CAC Interns

The CAC has great team of interns for this summer and fall, all of them with a deep passion for the Arab world.  We are happy to introduce them to you here:


Spring 2016 Interns and Volunteers

Julio Marconi, Program Evaluation Intern

Gia Rowley, Programing Intern

Aliya Cycon, Art Marketing and Outreach Intern


Aliya was born on December 20th, 1993.  At the age of 5, she began to study piano and ballet. At 16 years old, she left her Massachusetts home to study in prestigious Russian ballet conservatories in Washington, DC and NYC. Cycon rediscovered her love for music while living in New York, and after a life-changing opportunity to travel in the West Bank of Palestine, she decided to retire from ballet and dedicate herself to studying Arabic music, language and culture. She spent her remaining time in New York studying the Arabic oud with Zafer Tawil and Bassam Saba, as well as Arabic Maqam theory with Arabic-jazz fusion star, Amir el-Saffar. She was then accepted to Berklee College of Music, and now majors in Contemporary Writing & Production, and studies the ‘oud under Simon Shaheen. In Summer 2014 she founded her own “Arabic-inspired band” called Aliya Cycon Project in which she plays her original fusion compositions on the oud and voice, accompanied by a talented band of fellow Berklee students from around the world. The group has already been featured on Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares radio station, and has headlined at major Massachusetts venues including Ryles Jazz Club and The Iron Horse Music Hall. They have also opened for the Amir El-Saffar Quintet. In April 2015, the band released its first album, “We Will Be Light” which is available on iTunes and Spotify.

                  At Berklee, Cycon also works as a tutor in Berklee’s Core Music Tutoring Services. Since 2014, she has tutored students in all levels of Music Theory and Ear Training, among other subjects. After her first semester of tutoring, she was promoted to Supervisor of the Core Music Tutoring Services, where she now is in charge of many administrative tasks. Included in such tasks has been designing a newer training module for new tutors, and then implementing it in one-on-one training sessions. Supervising has also given her extensive experience with Microsoft Office, Google Drive and Sheets, and FileMaker Pro. She has maintained her job as tutor while being supervisor, which has kept her disciplined in handling two distinct and challenging jobs at once. Cycon hopes to continue applying her tutoring and office experience after her expected graduation from Berklee in Spring 2016. Cycon has been interning with the CAC since the fall of 2015.

Summer & Fall 2015 Interns and Volunteers

Lubna Ahmad

Amna Abus-Salam, Events Intern

Amna CAC

Amna is a recent graduate of Simmons College’s Library and Information Science graduate program. While in graduate school, Amna focused her studies on preservation, because she would like to work abroad preserving material culture. In addition to this, she has volunteered as a student leader of the international relations roundtable where she planned and scheduled events for the semester, conducted outreach to people involved in libraries abroad, and set up lectures and cultural presentations, spread awareness to students about events impacting different communities, and provided opportunities to meet with professionals. Prior to completing her Master’s degree, she received her Bachelor’s at CUNY Brooklyn College, where she majored English Literature and minored in Classical Cultures. One of Amna’s passions is studying different cultures, and learning new languages. She plans to use her skills to be an effective Events Planning intern at the CAC.

Zofia Budny, Research and Development Intern

I was born in Boston to Polish parents on August 5, 1992. I have a great passion for languages and cultures. Having cultivated my interests, I learned Italian and French while attending Everett High School. Knowing that I wanted to work in an international/political environment, I interned abroad in Milan, Italy for the U.S. Consulate General during the summer of 2012. As an honors graduate of UMass Boston in Political Science, French, and Italian language studies (2014) I attended the Preparatory program in International Management and Business Economics at KU Leuven. I am continuing my internship for the Center for Arabic Culture since 2013 as a Research and Development Intern. I seek to work in a business and economics field, where I will be able to foster my curiosity for learning and admiration for world cultures.

Spring 2015 Interns

Chloe Walton

IMG_3559Chloe is a junior at Columbia University, majoring in Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies and concentrating in Linguistics. She fell in love with Arabic in the beginning of her first year at Columbia and has now been studying it for three years. She spent last summer with the State Department Critical Language Scholarship Program in Rabat, Morocco, and can’t wait for her next opportunity to spend time in the Arab World. In the meantime she is taking a semester off and excited to spend her time interning at the CAC to help organize and promote their events. Click here to contact Chloe.

Sara Mejias

sarahMejiasSara is a junior at Boston University studying International Relations and minoring in Muslim Societies and History. Last semester, Sara studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco where she studied Arabic and interned for a human rights organization. As an intern at the Center for Arabic Culture, Sara hopes to help the CAC plan their various cultural events and continue immersing herself in the arabic culture. In the future, Sara hopes to continuing to pursue a career in human rights, conflict resolution, and international law. Click here to contact Sara.

Cayla Brown

CaylaCayla is a sophomore at Tufts University and majoring in international Relations and Arabic. She first became passionate about Arabic culture when taking Arabic for the first time her first year and is interested in traveling abroad to Jordan during the fall. She is excited to learn more about Arabic culture with the Center and looks forward to working as a Development and Programming Intern. Click here to contact Cayla.

Erica Lush

EricaInternErica graduated in May from Boston University with a degree in Linguistics and minors in Arabic and Speech Pathology. She studied abroad in Jordan and has also traveled in the region. Erica hopes to pursue a career where she can use knowledge of Arabic language and culture to make a positive difference, hopefully through working in humanitarian aid. Currently she is excited to be working with the Center for Arabic Culture, renovating the website.  In May 2015 the CAC started working as a web designer at the CAC.

One Response to “CAC Interns”
  1. ruth faris says:

    they are great, bravo all!

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