Middle East Studies

Isabel De Bre | Combines Interest in Arabic Fiction with Political and Historical Concerns

At Brown I study comparative literature and Middle East studies, combining my interest in Arabic fiction with its very real political and historical concerns. Over the summer I worked as a general reporter for The Daily Star in Beirut, writing features for the Lebanon Desk about various social, cultural, and political issues in the country--from the launch of Lebanon's first sex-ed hotline to new methods psychiatrists use to address people's lingering PTSD from the war. Interviewing people in Shatila refugee camp (a Palestinian camp in southern Beirut) for a story planted the seed of my Comparative Literature honors thesis--I'm studying the nature of post-Nakba Palestinian camp trauma through the fiction of Elias Khoury, Ghassan Kanafani, and others, with attention to oral testimonies and ethnographic work on the subject as well. Although I'm sure more humanities academic work lies in my future, I plan to pursue journalism with a focus on the Middle East after graduation.