On May 28, a banquet and reception were held in honor of students enrolled in AIMES (SCU's interdisciplinary program in Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies). Attendance at this evening event (which welcomed students and faculty from across campus) was good; enrollment in AIMES has now reached a total of 20 students.
Elijah Reynolds and David Pinault present Arabic studies award to AIMES graduating senior Dale Taylor
Falafel (the best in the Bay Area), hummus, and tahini provided sustenance; undergrad Yasmeen Wanees D.J.'ed a brilliant master-mix of music by the likes of Fayrouz and Umm Kulsoom. Enough to bring back long-ago memories, all this, for anyone who's ever spent a hot summer night sipping mint tea outside Ali Baba's café in the dirty neon glow of Cairo's Tahreer Square.
Program director David Pinault (Religious Studies) and AIMES faculty colleague Elijah Reynolds (Modern Languages) presented certificates (lettered in Arabic calligraphy) and book awards to five graduating AIMES seniors: Rachel Axelrod (Excellence in Middle Eastern Studies); Alex Bittner (Excellence in Islamic Studies); Yasmeen Wanees (Excellence in Advanced Arabic Studies); Dale Taylor (Excellence in Intermediate Arabic Studies); and John Lund (Recognition of Service Abroad in the Middle East). Upon graduation in June, Dale and John will also be commissioned as 2nd lieutenants in the US Army. Lieut. Colonel John Tiedeman and other officers in the teaching cadre of SCU's ROTC program attended our AIMES event to applaud what these students have achieved.
Recognition was also given to AIMES students who will be traveling abroad this summer: Ashraf Hammad (Arabic language study in Morocco); Dale Taylor (a home stay and Arabic language study in Jordan); and Lindsey Allen and Brooke Latham (both of whom will be serving in Tanzania and Uganda as fellowship recipients in affiliation with SCU's Global Social Benefit program). Our prayers go with them all for safe travels this summer.