Lizzy Naameh (Lebanon)
"My identity has always been a contested space. As a self-identified California-born Lebanese-American, I grew up keenly aware of the hyphenated tension of my every day life. Caught helplessly in a matrix of conflicting expectations from the culture of my family and the culture of my friends, I was rapidly losing grasp of either. The Empowered Arab Sisterhood, in this regard, saved me in a profound and special way. As I worked closely with my Sisters throughout the year, ΕΑΣ provided a safe and empowering space rooted in friendship, love, and solidarity in our common identities as Arab Women. To me, ΕΑΣ represents a critical push toward the expansion of women's voices in Arab discourses and the celebration of diversity within our colorful, beautiful people. I am currently entering my fourth year as an International Development Studies major with a regional emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa as well as sub-Saharan Africa. After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in international relations by attending law school and working in international development abroad from a position that bridges cross-cultural gaps and encourages coalition-building among youth activists to enact lasting social change for the betterment of their communities. At the same time, I am confident that we will continue to do much of the same here, at home, with our beloved and Empowered Arab Sisterhood."