Julia Barth-Knowles

(MA, International Relations, 2007) completed her Master’s thesis entitled “Egypt’s Economic Transformation: A Real Potential for Change” and was recently hired as an Open Source Intel- ligence Analyst for CACI International Inc.

Nicole Bliman

(BS, Broadcast Journalism, Minor Middle Eastern Studies) is working for CNN at their world head- quarters in Atlanta, GA. After four months in an entry level program where she was teleprompting and floor directing, she has recently been promoted to “The Row.” All reporters’ scripts that go on CNN U.S. and CNN International get final approval from an Executive Producer and Researcher on the Row. The EP edits the script, and Nicole, one of three Researchers, fact-checks the script with a fine-toothed comb. Because of her Middle Eastern Studies minor, Nicole tends to get many of the scripts about the region!

Karen Culcasi

(Ph.D. Candidate, Geography) is completing her dissertation, titled “Cartographic Constructions of the Middle East.” Parts of this dissertation will be published in Imago Mundi, The Journal of Historical Cartography later this year. Karen was recently invited to contribute a chapter stemming from her Master’s work on Kurdistan’s ambiguous boundaries in a book titled Border Anomalies and Contemporary Dilemmas in World Politics, edited by Alexander C. Diener and Joshua Hagen (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming).

Christine Fandrich

(BA, Political Science, Minor Middle Eastern Studies, 2006) is a Master’s candidate in Middle Eastern Studies at the American University in Cairo. Christine is also teaching English to Iraqi and Sudanese refugees through AUC’s STAR Program.

Todd Fine

(MA, International Relations, 2007) recently published an HTML electronic text of The Book of Khalid, an important 1911 novel by Arab-American author Ameen Rihani which depicts the physi- cal and spiritual journey of two young men from Baalbek to New York City and back to Lebanon. Usually considered the first Arab-American novel, the work has been surprisingly understudied, most likely because of the low distribution of its editions and the novel’s culturally dense prose. Accordingly, Todd is also developing an online annotated version to help encourage reading and study of the work. His progress has been recognized by the Lebanon-based Ameen Rihani Orga- nization, and you can access his website at

Heather E Freitag

(BA, International Relations, Political Science, 2007) started working for Congressman Ramstad of Minnesota. She is also doing consulting work for the United Palestinian Appeal which does humanitarian work in the West Bank.

Ken Frieden

(Professor of Religion and Chair of the Judaic Studies Program) is on sabbatical in 2007-2008 as a Lady Davis Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He will be teaching a course and carrying out research on Yiddish and Hebrew literature in the nineteenth century.

Nabeel Mere

(BA, summa cum laude, Political Science and International Relations) is a first year Ph.D. student in the Social Science Program at the Maxwell School. His research interests include Arab democrati- zation, Arab and Islamic political culture, and U.S. foreign policy (particularly its declared objective since 2003 of promoting Arab democracy).