. I have also reached a level of comfort here that I did not expect. Whether it is giving Jordanians directions, having complex conversations with taxi drivers, or talking with the staff at the Center over some Arabic coffee in the break room, I do not feel out of place.
At the Center I am currently enjoying my role and my tasks. My mentor, Dr. Lamees, is fantastic. She makes time to meet with me everyday to discuss how my research is going, where I stand, what are my difficulties and what she can do to help me, etc. I really enjoy being in this academic environment. I have views on the Middle East and North Africa region that are considered ‘radical’ and have not been encouraged to pursue those views, but here these views are commonplace and I have been encouraged, not only by Dr. Lamees, to pursue research on these issues. It has been very reassuring and renewed my interest in research.