We met with Yasmine Luqman, an PG Arabic student from Washington, USA who is a Master’s student in International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic at the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies department, University of Edinburgh. In an interview with Yasmin, we asked the following questions:
Tell us about yourself?
Hello! I’m Yasmin; I’m a first year Master’s student and I’m from Seattle, Washington, but was originally born in London. Currently, I am taking a Master’s student in International Relations of the Middle East with ArabicI studied French, Political Science, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington and decided to come to Edinburgh last year when my brother studied abroad here and absolutely loved it. I’m happy to be back “home” in the UK (both sides of my family live in London) and feel so comfortable in Scotland. I love photography, hiking and food.
What made you decide to study the Arabic language and culture? What & who inspired you? What were your motivations?
My dad is from Yemen and speaks the Yemeni dialect of Arabic. He’s always wanted to teach it to my siblings and me, but found it difficult with our other studies. I grew up listening to him speak in Arabic to his family back in Yemen and in London and would love to communicate with my family! Additionally, I am passionate about the Arab-Israeli conflict and want to dedicate my career to finding a diplomatic and peaceful solution, and feel that a degree in IRMEWA would be ideal for that.
Have you had any ups and downs while learning Arabic?
Mostly ups! I’ve only been frustrated a few times when I don’t understand a grammar structure, but it’s all part of the learning process. It’s exciting learning words that I’ve grown up hearing from my dad, like “dajaj” and “mashAllah!”
What does it take to become an excellent student of Arabic?
Patience, a LOT of practice, and good study partners!
What careers are you planning to pursue using your Arabic language skills?
I plan to work in diplomacy, and my ideal job would be working for UNRWA.
What recommendations would you give to anyone interested in learning Arabic?
Patient teachers are a must! Additionally, people who are excited about teaching Arabic (I.e. Jonathan) and are willing to explain concepts in different ways depending on students’ learning styles are so helpful because people learn languages differently.