Intern experiences of Veronica Merlo at the Center for Arab-West Understanding (CAWU)

Sent On: 
Sun, 2019-12-15
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The number of interns at the Center for Arab-West Understanding has been increasing from 17 in 2017, 50 in 2018 and in 2019 we have already served around 65 interns, both Egyptians and non-Egyptians. They all have their own story but all share the same interest in wanting to learn about different cultures and the best way to do so is to meet with people and listen to their stories. Students also participate in translations, article writing, social media, database development and contributions to our CAWU Learning Center for refugee youth.


We were very pleased with Italian journalism intern Veronica, graduate student of International Security with the specialization in the Middle East and Journalism at Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), SciencesPo Paris. She has interned between September 1 and December 15 during which time she got engaged in many different activities. This diversity in activities is what helps students most to get to know Egypt.


Veronica Merlo


Veronica has fallen in love with Egypt after her one-year experience as a student of Arabic at Alexandria University in 2017-2018. Since then she has returned regularly to Egypt and she now wishes to continue living here after finishing her studies in France.


Her future projects are driven by a strong desire to bridge cultures across the Mediterranean and, specifically, between Egypt and her native country Italy. She was impressed by the cosmopolitan past of Alexandria of Egypt and the active engagement of the Alexandrian youth community in reviving the peculiar character of their beloved city.


Her work at CAWU therefore extensively focused on the production of a series of articles related to the cosmopolitan past of Alexandria and current projects to boost intercultural dialogue in that Mediterranean city. Moreover, she reported on several conferences and activities related to the subject of diplomacy and negotiations. In addition to publishing these eight excellent articles for Arab-West Report, she uploaded two of her academic papers in the database. They can be found here and here.


She also organized a trip with the Learning Center to Alexandria of Egypt, where the students had the chance to visit the Jesuit Cultural Center and discover the beauty of Alexandria with a guided tour from al-Gawla initiative. The photos of this visit can be found on the CAWU Learning Center Facebook page here.


Her remarkable love for Egypt is not blind and she wants to explore Egypt more, understanding every aspect of society, whether it is positive or negative. For this reason, she is upset about the one-sided media reporting on Egypt in Europe and she wishes to contribute to spread a different image of the country. You can check her official Facebook page “al-Muhit” (The Ocean) and her Instagram profile (almuhit_theocean) where she shares pictures from everyday life in Egypt associated with expressions in Arabic taken from popular sayings, songs, poems, and books.


Veronica produced a nice overview of her work, summarizing her experience at CAWU. This you can find here.


Veronica is returning to Italy and hold an event in her hometown to share her experiences in Egypt. You can follow this on her Facebook page.


Dedicated interns like Veronica who are eager to learn about Egypt make work at the Center for Arab-West Understanding a joy.



December 15, 2019


Cornelis Hulsman,

Editor-in-chief Arab-West Report