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Meet our new intern Laurence Peelen

I’m Laurence Peelen and I am the new intern at the NVIC. I just finished my BA Islam Studies at the Radboud University Nijmegen and I wanted to gain some more experience in the MENA region at the start of my Master’s program.

In 2018 I took part in the spring semester of the Arabic program at the NVIC. During this period I improved my Arabic skills and I learned a lot of interesting things about Egypt’s culture. The chaos of Egypt intrigued me. The mighty Tahrir Square, with so many memories and emotions tied to it, being surrounded by honking cars day and night. The beauty of driving to Giza in a taxi with Shaabi music thundering through the speakers, the roads surrounded by hills of garbage, but with the beautiful view of the Pyramids on the horizon. The people welcoming you everywhere you go, either to sell you their goods or just because they enjoy having you in their city. I loved the many sides of Egypt, some more than others, but they made me want to come back to feel the thrill of the city again. The NVIC gives me the chance to continue to build on my previous experiences and improve my Arabic skills, but now I also get the chance to gain work experience and to do a research project for my MA program. During my internship I want to experience what it’s like to work in an Egyptian environment and with the help of my colleagues at the NVIC I hope to have a great time dealing with cultural differences and new challenges I will have to face. Beside the impact that the internship will have on my professional developments I hope that the time that I get to spend in Egypt will also provide me with a lot of life experiences that will be useful for the rest of my life.

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