Name: Lailatul Fitriyah
Location of Study: Amman, Jordan
Program of Study: Classical Arabic Program
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures
A brief personal bio:
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
I am a first year Ph.D student at the World Religions and World Church Program in the Department of Theology, with an M.A. in International Peace Studies from The Kroc Institute. My current research is focused on the construction of theologies of peace within the framework of Muslim-Christian relations in post-conflict settings. Before coming to Notre Dame, I was a Nostra Aetate Fellow at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) in the Vatican City, where I researched interfaith relations between the Catholic Church and major religious traditions in the world, especially Islam. I am also a columnist at one of the largest national media in Indonesia, The Jakarta Post, where I regularly write on the issues of interreligious relations and Islamic feminism.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
Mastering foreign languages, especially those that are related to Islam and Christianity, is a core requirement that I need to fulfill so that I can actually read and understand scriptures in their original languages. In this context, being able to read and write Classical Arabic is crucial due to the fact that it is the language of the Qur’an. Therefore, the SLA Grant is important for me and my future plans in the academia because it allows me to deepen my mastery in Classical Arabic at the Qasid Institute, which is one of the best Arabic language institutes in the Middle-East. Considering the crucial role Classical Arabic posits in my current study and future career, the SLA Grant opens doors for me to be a scholar of both Islamic and Christian theologies in the future.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
I have two major goals that I hope to achieve with the assistance of the SLA Grant. First, I hope to deepen my linguistic skills in Classical Arabic so that I can familiarize myself with various genres of Qur’anic commentaries and classical books produced during the Medieval and Modern Islamic periods. This goal is important so that I can conduct my study on primary sources in the field of Islamic theology. The second goal pertains to my plan to immerse myself in the daily lives of the Jordanians to try to understand the formation of a culture of an Islamic society that is significantly intertwined with the shaping of verbal communication between them. This is important because if I were to study the textual products of a culture, then I will have to understand the vernacular sensibilities that shape those work.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to read and write in Classical Arabic, especially within the field of Islamic theology, history, ethics, philosophy, and jurisprudence.
2. By the end of the summer, I will be able to speak in Colloquial Arabic and engage in theological discussions with native Arabic speakers in the Arabic language.
3. By the end of the summer, I will be able to articulate and understand the cultural-religious context of the lives of Jordanians in Amman, and to integrate that understanding into my scholarship in the field of modern Islamic thoughts.