Spotlight On: Rawan Abhari

Thu, 10/15/20


Rawan is a sophomore majoring in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies
(Courtesy Photo)

Meet Rawan Abhari, an outstanding student in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics! Rawan is a current sophomore studying Economics and Middle Eastern Studies. She is originally from Missouri but now calls Southwest Florida home. 

The Arabic language has always been a part of Rawan’s life. Both of her parents were born in Kuwait and Arabic is their first language. It was spoken at home growing up, but Rawan and her siblings never learned to speak it fluently. “I felt separated yet connected to my culture and identity simultaneously, especially growing up in predominantly white spaces in Missouri and Florida.” Coming to Florida State to major in Middle Eastern Studies was a natural fit for Rawan’s academic and personal goals.

Outside of studying Arabic, Rawan has been involved with the Freshman Leadership Institute, Noles Engaged in Politics, and the Diversity and Inclusion Institute. The experience she gained in those spaces inspired her to take leadership roles in the Student Government Association, the Power of WE Executive Board, and the Office of Governmental Affairs. She especially values her current membership in the Anti-Racism Task Force recently established by President Thrasher. She sees the Anti-Racism Task Force as an opportunity to provide students with resources to amplify diverse perspectives on campus. 

After graduation Rawan plans to attend law school and eventually practice international and civil rights law. She believes that it is her generation’s responsibility to be the change they seek in their communities and contribute to international efforts towards positive progress. 

Rawan’s advice to new students in FSU’s Arabic classes is to be open to a different perspective. It is a challenging language to learn, especially for students with no background experience. “Embrace this challenge and accept this gift of [expanded perspective]…the world will benefit from you doing so.” She encourages fellow FSU students to explore their personal identities. “I engage in as many spaces as I am able in order to hear stories, and understand how stories build us and our societies. I love the endless curiosity in learning…when we embrace these intersections of ourselves, big or small, and learn to appreciate them in others, we will truly embark on a better pathway to a pluralistic society.”

If you see Rawan walking on campus or Zooming into Arabic II, be sure to say hello