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PHD Linguistics, Journalist from Egypt, Intelligence, Security

Updated: 6 days ago

A highly-motivated, award-winning, Egyptian TV producer and social media strategist, my first and central love is Linguistics. I have earned most of my living so far as a seasoned journalist and a quality control linguist; yet, it is academic research that I most enjoy. Linguistics is the center of my intellectual and academic worlds and the area in which I feel that I am most capable of making important contributions to society, helping to foster the advancement of language arts and education. Thus, I could not be more passionate about and highly motivated to earn the terminal degree in my field. It was a profound disappointment for me to not be selected to study towards the PhD Degree in Linguistics at XXXX University this past year. This year, I am applying again and hope to be selected based on greater clarification of my goals and professional vision for my future as a Linguistics professional. A dedicated husband and family man, I do my very best at being a father to our 3 small children. My wife works at George Mason University in the Communications and Marketing Department and the University is a 10-minute drive from our home. A young couple just at the beginning of our professional lives, I cannot afford out-of-state tuition. Classes starting after 3 pm, as they do at XXXX, is ideal for our schedule.

I completed my undergraduate and Master’s Degrees in Egypt, spanning the areas of Linguistics and Communications, I next went to Qatar to study for one year towards an additional MA in the area of Audiovisual Translation Studies. I was not able to finish this program even though I had a scholarship to do so, however, because I chose to accept a professional opportunity in the USA. I am confident that if it were not for my studies in Linguistics, I would not have become a well-known editor, not only at Al Jazeera English but also the Middle East Broadcasting Networks. My professors in Qatar used to chide me that I was addicted to linguistics because of the way that I would go to great lengths to relate the subject of a research project to linguistics in one way or another. For me, linguistics is my favorite window through which to gaze at my surroundings, as it is a mirror of my own thinking and that of everyone else. At some point in my career after earning my PhD, I hope to return to Egypt to become a leader in the creation of new and exciting programs in Applied Linguistics and language education for public universities across Egypt. I will seek to provide my students with the best opportunities to learn effectively through creative and interactive curriculums developed in a way that is tailored to the linguistic challenges that they face as Arab speakers in a Middle Eastern educational environment. I consider myself very fortunate to have been in a position to come to the United States to complete a full immersion experience in English and I hope very much to combine this with a world-class education in Linguistics at George Mason. I spoke with the Program Director at XXXX University on the telephone in December of 2018 and this finalized my decision to again seek admission to the PhD Program in Linguistics. Professor Douglas was most encouraging and I very much appreciated his suggestion that I find a co-chair - from outside if not inside the university - to guide me on the part of the dissertation pertaining to Media. I very much look forward to learning from the vast experience of Dr. Douglas in particular. I also appreciate the way that XXXXUniversity places a priority on creativity and diversity, graduating some of the best prepared students in the world. Earning my Preliminary Master’s Degree in Linguistics in Egypt represented some of the finest days of my life and I am most keen to return to academics and throw myself in again, head first, this time delving much deeper into the challenges that I look forward to confronting in Linguistics.

I started with Egyptian TV, gaining some modest experience before leaving for Qatar where I spent more than two years serving as a Translator at the As Sayliyah U.S. Army Base. I stayed in my next position with Al Jazeera English for another 9 years. Currently, I work at the Middle East Broadcasting Networks based in Springfield, VA. I spoke at length with a Mass Communication Professor from the University of Maryland, Dr. Sahar Khamis, who showed a willingness to serve as a co-chair for my dissertation project. I am convinced that XXXX University’s Linguistics program is the best platform for me to realize my long-term goal of becoming the finest linguistics professor that I can become. By obtaining a Ph.D. Degree, I will have achieved the wisdom and knowledge that I will need in order to become an educational reformer in Egypt, helping many new generations of students to achieve their own personal and professional goals and to not settle for less. I look forward to teaching Media Linguistics to students of Mass Communication. I have also toyed with the idea of at some point serving in the intelligence community for several years since this is a vibrant secondary interest of mine in linguistics and there is a great need for creative thinkers in the area of security who are also linguists and native speakers of Arabic.

Most of all, I look forward to teaching Semantics. I also hope to publish in this area and to continue with the kinds of research efforts that I look forward to beginning for my doctoral dissertation at XXXX University, with a special focus on visual semantics, most precisely emojis; described by some as the fastest-growing language in history; with others referring to it as the first, truly global form of visual communication. I have tons of important questions that I want to set about answering as a student at George Mason University. Are the semantic and semiotic norms governing the use of emojis on social media platforms applicable to English and Arabic social media users alike? To what extent can the semantic interpretation of emojis vary widely, causing/rendering cultural and lexical gaps? To what extent can people build shared meaning through visual communication and interaction over time? Does the use of emojis among youth in their interpersonal communications on social media differ according to patterns of class, age, gender, race, and ethnicity? How are new media technologies shaping the future of language?

I am proud of my volunteer service as a simultaneous translator for the Arab League as well as teaching English to students with special needs in Egypt. These days, I am diligent in my volunteer efforts as a very active member of the Parking and Landscaping Committees of the Home Owner’s Association at Westcott Ridge Community, where I currently live with my family only a few minutes away from XXXX University.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for considering my application.

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