Middle East Studies
Ryan Saadeh

Ryan Saadeh `20

Ryan Saadeh `20 worked with refugees and asylees at the International Rescue Committee this summer

Ryan Saadeh

Middle East studies, political science

Rockville, MD

You interned at the International Rescue Committee this past summer, what was that experience like?
At the IRC this past summer, I worked with newly-resettled refugees and asylees to help them adapt to the challenges of the US job market, so I was able to get to know many fantastic individuals from all around the world. The past two summers, I’ve also worked at the Middle East Institute, where my role has been more research and programs focused—from exploring women’s economic, political, and legal development in the region, to analyzing the cultural economy of the Gulf, to surveying the challenges of water security in the Jordan River Basin. Working with both organizations have been great experiences in complementary ways, and each has taught lessons which I’ve brought back to campus with me each fall. I will be studying abroad at the American University in Beirut this spring, where I’ll be focusing my studies on Lebanese and Syrian political institutions as background for my thesis work next year.

What MES course have you taken that made an impact on you and why?
MES 1235 Policing and Imprisonment in the Modern Middle East with Professor Alex Winder helped me to explore and expand upon my interests, and led me to focus my thesis on a related subject. Professor Winder's guidance and encouragement helped me grow as a writer and as a researcher, and I still draw from the course in many of my other classes.

What are your postgraduate plans?
I'd like to work in publications or with a human rights or humanitarian organization for a few years before pursuing a graduate degree in Middle Eastern politics.

*Ryan is currently studying abroad in Jordan for the spring 2019 semester.