I enrolled in the MMECAS to further my knowledge of the vital region of the Arab Middle East and understand how its societies respond to contemporary trends and challenges.
Having enjoyed completing my major in Arabic at CAIS through my undergraduate studies, I enrolled in the Master of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies, hoping in particular to further my knowledge of the vital region of the Arab Middle East and understand how its societies respond to contemporary trends and challenges. The multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning is very engaging - each course I took covered topics about the region from multiple perspectives, and I appreciated having my ideas and assumptions challenged throughout. My studies in Arabic gave me the opportunity also to participate in the International Universities Debating Competition in Qatar in 2015 and 2017, a valuable experience that helped me to improve my spoken Arabic, as well as giving me the chance to meet students from all over the world with a similar interest in the language.
The academic staff at CAIS are all supportive and encourage students to pursue their own research interests. My thesis examined how authoritarian patterns of managing state-society relations affected prospects of promoting inclusive social reform in Egypt, a theme that had been broadly introduced in some of the courses but which my supervisor helped me to develop further using case studies in my areas of interest. Completing the degree has been very rewarding at a personal and intellectual level, and has also vastly expanded opportunities for further study and employment.