Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Fri Jun 7 11:20:44 EDT 2019

[image: Hanna Davis is studying Arabic in Morocco, thanks to funding from
the U.S. Department of State.]

Hanna Davis is studying Arabic in Morocco, thanks to funding from the U.S.
Department of State. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)
June 06, 2019

   - Matt Kelly <https://news.virginia.edu/content/matt-kelly>,
   mkelly at virginia.edu

University of Virginia student Hanna Davis is taking the road to Morocco on
a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

The U.S. Department of State’s Gilman Scholarship program enables students
to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to U.S. national
security and economic prosperity.

Davis, of Charlottesville, a rising third-year public policy and global
Middle Eastern studies major in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and
Public Policy and the College of Arts & Sciences, is immersing herself in
the Moroccan culture for eight weeks while studying Arabic at Al Akhawayn
University in Ifrane.

“During the week, I will take Arabic classes at the university and stay in
student housing with a Moroccan roommate,” Davis said before she left. “On
the weekends, I will stay with local host families as well visit other
Moroccan cities, including Merzouga, Fez, Marrakech and Meknes.”

Davis said she chose Morocco because of the richness and diversity of its

“With my major in global Middle Eastern studies, I don’t think that my
education would be complete without significant experience in another
country, especially one as rich and diverse as Morocco,” she said. “Living
in Morocco for eight weeks, I will be able to apply the global theories I
have learned and place my own culture within another context, experiencing
an education that goes far beyond the pages of a textbook. I hope that in
my study-abroad experience, I will be able to gain an experiential insight
into the unique history and culture of Morocco.”

Suad A. Mohamed, who teaches in the Department of Middle Eastern and South
Asian Languages and Culture and is one of Davis’ mentors, is currently in

“I am watching Hanna studying and traveling,” Mohamed said. “She is
committed and a pleasure to be around. Hanna is ambitious to obtain the
most of this opportunity to thrive and advance in her learning. She is
enjoying the experience and shows the willingness to embrace the culture
and overcome all the challenges.”

Davis predicted that her experiences in Morocco will have a strong
influence on her education.

“These classes will allow me to expand my knowledge of the Arabic language,
which I hope to continue to study throughout the rest of my education at
UVA and hope to use in my future career,” Davis said. “I am very happy and
thankful to receive a Gilman Scholarship. I am excited to see how receiving
this scholarship will impact my future education and career path and can’t
wait to see what opportunities lie ahead.”

“We are so happy for Hanna and the reward for her hard work on the
application,” said Andrus G. Ashoo, director of the Office of Citizen
Scholar Development, the University’s fellowships office. “We hope that her
receipt of the Gilman will inspire other UVA students to apply in the
future. We know that there are many more eligible students out there who
intend to study and intern abroad.”

Davis is a Madison House volunteer for Latin American Migrant Aid; a member
of UN Women, a community service group to aid underprivileged and oppressed
women; and a member of the UVA Student Council’s Service Committee. A
graduate of Albemarle High School, Davis plans to work for a few years and
then attend graduate school.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a congressionally
funded program of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural
Affairs, named after the late U.S. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman of New York, who
was instrumental in the passage of the International Academic Opportunity
Act of 2000. In 2002, Gilman retired after serving in the House of
Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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