Samaah Al-Najjar

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Major: Political Science

Samaah Al-Najjar received a Fulbright grant as an English Teaching Assistant to teach secondary school students in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Al-Najjar, who graduated from Purdue in 2019 with a BA in Political Science, grew up navigating a dual identity as a Jordanian American. Her experiences led her to an interest in international cultural exchange. Al-Najjar was active in the Purdue Model United Nations as an undergraduate, which allowed her a chance to attend two international conferences in Bogotá, Columbia. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on international migration, noting the problems of one-sided cultural exchange, in which an immigrant is expected to assimilate rather than to maintain their own cultural traditions.

Al-Najjar says, “Fulbright challenges me to bring the parts of my culture I find most important and teach it to an unfamiliar audience,” which will help her to develop a more intuitive understanding of the immigrant experience while engaging in true cultural exchange that goes both ways. Al-Najjar chose Bulgaria “for its history of blending cultures, shifting borders, and its current position in Eastern Europe at a time of mass immigration and asylum seekers.”

This Chicago native had previous teaching experience as an assistant at Purdue Village Preschool and as a summer school physics teacher for middle school students. She volunteered extensively in the community to build affordable housing with the Purdue chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Al-Najjar also spends time writing poetry and received the Bain Swigget Award for Best Single Poem at the 2019 Purdue Literary Awards.

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

2014 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by NISO Office

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact NISO at vaschirm@purdue.edu.