This blog was originally designed to keep me sane as I began learning Arabic. It morphed into a blog of musings about Arabic, the Middle East, and the Islamic World, as well as book reviews about those topics. Then, the blog became a place to keep my family and friends updated on my adventures while I was living abroad. During May and June of 2012, I had a 6-week long internship in Cairo, Egypt through a international student organization called AIESEC. I taught English at the Awladi Orphanage in Cairo, home to several hundred children. I lived in an apartment in Nasr City before moving to Maadi (each is a distinct area of Cairo). I experienced President Mursi's election, camped in the western desert, rode camels by the pyramids, and had countless other experiences. I have since moved past this blog, on towards new endeavors, but if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

AIESEC (part II)

After being matched up with my internship manager through AIESEC here on campus, I was able to get onto myaiesec and start browsing the internships! I was, at first, a little weary about paying $75 for access to the site, but my hesitation was gone once I was able to see the options available!

There were positions to work for major companies, but the NGO positions were what I was most interested in. I found things working for the UN and many regional nonprofits that don't post their internships anywhere else. The database really condenses all of the options down onto one list, one application process. The database is updated each day from people around the world, but I gave myself a deadline for picking a group of organizations to apply to. (For family reasons, I also constricted myself to jobs lasting only 6 weeks that I would be able to start around May 15th and be home by around June 26th.) Which leads me to...

My top 7 AIESEC internship options:
1) American University's Desert Development Center
2) Human Rights for the Assistance of Prisoners
3) UN Women
4) CARE International
5) Awlady Orphanage
6) Dar el Sabeel for Children's Rights
7) Alliance for Arab Women

Those were the ones I applied for (which really means: my manager e-mailed the person managing the incoming exchange for those internships). We only heard back from the ones that are italicized. Which means that either a) they weren't interested in me or b) they don't check their e-mails very much. Regardless- I set up interviews with managers from the four italicized NGOs. For some reason, the Dar el Sabeel manager did not show up on Skype for our interview :( and the person for the Human Rights for the Assistance of Prisoners group was very unorganized, to the point that I decided to stop maintaining contact. My manager said that usually, it is best not to pursue the managers who are not organized, because this reflects the fact that their chapter of AIESEC probably isn't very well run. I cannot argue with this! I would not want to show up to Egypt and, because of disorganization, not have a place to stay!

However, the two other interviewers were perfectly lovely! I was offered the position with Awlady on the spot! The Desert Development Center program (which takes place on the brand new, gorgeous AUC campus) is trickier because I do not fall into their dates. I cannot come as early in May as they want me to, because I will still be in school. I'm supposed to hear back from that guy sometime next week. I wish he would hurry up though! I need to buy tickets and such...

Click HERE for more information about AIESEC.


  1. Hi,

    How awesome! You will be in Egypt for the presidential elections! Lucky you. I hope you will have a wonderful time improving your Arabic and just experiencing life in the Middle East.

    1. Have you been following Egyptian politics leading up to the presidential elections? Wow, so much drama! Yes, you definitely have to take pictures of the election posters and all the excitement. I can't wait to see them!

      If you have time, I would recommend a book that came out this year by Stephen A. Cook called The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square.

    2. I've been trying to keep up, but it seems like such a mess! Unfortunately, I've been prepping for finals lately, so I haven't had as much time to follow the progress in Egypt as I would like. I will definitely take many, many photos of the election process! I am big on American politics, so I know that it will be fascinating to see an election play out in another country (especially since this election will be historic for Egypt). I will definitely try to get ahold of that book to read before I leave! Thank you for the suggestion!