Three times per year, EPIC welcomes a new cohort of interns – young professionals seeking to add practical experience to their academic backgrounds in humanitarian affairs, international relations, security studies, political science, public relations, and beyond. We are grateful for their contributions to our research, action, and advocacy, and for the opportunity to connect them to Iraq and its people. Please join us in welcoming our Summer 2020 interns: Alaq, Makenzie, and Shannon!

From left to right, Shannon, Makenzie, and Alaq.

Alaq Zghayer is an Iraqi-American who was born in Irbid, Jordan, and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She is a native Arabic speaker. She will graduate from Kalamazoo College in June 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International & Area Studies (MENA). She studied abroad in Amman, Jordan in the fall of her junior year to advance her Modern Standard Arabic reading and writing skills. At Kalamazoo College, she is involved in the student government (KCCSR), Muslim Student Association, and Arab Student Union, in addition to civic engagement work at local elementary schools in Kalamazoo. She is thrilled to be interning at EPIC, given her future hopes of working for the betterment of Iraq and Iraqi-American relations.

Makenzie Davenport is a rising senior studying International Relations and Arabic at Boston University. Her interest in MENA sparked in 2015 while following the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and since then she has focused her studies on U.S. security and foreign policy towards the MENA region. Prior to joining EPIC, Makenzie interned at Education For Employment, a MENA youth economic development organization, as well as Urban Refuge, which created an app to connect refugees to aid services in urban centers. Following these roles, she spent last fall immersing herself in her Arabic studies in Rabat, Morocco, and learned first-hand about the role of the youth in Moroccan economic and social issues. At EPIC, Makenzie is excited to delve into gaining a deeper understanding of Iraq while improving her social media strategy skills as a communications intern.

Shannon Jones is a rising senior studying Criminology, Arabic and International Studies at the University of Florida. Her interest in the Middle East started in 2017 after she took a service trip to Austria and had the opportunity to work with Syrian refugees. She has a desire to further her knowledge of the Middle East and the Arabic language by developing a narrower focus on security and foreign policy in the region. Prior to joining EPIC, Shannon has participated in multiple programs at her university that aid those from the Middle East in developing their English language skills while at college in the United States. Additionally, she desires to further her Arabic language skills after she completes her degree, and hopes to spend time abroad to develop a deeper understanding of the region she has chosen to study. While at EPIC, Shannon is hoping to gain a more personal understanding of Iraq and the issues that affect the people there, as well as improve her language and cultural knowledge of the region.

To learn more about our internship program and available positions, email us at careers @ epic-usa.org

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