Eli Tanenbaum ’18
I chose to major in Middle Eastern Studies to study a region I have long found fascinating due to its contemporary politics, rich history, and multitude of cultures. As a major I have studied topics as diverse as medieval Muslim travel logs, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the Syrian refugee crisis.
I spent my entire junior year abroad in Jordan through Middlebury College’s school at the University of Jordan in Amman with financial support from a federally-financed Boren Scholarship. Through Middlebury’s language intensive program, I have been able to improve my colloquial Arabic to the point where I can now spend significant amounts of time talking with taxi drivers without them asking me where I’m from or attempting to speak to me in English.
I recommend to prospective students interested in the major that they spend at least a semester abroad in a middle eastern country, keep an open mind, and take classes with Professors Ken Wolf and Arash Khazeni.