My name is Megan Meagher. I am a junior majoring in History with an emphasis in the Middle East, and minoring in Arabic Language & Culture and Islamic World Studies. I have now completed two years of Arabic at Loyola and have continued to develop my studies in Arabic through the CLS (Critical Language Scholarship) program, where last summer I spent 8 weeks in Tangier, Morocco as part of a language-intensive program. I am now using what I have learned from both my classes at Loyola as well as in Morocco to help me study Classical Islamic texts as part of an independent research project through the Provost Fellowship. My hope is to continue my studies in Arabic and religious studies at the graduate level.
I have loved volunteering as an Arabic tutor, both in terms of fostering the growth of others’ language acquisition as well as witnessing the ways in which other students’ dynamic array of interests in the Arabic language continues to evolve and deepen throughout their time at Loyola.
Ali Siddiqui is currently a Loyola undergraduate student majoring in Biology with minors in Asian Languages and Literature as well as Biostatistics.
He has studied Arabic since high school and is currently doing a second year of Arabic at Loyola University Chicago. Additionally, he has studied the language at various institutions in the Chicago-land area such as Darul Hikmah as well as privately with scholars in the field.
Though he is not a native speaker of the language, he is convinced that his history of learning Arabic as a second language helps him better connect with his students and teach the language. Ali is a recipient of the Joyce Scholarship and while he is currently taking Arabic courses at Loyola, he plans to continue studying the language after graduation.
Ali receives great positive evaluations from students he is tutoring at different levels of Arabic . He is also very dedicated to working with Dr. Sawsan Abbadi, the coordinator of the Arabic program at Loyola University Chicago.
In May 2012, the Center for Tutoring and Academic Excellence has awarded Ali with the SISTER MARY JOHNETTA TUTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD!
Chris Benson is a Loyola undergraduate student majoring in History, Anthropology, and Sociology with minors in Islamic World Studies and Asian Studies.
He first studied Arabic independently before entering Loyola and taking the second year classes his freshman year. That summer he received the Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Rabat, Morocco, for eight weeks, taking intensive Arabic classes during the day and enjoying his host family life at night.
As a non-native speaker from an especially non-diverse neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, Chris knows he can relate to students’ initial difficulties with the Arab language and culture and guide them through to the eventual rewards of studying such an unfamiliar language.