Representatives of the Young Global Leaders Forum:
Democratic Development in the Middle East and North Africa
Erika Spaet (American representative of the Rabat conference)
Erika will be a senior at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, this upcoming fall where she will graduate in June 2009 with degrees in both journalism and politics. While at school, Erika has used much of her time to be involved in campus media and has reported and anchored for a county-wide live news broadcast and written for campus magazines. However, she has found her true niche in the volunteer work she does both on campus and in the community, directing a local political talk-show and organizing service trips for her fellow classmates. Erika has grown up with a love of travel and has spent several years in Switzerland and continental Europe, a semester in Rabat, Morocco, and several summer weeks doing volunteer work in the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. After graduation, Erika hopes to pursue a career in international policy work.
Sara Ait lmoudden (Moroccan representative of the Rabat conference)
Sara is a Master’s candidate at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco, majoring in International Studies and Diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa region. Currently, she is working on finishing her thesis entitled “Promoting Participatory Approach Technique to Social Development in Rural Morocco: The Case of Dayet Ifrah”. Sara’s undergraduate studies culminated in a Bachelor of Arts degree on International Cooperation and Development, with a focus on Women Studies and Development in the Arab world. During these studies, she took part in a student exchange program at Haverford College, where she was often asked to talk about religion, women status and political status in Morocco; served as the Moroccan delegate to the “Education without Borders” international student conference in Abu-Dhabi; and participated in the 44th International Achievement Summit held in New York.
Mohamed Sabbah (Egyptian representative of the Cairo conference)
Mohamed Sabbah is a recent Master’s graduate of the College of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University and currently holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics. During his studies, Mohamed interned at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, a think tank investigating foreign policy and security issues. In 2006, under a program sponsored by The American Council of Young Political Leaders, Mohamed traveled to Washington, visiting different organizations including the International Republican Institute, the Middle East Institute, The Center for the Study of the Presidency, and the Arab-American Institute. Mohamed furthered this experience with an internship at the office of former Congressman Mr. Joel Hefley (R-CO). Mohamed has participated in such simulations as the Cairo International Model Arab League; the Cairo International Model United Nations; the International Model of European Union; the Model of Organization of Islamic Conference; and the Model American Congress at both the American University in Cairo, and Cairo University. Mohamed also participated in POMED/AID’s 2007 Bringing the World Home conferences. Post-graduation Mohamed is currently anticipating a position with the Egyptian Foreign Service.
Dina Elshinnawi (American representative of the Cairo conference)
Dina Elshinnawi is a Master’s student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, studying Media and Communications, and expects to complete her program in September 2008. She has a Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University in Government and International Politics. Dina’s most recent employment was at Air Force Magazine in Arlington, Virginia, where she held the position of editorial associate. Prior to her employment at Air Force Magazine, Dina worked at a law firm in Maryland as a Legal Assistant. Dina has traveled extensively in her life on five continents; some of her favorite spots are Gold Coast, Australia, Dubai, UAE, Marbella, Spain, and Vienna, Austria. She hopes to graduate this year and continue in the field of journalism with an emphasis on cultural topics, ranging from food and travel to religion and history. Dina was born in Washington, DC, and has lived in Northern Virginia all her life. Her parents are of Egyptian descent.
Tharwat Alazab (Jordanian representative of the Amman conference)
Tharwat has worked with USAID’s Project ERfKE Support Project (ESP)-Shorouq since September 2007 as an administrator and financial assistant. Tharwat received Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006 in English literature, where she represented her university in 2006 while attending a Leadership Course with the United Nations University in Amman, Jordan. Before joining USAID, Tharwat worked as an environmental Education Officer for the Jordan Society for Sustainable Development and as an assistant at Aqaba Development Corporation. For the past three years, Tharwat has been a volunteer with the institute Quest Scope for at-risk children. Tharwat has also visited the United States in a student exchange program in 2005, visiting DC, Texas, Seattle, and New York. As one of the students in an exchange program titled, “Survival in Extreme Conditions”, Tharwat most recently visited Slovenia.
Emily Crawford (American representative of the Amman conference)
Emily Crawford graduated from the Whitehead School at Seton Hall University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations and a minor in German language. Having completed a semester abroad titled “Jordan: Modernization and Social Change” through the School for International Training in the Fall of 2006, she returned to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan after graduation. Emily is currently employed by the British Council and the Greek Orthodox School system in the semi-rural Madaba area as an English teacher for students of all ages. Past work experiences in Jordan include working in an outsourcing call center, teaching conversational English for Jordanian government employees at the National Training Center, assisting the American NGO Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) in collecting stories from Iraqi refugee families living in Amman, and she has contributed several feature articles to local English-language magazines on a freelance basis. She is especially interested in civil society and organizational studies and interfaith dialog initiatives and hopes to continue her residency abroad for the 2008-2009 academic year before pursuing graduate studies in International Relations and Sociology.