A Year in the Fulbright Life: Hanan’s Story

For the next year, Fulbright MENA will be showcasing a handful of students as they study in the United States with their new series, A Year in the Fulbright Life. Each month, spotlighted students will share an update as they continue on their Fulbright journey.

August 2017

“What better way to start off the new school year than by witnessing such a magical natural phenomena such as the eclipse? People flew in from all over the world to see it but I was lucky enough to already be here where we had a 99.5% coverage! Absolutely breathtaking — I’ve never seen such beauty. It was a great experience especially that I got to see it with my new roommate which gave us the perfect opportunity to bond and have fun!”

Fulbright student Hanan had the perfect view of Eclipse 2017 from Red Hill at Idaho State University! She said this was the perfect start to begin the new school year with the Fulbright Program.


Hanan shared a few other photos of her school pride:


September 2017

“Last week Muslims celebrated the biggest holiday of the year, “Eid Al Adha.” In order to share our joy with others, I brought some sweets to the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) department at my school to share with students and professors. I explained to them what the holiday was and its significance in the Islamic religion.

For those of you who are interested in how to share joy with Muslims on this holiday, normally we say “Adha Mubarak,” which translates into wishing the other a blessed Adha, or a simple “Happy Eid,” or honestly any phrase is appreciated. It is the thought that counts. “


October 2017

For Halloween this year I went as Harley Quinn! It was so fun incorporating my hijab into my costume, and it showed people that Hijabis do have fun as well! I am proud to say that lots of people at my department didn’t even recognize me at the party! It was a blast and the timing was great — right after I submitted my research paper for my upcoming conference for publishing. It was so fun to relax and have a great time with friends.

I also attended a GPS field work trip where we stayed at the ISU — Geoscience Department’s Lost River Field Station overnight. The next day we collected sample data for processing and analysis to better understand the geology of the area. Despite being a bit nervous at first about this trip, it turned out to be a great one. One of the greatest advantages of being in the Geosciences field is that your office expands to the outdoors and you get to experience and explore new cool places, such as Mackay, Idaho in this case. The view was breathtaking as snow started to pile on the mountains.

In mid-October I gave a lecture to a group of senior citizens on “Islamic Misconceptions: Uncover the Facts” where I discussed some sensitive topics that people sometimes fear to ask about such as Islam’s take on violence, women, and Sharia law. I’ve been enjoying reaching out to my community to help teach them about my culture and religion.


November 2017

I recently participated in the Pecora20 Conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota last week. I gave a poster presentation about a section of my thesis research titled “Utilizing Sentinel-2 Satellite Imagery for Precision Agriculture over Potato Fields in Lebanon” highlighting the results I have so far as well as the next steps and future considerations. I also submitted a paper for the conference proceedings under the same title. It was a great opportunity where I got to meet with professionals in the remote sensing domain and learned about cutting-edge technology in the world of satellites and the potential we have ahead of us. I also had the chance to expand my network of connections within the remote sensing and precision agriculture field.

I was able to attend this event and participate through funding from ISU graduate school, remote sensing consortium America View and Idaho View, as well as Fulbright. I am very grateful I was given this opportunity, and I look forward to sharing more of my research with the world.


Hanan is a second-year Fulbright student from Lebanon. She is studying Geographic Information Science at Idaho State University.

Follow updates from Hanan and other Fulbrighters on Medium and our Facebook and Twitter pages. Check back here every month for more updates on the blog and Medium Series to see what Hanan does this year!

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