Samer Anabtawi ’12
Majored in political science, international studies, economics and French
Media Affairs Officer, The General Delegation of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) to the United States.
“My current job is very dynamic, I handle the Delegation's outreach to the press (radio, television and print) and try to create new relations with journalists,” Anabtawi says. “I also write the Delegation's press releases and official statements and I prepare talking points for the ambassador's speeches around the country and help in writing his opinion columns, etc. I also coordinate media appearances for the ambassador and other top Palestinian leaders during their visits to Washington.”
Anabtawi credits Illinois College in the way the school intertwined his general education classes with his multiple majors. He says it provided him with an unprecedented opportunity to design and tailor his own academic career.
“Aside from the many classes where I was able to apply the theoretical knowledge of politics and economics to the Middle East in my research assignments, I was able to take multiple independent study courses that were laser-focused on my research topic, the political economy of the Palestinian Israeli conflict,” Anabtawi says. “The ability to design my own curriculum alongside my advisors opened many doors for synergetic collaboration with the professors which became evident in my seminar thesis and honors thesis that I could later present to employers and graduate schools.”
The small class sizes at IC prepared Anabtawi for his graduate courses at the University of Chicago, where he earned his master’s degree in international relations.
“With the help of IC, not only did I have opportunities to develop leadership skills, but I was also able to get practical experience through two internships, one in Congress and the other at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When I applied to my current position, the Delegation was impressed with the holistic background I had developed at IC,” Anabtawi says. “I am grateful to Illinois College for having prepared me in every way possible to embark on the career I had always wanted to have.”
The diverse experience at Illinois College has helped Anabtawi excel in the field of international relations.
“The political science and international studies programs at IC prepared me to study global issues and explore all contemporary debates in the field. IC's focus on excellence in academic writing and on in-class participation was particularly stellar,” Anabtawi says. “Thanks to the great amount of attention I received from my professors, I developed critical thinking and writing skills that qualified me for a successful experience at one of the nation's most intellectually challenging international relations programs at the University of Chicago. In the near future, I hope to enroll in a Ph.D program in politics with the goal of pursuing academia as a future career. I cannot feel more confident having studied at Illinois College.”