I’m currently in the last part of my study abroad program in Jordan, which involves me partaking in a full-time internship instead of taking classes. I’m a research intern at NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions, a research, polling, and consultancy firm established and headquartered in Amman. The institution consists on a group of experts taking action against stagnation of socio-economic development and the lack of applicable intelligence in several fields. The services/activities carried out by NAMA include polling, advisory and intelligence analysis. All these services are done with the goal of providing deeper understanding of political, economic, social, security, and development issues that affect the Middle East and North Africa region. I chose to intern at NAMA because, although it counts with the structure of a think tank and research organization, it also is more oriented towards actual action, thus evolving into an innovative institution that addresses multiple issues and goals at once.
So far, my two weeks interning at NAMA have been interesting and engaging. I have contributed to research on projects dealing with the following topics: plan for effective decentralization of the Jordanian government, global opinion on different aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and narrative, and the effect of rumors and misinformation on social media and other channels on Jordanian society and compared to other examples around the globe. I also got to gather a list of potential participants for a future conference in the Dead Sea to discuss its current shrinking and what can be done to address the issue.
The experience has not come without its challenges, though. I believe the main one has been joining NAMA in a time when they were already very busy with–and at the last stages of–several major projects. This meant that it was hard for the other interns and myself to integrate ourselves into the existing work, because we lacked the background knowledge that the other full-time employees had developed throughout the months of having worked on said projects. Also, just adapting to a different work setting and culture in general has been a challenge, but it has given me very useful cross-cultural skills.
As my last two weeks in Jordan loom over me, I am basically forced by my mind to reflect on my time here. I remember getting here and saying to myself “I have so much time to do stuff” as if it was yesterday, and here I am, making a list of the things I have to make sure to do before I leave because departure is that close. Jordan has given so much to me that I don’t know how saying goodbye to this country will be. On the plus side, though, my adventure will continue to Morocco, inshAllah, so it is not completely over yet.