Alumni Bard College Berlin

Aya Ibrahim, Egypt
Attended: BA in Humanities, the Arts, and Social Thought '15
Currently: Online Editor at Deutsche Welle Arabia, Berlin

Where are you from originally and which program were you enrolled in at Bard College Berlin?

I am originally from Egypt, I was enrolled in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Thought BA program. My concentration was Ethics and Politics and I graduated in May 2015.

Looking back, what did you most enjoy about your time at Bard College Berlin?

Hands down it was the close-knit residential community that the students enjoy at Bard College Berlin. I think that living together strongly enhanced the learning process and made it much more layered and unique. I also really enjoyed working on my senior project with faculty member Ewa Atanassow, it was great to work on a topic/question in depth for a whole year. For my senior project I did a close reading of Aswany’s Yacoubian Building, focusing on the book’s portrayal of pre-Tahririan Egypt, to understand some of the features of revolutionary violence. It was definitely different from simply taking a class which normally lasts a semester and is usually about more than one question or topic.

How would you describe, in a nutshell, the experience of studying at Bard College Berlin?

Bard College Berlin has helped me become an overall better thinker.

How do you think the education you received at Bard College Berlin will help you in the future?

The thinking beyond the obvious and literal that this kind of education instills in you is an absolute advantage in today's world. I am interested in journalism and the non-profit world, and I feel that due to my education I am able to think about these very complex issues with a different approach. I got a preview of what that would look like when I spent a semester of my third year interning at two non-profits in New York City—there I had the chance to apply many of the critical skills I had acquired in a professional setting. I hope that in the future I will be able to contribute to the rethinking of journalism so that it can work better and more efficiently for the sake of the public good.

Where you now and what are are you doing?

I live in Berlin-Mitte and work as an Online Editor at the Arabic Service of the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW). In my capacity as Editor I am part of a team that manages the online presence of the network; my focus is on programs aimed at our younger viewers. I am also involved in a number of DW’s outreach programs aimed at the North Africa and Middle East region. I am also still working on my German.

Any advice you would give to students considering Bard College Berlin?

Visit if you can! Spend a couple of days on campus before deciding to attend. While you’re on campus talk to everyone from students to cafeteria staff and faculty members. Attend as many classes as possible, do the readings for them and join the discussion, this will give you a good impression as to whether or not Bard College Berlin is a good fit for you.