Welcome to UVA! My name is Amani Boudriga. I’m a third year in the Curry School, majoring in Biology and minoring in Middle Eastern Studies. I’m originally from Tunisia, but I was born in Canada and spent most of my life here in Northern Virginia. I love playing sports, and I especially enjoy playing soccer and ice-skating. Hit me up if you ever want to go ice skating! I also play the piano and I’m quite passionate about music. I’m very involved in the Middle Eastern community and I’m Vice President of the Middle Eastern Leadership Council. I gained a lot from having a mentor my first year here in terms of organizing my schedule, adjusting to the university, getting involved, and gaining a friend. Seeing all the benefits I’ve gained through this, I wanted to give back to this community and help out incoming First Years’ with transitioning into the university. So feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions, need advice, or you’re just looking to hang out!
Hello and welcome to the University of Virginia! I am Arsalan Bhatti, a rising third year. I am majoring in Biochemistry and planning to attend dental school (I know, who actually likes teeth?). I am from Northern Virginia but I was born in Pakistan and can speak Urdu. I am involved in the Muslim Student Association, Wind Ensemble (I play percussion), and I am in the pre-dental society. Basically, all of my free time is devoted to either sleeping or playing basketball. I know from experience that first year can be a rough, but with some guidance, it will fly by and be your most memorable year. I hope to make this possible! O and I love meeting new people so do me a favor contact me with any questions, comments, or even if you want lunch at firstname.lastname@example.org or add me on facebook.
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed in the things you did not do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
Hi! My name is Caline Shamiyeh, and I am a rising second year. I’m double majoring in Psychology and Sociology with the hopes of becoming a forensic psychologist. Both of my parents were born and raised in Lebanon, but I was born in a little town in Southwest Virginia called Big Stone Gap. I am extremely proud of my Lebanese roots and love to take visits to Lebanon to see all of my family members. I enjoy watching and playing sports, but my favorite is tennis, which I could probably spend all day doing. I’m an avid foodie who loves to bake (and eat) all kinds of sweets. During my free time, I love to watch movies, read, make crafts, and have a good time. I am an animal lover, especially a cat lover, who is currently volunteering with Madison House at the Charlottesville SPCA. I did not have a mentor my first year, but I wanted to become a mentor in order to show rising first years what a blast UVA is, as well as to help them adjust to college life and all that it entails. I’m so excited to meet all of you soon and feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions, or just add me on facebook!
My name is Carly Taylor, and I’m a French major in the College of Arts and Sciences with a passion for Middle Eastern cultures. I attended George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, VA. Around Grounds, you can find me working on Arabic vocabulary at Clark library, playing basketball at the AFC, or sipping on coffee at the French House. I’m also frequently found trying to remember Farsi words that my Persian friends teach me. Other activities at the University include The Declaration and VISAS. I look forward to working with the MEMP Program.
Hey guys! I’m Elizabeth Aghili and I’m a rising fourth year. I’m double majoring in Foreign Affairs and Public Policy (Batten School). I grew up in Northern Virginia, but I’m a VERY PROUD PERSIAN. I’m super involved at UVA, both in the Middle Eastern community, and outside of that. I’ve served on the Persian Cultural Society Executive Board, the exec board for the Middle Eastern Leadership Council, and the Spread the Love exec board. I’m a Sigma Delta Tau sorority girl and I’m on the Batten Class Council. I’m a super girly girl and I love to shop, but I’m always ready to try new things. I’m also super outdoorsy and I love to swim and go kayaking so it’s just one big contradiction. I also love to dance! Warning: I love to talk, so if you’re shy, get ready to break out of your shell. Along with that, I’m always here to listen and give advice so feel free to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Facebook me at any time! So excited to meet you all!
