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Study abroad program offers glimpse of Arab culture

September 18, 2009

ASU in Dubai – Arab Culture and Tourism is a popular winter program in its second year directed by Mirna Lattouf, a senior lecturer at ASU’s School of Letters & Sciences, and Victor Teye, an associate professor in the College of Public Programs’ School of Community Resources and Development. Program participants will get a taste of culture, cuisine, history, religion, tourism and development in the emerging Emirate of Dubai. They’ll also discover what a future global city will look like.

“Mirna Lattouf has developed a significant study abroad program in Dubai. Her scholarship on Middle Eastern history and culture, religious studies and women’s studies creates a compelling foundation for the examination of this emerging, complex society,” says Frederick C. Corey, ASU’s School of Letters & Sciences director.

The session starts Jan. 1. 2010, and runs through Jan. 16, 2010. The application deadline is September 28, 2010. Applications received after that date will be reviewed depending on space availability. 

Dubai is one of seven states that comprise the United Arab Emirates and is situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf. The states are rich in oil and natural gas and have become highly prosperous, especially the emirate of Dubai. The most populous and second largest emirate, Dubai has become world famous through innovative real-estate projects, sporting events, conferences, as a business and tourism hub, and the playground for the rich and famous worldwide.

“This is a priceless opportunity for our students to see what the future holds because Dubai is the vanguard of what a new society looks like,” says Lattouf. “Students get to live, observe and engage in this society rather than theoretically study about Dubai in a classroom. It also puts ASU at the forefront of President Crow’s global engagement philosophy.”

ASU and the City of Phoenix have cultivated a relationship with Dubai officials in the past few years to discuss possible future joint efforts. Sultan Saeed Nasser al-Mansoori, minister of economy for the Arab Emirates, met with ASU President Michael Crow and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon in 2008 as part of a daylong visit to ASU conducted by the Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement. Al-Mansoori is an ASU alum who earned a degree in industrial engineering and management systems in the late 1980s.

Courses that students take in Dubai are offered in tourism development and management, religious studies and interdisciplinary studies, and are designed to fulfill degree requirements for students who major and minor in various programs.

For program details including costs, travel arrangements, living accommodations and credits, please call (602) 496-0638 or visit:

Mirna Lattouf,
School of Letters and Sciences
(602) 496-0638