Critical Language Scholarship Program | Qimmah Najeeullah
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Qimmah Najeeullah

Qimmah Najeeul­lah is an alum­na of the 2015 CLS Ara­bic pro­gram in Mad­a­ba, Jor­dan. She grew up in Mary­land in a mul­ti-eth­nic Mus­lim home, so glob­al cit­i­zen­ship has always been a basic val­ue of her life. She is cur­rent­ly the Pro­gram Man­ag­er / SEVIS Coor­di­na­tor in the Divi­sion of Inter­na­tion­al Affairs at Mor­gan State Uni­ver­si­ty. When she is not trav­el­ing the world (she has been to 26 coun­tries), she is an avid indoor climber.

Why Ara­bic?

I want­ed to devel­op a work­ing pro­fi­cien­cy in Ara­bic because it will be impor­tant for my future career. My goal is to live and work in the Mid­dle East, either through the U.S. Depart­ment of State as a For­eign Ser­vice Offi­cer in con­sular affairs, or at a uni­ver­si­ty or some oth­er edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tion in an Ara­bic-speak­ing com­mu­ni­ty. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in CLS gave me the abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate con­fi­dent­ly in Ara­bic and re-com­mit­ted me to my pro­fes­sion­al goals to use the lan­guage daily.

Learn­ing more than language

Until I got there, I didn’t know that there is a large Chris­t­ian pop­u­la­tion in Jordan.

The kitchen classroom

My favorite part of my CLS expe­ri­ence was get­ting to know my host fam­i­ly and instruc­tors per­son­al­ly. I vivid­ly remem­ber my room­mate and me spend­ing hours in the kitchen with my host moth­er mak­ing moa­janat, a typ­i­cal Mid­dle East­ern pas­try filled with meat, cheese, or zait and zaatar. We had great dis­cus­sions about the lives of women and fam­i­ly and talked a lot about our shared and con­trast­ing expe­ri­ences in the U.S. and in oth­er countries.

In a word…

My favorite Ara­bic phrase to use was Taban­na, Mama. Taban­na!” It means, I’m tired, mom. Tired!” My lit­tle host sis­ter would come home cry­ing this phrase every day after her sum­mer camp. I began to do the same thing when I got home from class!

If you had one day in Jordan…

A must-do is the Jeresh fes­ti­val, an annu­al music fes­ti­val among ancient ruins of Jeresh.

Words of wisdom

I advise par­tic­i­pants to go into the expe­ri­ence with an open mind – to let your expe­ri­ence be an organ­ic one. Also, do not put pres­sure on your­self to learn the same way or at the same pace of every­one else.

Alumni Profiles

Qimmah Najeeullah
Qimmah Najeeullah
Arabic 2015
Madaba, Jordan

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Posted Date

May 03, 2016