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October 23, 2019

Internship Gives Student Nada Osman Insight Into Global Issues

by Kurt Gottschalk

Nada Osman (right) with Levermore Global Scholars fellow Jonathan Cristol, PhD

Being at the right place at the right time is a big part of becoming a success, but you have to be the right person at the right place and time for it to matter.

Political science major Nada Osman was one such right person in the right place at the right time, which is more a testament to her diligence than good fortune. She had already proven herself to be a dedicated and dependable scholar working with Levermore Global Scholars fellow Jonathan Cristol, PhD, when the opportunity arose to intern for the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) during Adelphi’s 2019 Summer Session.

Now in her junior year at Adelphi, Osman spent the summer working under a CFR internship, fact-checking a book on the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations. She had already worked fact-checking publications for Dr. Cristol when, at a book release event for his The United States and the Taliban before and after 9/11 (Springer 2018), the cards fell into place. A former student of Dr. Cristol’s who worked at the CFR was also in attendance and was looking for a native Arabic speaker to work on a book with the council.

“There are a lot of very smart students and there are a lot of very capable students, but what is difficult is to find a blend of ability and reliability,” Dr. Cristol said. “What’s hard to find is someone who is capable and who will really do what they say they’re going to do. It seems like those are such basic things but they’re frankly not.

“I made the introduction,” he added, “but Nada got the internship herself.”

Osman was soon working with former U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations Martin Indyk, currently a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. In particular, she was fact-checking his book focusing on Henry Kissinger’s Middle East work before 1975, often referring back to articles from Arabic sources.

“I learned a lot,” she said. “There were a lot of very personal details based on his experience. It was nice to gain a personal perspective on what those diplomats were actually doing.

“The Israel-Palestine conflict is not as easy to understand as it seems,” she elaborated. “Once you get to understand the conflict, you can see both sides of it. It helped me understand and sympathize with each side.”

She also got an inside look at how things work at the CFR.

“On the first day, they took me around and introduced me to a lot of people,” she said. “Human Resources really took the time out to make me feel welcome.”

Initially considering prelaw or premed, Osman found an early interest in politics rekindled in classes she took as a Levermore Global Scholar. “We talked about a bunch of world issues in there, so that helped foster my interest again,” she said. With plans to join the Peace Corps and dreams of one day being a diplomat, the opportunities she found at Adelphi have put her on track.


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