My Graduation Thesis Experience

Middle Eastern and African Studies Concentration

Yuri Ikeuchi
Russian Studies

A magic carpet ride to Tunisia?!

Even I never imagined that I would write my graduation thesis on “Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution.” The Middle East underwent dramatic changes as a result of the 2011 Arab Spring. World history was being made right before my eyes, and I experienced the fascination and shock of following that movement simultaneously as it developed. The Tunisian revolution was the starting point for the movement, and it contained a clear expression of the essential human freedom and dignity that had been lacking in previous Arab revolutions. My graduation thesis examined the country’s civil society by focusing on how action spread out through linkages between people. Looking back on it, what I learned through my minor in Asian Cultures (which from the 2014 academic year has been renamed the Middle Eastern and African Studies Concentration) gave me an opportunity for self-appraisal. I felt the insecurity of knowing next to nothing about the Middle East, but at the same time, I was excited by the prospect of shattering the misconceptions I had about what the Middle East is like, while I learned the joy of tying together new bits of knowledge.  What I really learned, however, was that even though you may not be able to fly freely around the world as if on a magic carpet ride, you will be able to build another world inside of you through learning, and I promise that you too will discover how interesting that other world can be.

2012 Graduate of Faculty of Foreign Studies;
currently working at Kinmei Graphic Arts Co., Ltd.