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Finding a home at Dartmouth: AUK students, Faculty Fellow enjoy summer in New Hampshire.

The four AUK students at Dartmouth this summer couldn't have picked a better time to be here or a more important one. Their visit coincided with that of Professor Simon O'Meara, AUK's first Faculty Fellow; they will meet with world-renowned cartoonist Jules Feiffer; and they were on campus at one of the most significant moments in Dartmouth's history. All four students had the opportunity to welcome Dartmouth's 17th President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, when he officially took office on July 1.

Hala Al-Qabandy, Nur Soliman, Emad Salama, and Mohammad Qasem are in New Hampshire until July 22, enjoying summer in Northern New England, auditing classes, working at the Hood Museum of Art, studying Spanish, and helping teach Arabic in the Rassias Center's renowned Accelerated Language Program (ALPS), known for its "total immersion" approach. While Emad and Mohammad are scheduled in ALPS sessions from morning to night, Hala and Nur are having their own Dartmouth immersion experience.

In addition to their work at the Hood, they are auditing courses taught by Professors Richard Wright and Angela Rosenthal. Wright, Dartmouth's Orvil Dryfoos Professor of Geography and Public Affairs, is teaching Economic Geography and Globalization this summer. Rosenthal, Associate Professor of art history, 18th- & 19th-century, is teaching Realism, Impressionism and Post Impressionism.

Wright attended AUK's first graduation ceremony in 2006. Both students, he says, are enjoying his class. "We're doing a lot right now on the locational strategies of firms and households. It's new scholarly territory for Hala and Nur, and we enjoy having them participate." Adds Rosenthal, "I am thrilled to have two extremely bright and lively students from the American University of Kuwait auditing my class. Nur and Hala have travelled around the world to intern at the Hood and partake of the intellectual and social life here at Dartmouth, which demonstrates extraordinary personal commitment."

AUK students, faculty fellow, and Dartmouth-AUK administrators on the Dartmouth Green in front of Baker library.
Courtesy of Dartmouth College, Office of Public Affairs
left to right: Mohammad Qasem, Dale F. Eickelman, (Dartmouth-AUK Relationship Coordinator), Mary Batchelder (Dartmouth-AUK Administrative Assistant), Dartmouth student Bruce Jobse, laurel Stavis (Dartmouth-AUK Executive Director), Emad Salama, AUK Professor Simon O'Meara, Hala Al-Qaband and Nur

All four students have an opportunity to meet with staff at Dartmouth's student newspaper, "The D," tour the Dickey Center for International Understanding, socialize with new friends and reunite with Dartmouth students, staff, and faculty who have visited AUK.

By the time Emad and Mohammad leave Dartmouth they will have been both student and instructor. In their first ten-day ALPS session, they are learning Spanish. "Mohammad and Emad are very committed," says Donna Hill, Manager of Program and Finances at Rassias. "They take the 'Spanish only' rule seriously. At one point I reverted to English when speaking with someone, and Mohammad said, 'Espanol solomente!'" Later in July they will switch gears and teach Arabic.

Kathy Hart, Barbara and Harvey P. Wood Curator for Academic Programming, and Lesley Wellman, curator of education, are supervising Nur and Hala at the Hood Museum. "They are getting a wonderful overview," says Hart, "by participating in research related to curatorial and college programming projects, developing educational resources for upcoming exhibitions, and assisting with public relations and marketing research." The Hood will also give them rare access to its objects in storage and they will travel to Boston for a day to meet with museum professionals there.

Professor O'Meara's stay at Dartmouth began earlier in June. Noting his scholarship and expertise, Professor of Art History and Director of Dartmouth's Leslie Center for the Humanities Adrian Randolph asked him to be one of the Center's Fellows. "We are fortunate to have him here," says Randolph. "His scholarship is excellent and this gives us an opportunity to strengthen the bond between Dartmouth and AUK."

When asked what he noticed first about life in Hanover, New Hampshire, Professor O'Meara said, "Coming from Kuwait? Cars that slowed down and stopped for pedestrians. Cars, in fact, that stopped full stop!" On a more serious note, O'Meara says that his work at the Leslie Center, "will allow me to anchor concepts more completely in their historical context. Reading primary sources depends on my general knowledge of Islamic culture and the chapter on Paradise will figure in my courses at AUK on Persian and Mughal art."

Professor Rosenthal in Art History adds that the AUK students have much in common with their counterparts at Dartmouth. "They are eager to learn and to expand their horizons. We here at Dartmouth's students, faculty, and staff alike can learn a lot from engaging with our visitors, as they bring different experiences and new perspectives to our community."

---- Laurel Stavis

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