Hey guys, welcome to UVa! My name is George Shamiyeh and I am a rising fourth year, double majoring in Foreign Affairs and Middle Eastern Languages. I was born in Southwest Virginia, and I am a first-generation Lebanese. I love the Middle East and I am fortunate enough to have traveled there numerous times. I am a huge sports buff and an avid movie-watcher. I enjoy camping and hiking, and I love playing tennis and basketball. Here at the University I am the Vice President of the Lebanese Club, and I am a Scout Player for the Women’s Basketball team. I wanted to become a mentor because I often remember how difficult the transition to college life was for me, especially when it came to choosing classes and such; I imagine it would’ve been a lot easier if I had an upperclassman showing me the ropes. That’s me in a nutshell. Feel free to contact me through email (gss3be) or Facebook if you have any questions or want to hang!
Hey Hoos. My name is Hadeel Alwani. I’m a rising fourth year Cognitive Science major with a concentration in Neuroscience. I just transferred to UVA in the fall of 2012 from George Mason University. I’ve had the unique experience of transferring twice, after having spent the equivalent of my first year abroad at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. So if you have any questions about adjusting, I’m the person to talk to. I am also on the pre-med track and got involved with undergraduate research my first semester at UVA. I am going to serve as the Language Assistant for Shea house’s Arabic floor next year (similar to RA) and I am also secretary of GEMS (Girls Excited about Math and Science). I love to travel and I studied abroad in St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean over J-term and would recommend any study abroad experience to anyone. I’m also a member of the MSA (Muslim Students Association) here. I love the outdoors: mainly hiking and camping, when I get the chance to. Adjusting to college life is difficult and I thought I was above these burdens, but when you get here you’ll understand. It’s a balancing act, and the trick is to prioritize and learn where your limits are. It’s a process and we are all still learning, even as fourth years. That’s where we come in: for questions, support, and to just let you know what we would have done in your situation.
Hi! My name is Katrina Nemri. I am a rising third year and I plan to major in biochemistry. I am originally from Jordan and was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I am currently involved with tutoring with Madison House, enjoy playing basketball and watching soccer, and I’m really interested in public health. I gained a lot from having a mentor my first year and I’m so excited to take on that role! I learned a lot in the last year and I am happy to share my experiences to make the transition to university life easier for new students. It made a big difference having the small, welcoming Middle Eastern community within the large UVA population. I am always available to answer any questions and I love getting lunch with people so email me at email@example.com with anything, I’d love to meet you!
My name is Leena Abdel-Qader and I am a third year Biology Major at UVa. I am Palestinian-American, born in Charlottesville but raised in Fredericksburg, Va. My parents were both born in Palestine but immigrated to the states for school. I am currently on the track towards dental school with a possibility of going towards an orthodontics specialization. I was the second born in my family and raised with three other siblings; one brother and two sisters. My hobbies entail cooking and yoga. I am also involved in other organizations at UVa, including the Pre-Dental Society, Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine, and the Arab Student Organization.
Marhaba! Welcome to the University of Virginia! My name is Lidia Eyob and I am a rising fourth year with a major in Foreign Affairs. I transferred to UVa in the Fall of 2012 and have adjusted well to the community here. I understand the difficulties that many transfer students have to deal with when coming to a new university and a new environment. For example, where is the best place to study for exams? Where is this Harry Potter room that people speak of? Where to eat kabobs in Charlottesville? Also, not using the word campus or freshman, so you don’t receive death stares! It wasn’t easy my friends, but with the help of many of my friends, I became well adjusted. I was born in Washington D.C., but was raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Shout out to the DMV! I am a proud Eritrean-American. My family comes from Eritrea which is in the Horn of Africa. I am bilingual: I speak English and Tigrinya. I would say I’m pretty involved in the UVa community. I am a member of the VISAS Program, Global Brigades Organization- Public Health Sector, Students for Peace and Justice for Palestine, and I’m now a mentor for the Middle Eastern Mentoring Program! I’m a pretty laid back person and one thing you should know about me is that I love to EAT!! So, if any of you want to go restaurant hopping, I’m your man! Overall, I’m here to help all you Hoos to become well-adjusted and help make your experience at UVa a memorable one. With that being said, I am at your service!
