Shirin Lotfi is a recipient of the Summer 2015 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 recent graduate from the University of Washington where I majored in Political Science and International Security with a minor in Middle East Studies. My research and academic work focuses on energy policy and nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East. Israel plays a crucial part in Middle Eastern affairs and it is the only country that speaks Hebrew in a region dominated by the Arabic language. The Hebrew FLAS fellowship that I received from the Center for Global Studies was crucial for my research and future goals, as it enabled me to participate in intensive one-on-one online Hebrew classes throughout the summer. I am now obtaining my Master’s degree at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where my classes are taught in both English and Hebrew. I am proud to say that the FLAS fellowship has given me the confidence to attend graduate level classes in Israel, where I am able to read the newspapers, speak to other students, and communicate more effectively on an everyday basis.