Arab American Heritage Month: Meet Arein Daralnakhla

April is Arab American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich culture and contributions of the diverse population of Arab Americans in the United States. It’s the third year that the month has been formally recognized by the federal government. To recognize the occasion, The Daily is putting a spotlight on members of the Case Western Reserve University community who identify as Arab American. 

Arein Daralnakhla believes Arab American Heritage month is an opportunity to not only reflect on her roots—but to educate others about the rich history and culture of her home country, Palestine, and other Arab countries. 

“[Arab American Heritage Month] is a time to showcase the diversity and beauty of Arab culture, from the music and food to the literature and art,” Daralnakhla said. “[It] also serves as an opportunity to address and raise awareness about issues that affect the Arab American community, such as discrimination and stereotyping. 

“We have been misrepresented in the media for a very long time,” she continued. “By shedding light on these issues, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and accepting society for all.”

A vibrant community

Daralnakhla, a fourth-year computer engineering major and computer science and business management minor at Case Western Reserve University, believes the welcoming environment at Case Western Reserve is a prime example of what diversity and inclusion should look like. It’s one of the greatest aspects of the university, in her opinion, as she values learning about different backgrounds. 

“I feel really lucky to be a student at CWRU,” she said. “The diversity, vibrant campus culture, and supportive community make it a great place to learn, grow, and make lasting connections.”

Daralnakhla’s journey to discovering and ultimately choosing to study at the university began when she was a student at the United World College of the Adriatic in Trieste, Italy. During a college fair week, she met a representative from CWRU who introduced her to the university and its renowned engineering programs. 

Her decision to enroll was driven by a combination of factors beyond that, including the university’s “excellent reputation, innovative programs, supportive community, and the vibrant Arab culture of Ohio.”

“Everyone here—from professors to fellow students—is always willing to help and support each other,” Daralnakhla noted. “There are so many resources available to help us succeed academically, including tutoring, study groups, and research opportunities.”

Daralnakhla has taken advantage of all CWRU has to offer, from serving as the marketing manager for the Middle Eastern Cultural Association to working as an orientation leader. She is also an active member of the University Programming Board, the Muslim Student AssociationHacker Society and the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship

She’s also completed internships with Asal Technologies in Rawabi, Palestine, during which she worked as a full stack engineering intern, gaining hands-on experience with developing software; and another with Marvell Technology in Burlington, Vermont, where she worked as a 6G wireless networking intern, during which she worked to find solutions to hardware challenges in the chip manufacturing industry. 

Upon graduation next month, Daralnakhla will pursue a Master of Science in Imaging and Light in Extended Reality (IMLEX) in a program offered by three renowned universities: the University of Eastern Finland, Jean Monnet University in France, and Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan. The program will allow her to deepen her knowledge and skills in the field of extended reality, which she sees as a rapidly growing and exciting area.

“I’m really looking forward to experiencing and learning about cutting-edge tech from these diverse educational systems,” she said. “I believe that this program will be an important stepping stone towards achieving my long term career goals.”

Learn about other Arab American members of the CWRU community, and stay tuned to The Daily through April to meet even more.