We met with Connel Emig, from Germany/Ireland. Connel is a PG Arabic alumni studying for MSc Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic at the University of Edinburgh. In an interview with Connel, we asked him the following questions:

Tell us about yourself

My name is Connel Emig. I’m European currently studying Middle Eastern Studies with Arabic here in Edinburgh. Prior to moving here I studied European Studies with French in Maastricht (NL).

What made you decide to study the Arabic language and culture?  What & who inspired you?  What were your motivations?

I was born in Riyadh and spent several years living in the Gulf, where I also completed my A Levels. Before and during my studies I also interned and worked in Egypt and the UAE, as well as development organisations active in the region.

Due to my upbringing and surroundings I’ve always had an emotional attachment to the Arabic language, as well as the Middle East as a whole and it has long been my intention to understand it better, particularly through learning Arabic.

Ultimately however my motivation for pursuing this rather particular course is what I perceive to be the negative political and societal developments in Europe over the last years. It is my intention to combat negative notions of the Arab world in Europe and perhaps bridge (for the lack of a better word) the “chasm” between the two.

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