I was a student in the Summer Student Program of 2013. The program complimented the BA degree in Public Policy with minors in African Studies, Jewish Studies, and Islamic Studies which I had received a few weeks before from the University of Delaware. Coursework in Islamic Jurisprudence and Contemporary Islamic Thought allowed me to explore perspectives of Islam that I had yet to explore within my own university. Coursework concerning Islamic global affairs and in Islamic political movements deepened my passion for the intersection of politics and religion. I was able to take what I learned in the classroom and then explore it through the alternative lens of gender within my final proposal. I was very privileged to have a community of scholars who allowed me to do so and who supported my interests.
With the advice of IIIT scholars and with financial help from IIIT, I was then able to move to Amman and pursue Modern Standard Arabic for three terms at Qasid Arabic Institute. After living in Amman for a year, I then moved to London to pursue an MA degree in Middle Eastern Studies where I continued to pursue the intersections of politics, religion, and gender. I do not think I would have moved to Amman or applied for a degree at SOAS after if not for the initial encouragement and support of IIIT.
I aspire to pursue a PhD in the coming years so I can continue to pursue the intersections of religion, gender, and politics either in the United Kingdom or in the United States. I continue to maintain contact with both my peers in IIIT and the scholars who assisted me at IIIT.
The Fairfax Institute is a religious institution exempt from state regulation and oversight in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Pursuant to 8 VAC 40-21-50 of the Virginia Administrative Code, The Fairfax Institute is exempt from regulations of the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia for a period of five years, beginning June 8, 2016, and ending June 8, 2021, as long as the institution's primary purpose remains to provide religious training or theological education.