Elinor (Elley) Cannon

Jordan Course Director

Pronouns: she/her and they/them

Tufts University, BA in Arabic and Int’l Letters and Visual Studies
Fellow with Center for Arabic Studies Abroad, American University in Cairo 2011-2012

Originally from a small town in the redwoods of California, Elley grew up aching to explore the world. She moved to Boston for her undergraduate degree at Tufts where her studies blended comparative literature, Arabic, Spanish, and immigration issues, including translating a novel from Arabic and Spanish into English. After graduating, she moved to Egypt during the Egyptian Revolution to study Arabic intensively with the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad. She later made her way to Jordan to work for Middlebury College’s program abroad in Amman, where she worked for two years. Jordan became Elley’s second home and before COVID-19, she made sure to spend at least a month there each year.

Elley moved to Portland, OR in 2016 where she spent six years working with refugees and immigrants from both Arabic- and Spanish-speaking countries. She recently decided to pivot into the world of bodywork and is currently working on a license in massage therapy. She hopes to spend the next chapter of her career helping people access the inner healing wisdom of their own bodies while maintaining a justice-oriented lens of fractal social change.

Elley has been working for Where There Be Dragons since 2014 and has led seven Dragons courses of varying lengths. She keeps coming back to work for Dragons because each course and each group of students teaches her about herself, her own culture, and helps her build invaluable friendships with people all over the globe. Feeling a call to resurrect her Spanish language skills and see a new set of places, she plans to expand her Dragons experience into Latin America in 2023.

When she’s not telling funny and ridiculous stories, Elley can be found hiking, rock climbing, cooking, or nerding out about topics like linguistics, collective liberation, and mycelium networks.