This year, I began pursuing my Arabic minor. Thus far, I absolutely love it. The language is engaging and unique; I find myself gaining a deeper appreciation for it every day. I’m hoping to spend this summer pursing an Arabic intensive in either Jordan or Morocco, to help further my progress and immerse me in the culture.
I find myself at an interesting crossroad when I truly think about studying Arabic or tell anyone about this facet of my education. Not only am I studying Arabic, when can be controversial within itself, but I identify as Jewish and am studying Arabic. The two seem to be diametrically opposed, perpetuated by the Palestinian/Israel conflict. I’m expected to hold certain beliefs that correspond with my religion or with my area of interest. However the reality is that I don’t fit either of these paths, I hold my own beliefs and don’t fit into either category. I am at a fork in the road, but am stuck in the middle. I cannot pursue either path due to barriers placed by those on the other side.
As a result, I have decided to forge my own path between the two forks. I refuse to be confined by what others believe and the labels placed on me. My path is narrow and treacherous and I will almost fall off it many times. I am certain that I will never regret this decision and hope to use my position as a Jew and Arabic student to shine new light on the political conflicts currently occurring. I refuse to let others tell me what to think or believe, and value my ability to see both sides.
Though I will be taken a road rarely traveled, and certainly not the easiest option, I have faith that this will “[make] all the difference.”