Marhaba, and welcome to UVA! My name is Maha Hassan and I am a rising second year. I am planning on majoring in Biology and I am on the pre-med track. I love traveling, running, music, and food. I am originally from Sudan, but I was born and raised in Northern Virginia. I love learning about my Sudanese roots and my Arab background so I try to go to the Middle East every year. Transitioning into college was a lot easier than I would have expected because of my mentor and the welcoming Middle Eastern community at UVA and I hope to make your transition even easier than mine was! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, need someone to talk to, or if you want just want to grab lunch (I always say yes to food!).
Hey! I’m Michael Goolsby from good old Mechanicsville, Virginia just north of the capital Richmond. Although I happen to be your average white American I am absolutely in love with Middle Eastern culture, languages and of course the people. I am currently majoring in the Arabic equivalent here at UVa along with Religious studies with a primary focus on Islam. I would like to consider myself quite familiar with Arab and Middle Eastern culture, having been to Jordan, Egypt and Palestine. I want to reflect the hospitality I have received from Arab culture. There is nothing like some Middle Eastern hospitality! This summer I am all set to study Arabic in Irbid, Jordan for two months, and I cannot be more excited! I hope one day to live in the Middle East somewhere simply because of my affinity for the culture and loving people.
Hey, incoming Wahoos! I’m Mina Fawze, originally from Iraq (with a little bit of Lebanese mixed in), but I was raised in good old NoVA. I am a double major in Biology and Cognitive Science with a concentration in Neuroscience, so if you ever need your brain picked, I’m your girl! I enjoy baking, watching too many tv shows (Netflix is my downfall), reading, redditing, and exploring Charlottesville (there’s a lot more adventure here than you’d think!). I was a mentee my first year and part of the exec board last year, so MEMP is a huge part of my UVA experience, and I’m thankful for the community I’ve become a part of as a result. I’m excited for you to join us, too! If you have any questions at all, be they about first year, getting into research, extracurriculars around Grounds, or even just a good restaurant recommendation, don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com!
Hello and welcome! My name is Mina Pirasteh, and I am a rising third year majoring in Psychology and Studio Art, with a concentration in photography, and minoring in French. My father is Iranian (from Tehran), my mother is Caucasian (from Minnesota), and I have lived my whole life on a farm in Virginia. I currently volunteer through Madison House, work as a photographer in UVa Public Affairs, work as a research assistant in the psychology department, am involved in the Persian Culture Society, and play tennis and soccer whenever I can! I love photography, drawing, reading, cooking, and watching movies. I am excited to get involved in this program because I’ve had many mentors over my life (Iranian and otherwise) and I know how helpful and great it can be to have people who care looking out for you! I didn’t have a mentor here my first year, but the more I get involved the more I realize what a wonderful, just incredibly nice community this is, and I feel lucky to be a part of it! I only hope I can contribute, and look forward to getting to meet all of you. I am always available to talk, whether you need help or just want someone to talk to. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. J
“Hello. My name is Mohammed. Mohammed ShaVi. People call me ShaVi. You want a chocolate?” (If you don’t know what I am talking about by now, you should go and watch the greatest movie of all time, aka Forrest Gump.) I am a proud third-year cavalier, majoring in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Business and 9gags. Upon leaving my home country, Saudi Arabia, last year, my mother told me that life’s a box of chocolate and you never know what you are going to get. UVa happened to be the sweetest, and the most awesome kind of chocolate that I have ever tasted. In spite the fact that I spent more time in Clemons Library than in my room, every day in my UVA experience was a unique adventure that I absolutely loved and enjoyed. This is one of the main reasons I joined MEMP as a mentor; I want our amazing first years to know how great and awesome UVa is. There are hundreds of opportunities here to build up your personality and gain knowledge, confidence, and experience. You just need to take the first step, and we are here to help you take this step.
