Lily Haddad ’18 CLAS (Political Science) is having a summer of firsts. For the first time she is living, working and studying abroad thanks to becoming one of America’s Unofficial Ambassadors in Morocco. She is interning at the Azrou Center for Community Development and running a summer camp for students there.
“These students do not have the opportunity to go to school, but the Azrou Center allows them to come to class for informal education with a goal to be reintegrated into the schooling system,” said Lily. “I chose to become one of America’s Unofficial Ambassadors because I wanted to immerse myself in a new culture while being able to build relationships and get to know the people that live in my host country. I also wanted to be able to volunteer and have the opportunity to intern with an organization that works with community and international development.”
Lily also had the unique experience of living in Morocco during Ramadan. Lily explains, “Breaking fast with friends and their families each night at sunset has made me feel welcome and has given me a glimpse into Moroccan culture that I would not have been able to have, had I been here during a different time.”
Thanks to a minor in Arabic Language Lily was able to learn “Darija,” the Moroccan dialect, quicker. Additionally, Lily credits the many varied courses she had to take in the liberal arts and sciences for preparing her for tackling problems in different ways and for shaping a well-rounded perspective.
“All of my classes at Villanova have contributed to my learning and gaining a global viewpoint, which has grown even more in Morocco,” she said.
As for long term goals, Lily wants to travel more and expand her knowledge of the world. Her work and studies have inspired her to go further.
“After working at the summer camp in Azrou, I hope to continue working with youth empowerment to help contribute to allowing more girls and children to have the chance to receive an education.”