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Meet the Fellows: 2015 Newcombe Fellow Jibreel Delgado

jibreel delgado

This is one of a series of posts featuring Fellows from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation network.

Earlier this week, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation announced the newest class of Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows. Among them is Jibreel Delgado, a doctoral candidate in Islamic Studies at the University of Arizona.

While Mr. Delgado’s dissertation is on evolving conceptualizations of law and ethics among competing Muslim reformist networks in the Middle East and North Africa, the inspiration for his course of study, he explains, comes from much closer to home:

The sign when entering my hometown reads, “Welcome to Hoboken: Birth Place of Baseball and Frank Sinatra.” Until the age of 22, I lived in this small city in Northeastern New Jersey, a ten-minute subway ride away from Manhattan. This part of the United States is one of its most diverse and it was there that I was introduced to the many different people and cultures of the world. I observed how newly arrived immigrant communities were able to carve out little pieces of home for themselves within enclaves in surrounding neighborhoods. Where I grew up, one could find and befriend Turks, South Asians, Egyptians, North Africans, Palestinians, Cubans, and Central and South Americans in a way not possible elsewhere. I sympathized with the navigating between languages and cultures with which many of my peers had to contend. The traditions and languages of the people of the Middle East and the Muslim world especially piqued my curiosity. I have since then obtained my B.A. in creative writing and M.A. in Near Eastern Studies while at the same time earning a certificate in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL). I have gone on to travel and research in Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, and it has all been due to that cosmopolitan and pluralist vision of American society in which I was raised.

For more information on the 2015 Newcombe Fellows and to see a list of their dissertation titles, click here.


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