Some random facts about me is that I had the honor to sit on the bench on which Forrest Gump tells his story! I am not joking! Check my facebook for details. I also LOVE running barefoot in the rain.
Always remember that if you want to talk about your social life at UVa, your classes, philosophy, science, politics, history, or life in general, I am always there to provide help and guidance.
Get excited for your first year! UVa is awesome and I am sure that you will love it.
Halla walla / Hey! Welcome to the University of Virginia! My name is Nasser Khalifa AlDhaheri, and I’m a rising 3rd year in the College of Arts and Sciences. I’m majoring in Econ, with a minor degree in procrastination and 9gag. I’m 100% from Dubai, meaning I’m not as ‘mixed’ as others, but hey! I’ve been to every continent other than Antarctica. I would list my hobbies, but that would take the whole paragraph. I’m currently in a relationship with the soccer team Real Madrid and I don’t intend to ever cheat on it. I also do a lot of volunteer work around the university as it gives me an opportunity to meet people from all around the world!
I never really had a mentor during my first year at UVA, but I’ll try my best to ensure you have a super smooth transition in the university! Feel free to contact me at Na5bb@virginia.edu or add me on facebook!
PS: You’ll love it here.
Hi Everyone! My name is Nedda and I am fourth year in the McIntire School of Commerce. I am Persian, like the cat…meow! I have been involved with many things at UVA, both Middle Eastern and not. I want to teach mentees all about UVA’s best kept secrets, trust me we have TONS! College is such an exciting stage of your life, and I want to be able to help my mentees out with this transition. I was President of Persian Cultural Society, am a Program Assistant at the Lorna Sundberg International Center, played on Club Tennis, a former exec member for MEMP, and have been on Class Council for the past three years. I also have a cooking show on YouTube, Nomz With Nedda. So if you ever want to cook/eat together, you know I’m down. My preferred method of transportation around Grounds is a magic carpet. Hopefully in the futures I see myself doing entertainment and marketing!
Hi guys and welcome to UVA! I am a rising third year who still doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life… don’t worry, you’re not alone! I was born in London, England and raised in Richmond, Virginia, but my parents are originally from Iran. I love watching movies and trying new things and hanging out with friends. I am very involved in the Middle Eastern Community here at the University and I love to meet people from various backgrounds. I joined this program in order to make sure that you guys have a support system that you can turn to whenever you need help. I know that being in a new place can be very stressful and challenging and I want to make sure that you have a smooth transition into the University.
Welcome to the University of Virginia! My name is Omar A Nabhani and I’m a rising third year. I plan to major in Finance and Economics. I’ve lived around the Potomac my whole life, being born and raised in Potomac, Maryland, but I have lived in Northern Virginia since I was 7. I am 25% Palestinian, 25% Lebanese, and 50% Egyptian (doesn’t get more complex than that). I am an avid sports fan and I love anything that’s sports related-especially teams based in Washington. I actually didn’t have a mentor my first year but I’m ready to help you guys out with anything you possibly need to help make your transition to the University a smooth one. Feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey fellow Hoos! My name is Saba Chinian and I’m a rising second-year in the College of Arts and Sciences. I’m planning on studying and majoring in Public Policy in the Batten School and Politics, specifically in Foreign Affairs. I’m Iranian-American and was born and raised in the good ol’ state of Virginia in NOVA, and I speak Farsi and I plan on learning Arabic while at UVA. I love basically anything involving dancing, eating, and talking and I enjoy everything from going on hiking trips to chilling in the dorms with friends. I love keeping up with the news and I’m a huge fan of discussing everything from UVA culture to global affairs. On grounds, I participate in the Persian Cultural Society, MEMP, the Declaration, and the International Relations Organization, all of which I highly recommend you all join! First-year can yield some really exciting, and sometimes stressful, situations and I’d be more than happy to talk about anything and everything and offer my advice and experience. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com or add me on Facebook if you’d like to meet up and chat!
