guest speakers

CIB hosts Arabic language specialist

12Over 70 people came to Wall Building room 322 on Wednesday, March 23, to attend two talks by Ms. Donia Rajhi, an Arabic language specialist who teaches at the United States Marine Corps Base in Camp Lejeune. Among Ms. Rajhi’s students are US intelligence and counterintelligence officers, as well as members of the US Special Forces. Ms. Rajhi, a trained lawyer, is originally from Tunisia. She grew up in a family of diplomats in Tunisia and France before emigrating to the US in 2010. She speaks every major Arabic dialect and has a strong interest in the politics of the Middle East and international relations more broadly.

Ms. Rajhi gave two talks for CIB members and students in Coastal Carolina University’s Intelligence and National Security Studies program. The first talk centered on information about learning Arabic as a foreign language. Ms. Rajhi answered questions from the audience about the best methods to begin to learn Arabic and then shared some crucial cultural knowledge about countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Some of her observations related to gender relations in predominantly Muslim countries.

In her second talk, Ms. Rajhi gave an overview of the Arab Spring, the uprecedented revolutionary wave of sit-ins, protests and demonstrations that spread throughout the Arab world starting in 2010, and led to the overthrow of a number of Arab dictators, as well as in civil wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen. Her talk focused primarily on her native Tunisia, which was the originating point of the Arab Spring, following the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor who set himself on fire on 17 December 2010, in protest of the confiscation of his merchandise by the authorities.

The CIB wishes to thank Ms. Rajhi for coming to Coastal and for making herself available to our students for over 2.5 hours on Wednesday afternoon.