Middle East Studies

Student Spotlight: Asya Igmen '17

Name: Asya Igmen '17

Concentration: Middle East Studies and Political Science

Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey

Asya is a Middle East Studies and Political Science concentrator interested in pursuing a career in international organizations and humanitarian emergency response. Her vocation is to improve the framework of the international humanitarian regime by seeking ways of making it more accountable and efficient in order to better reach the most vulnerable communities affected by conflict. She is drawn by the comparative study of the Middle East and Latin America, focusing on the parallels between the quality of democracy, as well as the protection of human rights, in her home country, Turkey, and Central America, where she spent last summer. Asya’s studies at Brown have focused on international law, displacement, women’s and minority rights, as well as the history of colonialism.

Having worked in the field for the past two summers, first at the Turkish-Syrian border in August 2014, and then in El Salvador during summer 2015, Asya decided to delve into the management and financing of humanitarian work. Over the summer, she will be interning at AmeriCares, an emergency response and global health organization in Stamfod, CT for 11 weeks. She accepted the Executive Intern position, where she will be reporting directly to the Director of the Executive Office and working closely with the AmeriCares CEO. From managing workshops for Syrian refugees in schools in Turkey and helping coordinate the rehabilitation of Salvadoran returnees at the migration center in San Salvador, Asya now wants to improve her non-profit management skills and gain experience in forging partnerships for long-term global health purposes.

Asya will also pursue an Independent Study at Watson next semester on corporate accountability and the incentive mechanisms involved in multilateral humanitarian responses, especially in the context of the Middle East. Her passion for Latin America pushed Asya to study Spanish at Brown and now she fluently speaks four languages, two of which are native. Upon graduation, Asya hopes to use all the resources she feels lucky to have and the skills she has acquired at Brown for advocacy purposes.