Hi, I am Samer Tellauni and I am a rising 2nd year. I am planning to be a Bio major and I am also pre-med! I am a part of MELC,SPJP, ASO and other organizations on grounds. I enjoy playing sports, video games, watching movies, and going on adventures. I am very open-minded and if you ever want to talk about anything email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Sara Almousa, and I’m a rising fourth year. I’m majoring in public policy in the Batten School. My father is Palestinian and my mother is Finnish (yeah, random), but I was born and raised in Northern Virginia. I attended the Islamic Saudi Academy from kindergarten up until senior year and made a close knit of friends from the Middle Eastern community. I wanted to be a mentor because I know the importance of having a supportive community with the same culture, values, and backgrounds, and the lasting positive impact it can have on your life. I myself had two unofficial mentors my first year, and now they’ve become two of my closest friends. They really helped me adjust to the college environment and to be an involved active member at the University (especially the Middle Eastern Leadership Council which you all should totes join). I love meeting new people and trying new things (especially food), so hopefully you’ll get to know me better this coming year! Email me at email@example.com if you want to hangout or talk, or add me on facebook!”
Hi! My name is Talal Mohammad, and I’m a rising third year in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am a Biology major with a pre-med track, and I plan on studying Cardiology (I’m going to be in school forever!). My parents are from Pakistan and I am the youngest of five brothers. I’ve lived in Virginia all my life and now I live in Warrenton, Virginia. I love animals (I have a fish named Dizzle, a pitbull, parakeets, etc.), traveling, watching movies, playing games, going outdoors, and meeting up with friends. I’m the Co-founder of Students for Stop Hunger Now, and I’ll be studying abroad with Semester at Sea this Fall! I’m really excited, and if you let me know I can try to send postcards telling all about it. Helping people has always been my passion, and I’m always willing to lend a hand. From firsthand experience, I know that your 1st year can be fun, exciting, confusing, and sometimes a little bit of everything. When I first came to UVa, I had no clue about what I was doing. I’m grateful that I had a mentor to go to for things such as choosing classes, managing workloads, adjusting from home, or just having lunch at Shea! My mentor opened me up to the Middle Eastern community at UVa, and because of her I am now going to live at Shea as a 2nd year! I hope that you can take advantage of this great opportunity, and you can contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know if you ever need help, want a bite to eat, or just want to hang out. I’m excited to meet you and I hope you have a great first year experience!
Hey future Hoo! Welcome to the best place on the planet—UVA! I’m Tara Shafiei, a rising second year in the College of Arts and Sciences. I’ve lived in northern Virginia for the majority of my life, but I was born in Iran, and am 100% Persian, and you know what they say…once you go Persian there’s no better version! I’m intending to double major in Biology and Spanish, but I love taking classes in a variety of subjects! If you see me on grounds, I’m either eating delicious food or doing something fun! I love spending time outdoors, trying new things, and listening to a variety of music and of course did I mention eating delicious food?! (of which Charlottesville has plenty to offer). I have learned so much my first year, and I cannot wait to share all that this University has to offer with you! I love making new friends, so definitely be ready to engage in a conversation with me! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Can’t wait to meet you!
Hello, my name is Zakary Kraimeche and I’m currently a first year at UVa pursuing a BA in Computer Science. I was born in Manhattan, NY but my hometown is Harrisonburg, VA. My ethnic background includes the North African countries of Algeria and Morocco. Thus, I speak Arabic, French, and English (my first language). My interests include sports (esp. tennis), video games (mostly pc), watching movies, spending quality time with friends, reading, eating, sleeping when I get the chance and Computer Science of course! My favorite book series would probably have to be Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle. Overall, I’m a jovial fellow who loves having fun and making dorky jokes and more importantly, I love to help people! J