Malak Shalabi is a recipient of the Academic Year 2019-2020 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
I am a law student with a background in international politics and a growing interest in its intersection with national security, constitutional, and civil rights law. My research projects related to torture in the Middle East led me to learning about U.S. programs like extraordinary rendition, discriminatory policing, and government surveillance. FLAS has funded a large part of my legal education and study of Modern Standard Arabic– which, together, have exposed me to different perspectives on global conflict through media, narrative, and art. The fellowship also equipped me to begin interpreting for political asylum seekers and translate legal documents in immigration proceedings. This summer, I plan to intern at the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, which serves a large Arabic-speaking population for issues related to national security and privacy. The FLAS fellowship has been instrumental in building my MSA language skills and expanding my understanding of international and domestic legal issues.