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One of the best things about Dartmouth is the wide range of resources and incredible people to connect with on this campus. During my first year, I wanted to find a way to connect with these resources and make the most of my first year in college. As a Middle Eastern Studies major, I knew I would want to conduct research in the future and hear the stories of the Middle Eastern students and faculty at the college. Thus, I spent my winter term recording interviews with over 20 individuals involved in Middle Eastern Studies, and then edited those interviews into an audio album project that is now published on Spotify and Apple Music: Middle Eastern Voices at Dartmouth!

For prospective students who are interested in research, creative work, or the Middle East, I want to share the process of creating this project. First, I realized the remarkable freedom available to Dartmouth students in regards to how time is spent. Due to the quarter system, students only have to juggle three classes at a time; while the classes move fast, it is much easier to digest material when taking less overall classes. Therefore, I saw this project as an excellent way to use some of my extra time. When reaching out to faculty and students to conduct interviews, I was glad to see incredible enthusiasm to help and assist creative work; moreover, participants were eager to reference other people who I could interview.

I was able to borrow a professional audio recorder from the Jones Media Center; this is only one example of the resources offered by Dartmouth, as the library in general offers tons of equipment and resources for students to use for free. Therefore, for a first-generation low-income student like myself, finances aren't a barrier for pursuing my areas of interest. 

After publishing the project, I couldn't believe the positive reception I got from my peers. Many people listened to my project and shared it on their social media pages, expressing their support. Dartmouth is definitely a place where students want each other to succeed, and this is something I quickly realized after publishing my project.

Most of all, after completing my work, I felt so fulfilled by the many interesting conversations and stories that I heard during my research; whether I was talking to an Egyptian diplomat or an Iraqi refugee, there is no doubt that Dartmouth is an amazing place with amazing people. If you want to learn more about the Middle Eastern community at Dartmouth, check out my album Middle Eastern Voices at Dartmouth on Spotify.

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