Student Spotlight: Rama Alhabian

Rama Alhabian

March 11, 2019

Rama Alhabian is a doctoral student in near eastern studies from Hammah, Syria. After studying at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia as an undergrad, she chose to pursue graduate study at Cornell because of its variety of academic programs.

What is your area of research and why is it important?

I work on Arabic literature in the 19th century, a time period that witnessed Arab intellectuals’ travel to Europe and was therefore important for the development of modern Arabic literature. I’m do so mainly by looking at three big questions: travel, genre, and translation.

What inspired you to choose this field of study?

Although I earned my first graduate degree in English and Anglophone literatures, I had always been meaning to “return” to Arabic literature after being exposed to literatures from different parts of the world.

What have you gained by participating in the NextGen Professors Program?

I have gained more confidence in sharing my personal views and challenges in academia with other graduate and professional students and learned a lot from their views and experiences. Moreover, the program raised my awareness about different opportunities and resources for personal and academic developments, both at Cornell and beyond.

What are your hobbies or interests outside of your research or scholarship?

I like playing music, cooking, and watching Syrian drama. 

Why did you choose Cornell to pursue your degree?

I chose Cornell because of its great number of academic programs and departments, which makes it possible for anyone to find any kind of study or training needed for different academic and scholarly purposes. Moreover, I find Cornell’s research tools and library system extraordinary: there is almost no publication that Cornell librarians were not able to find for me. I find that to be unique about Cornell. 

What is next for you?

I am currently on the job market, searching for a job opportunity that would allow me to focus on my first book manuscript after graduation.