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. During her undergraduate education at Tufts, she spent a semester in Egypt and another in Spain studying the crossroads between Spanish and Middle Eastern culture as well as the issue of immigration in Europe. Upon returning, she spent her senior year translating an Arabic novel by Moroccan author Rachid Nini into English as her senior thesis. She is fascinated by language and translation and now works as an Arabic medical interpreter alongside her full time work.
Greatly impacted by her time abroad, Elley returned to Egypt to spend a year in Cairo studying 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, which she now calls a second home. Elley started working for Dragons in 2014 and believes she learns just as much as her students do on each course. She currently lives in Portland, OR working at the intersection of educational and social services. Her most recent project has been to teach Arabic to a diverse group of African Muslim immigrants and longstanding Portlanders as a way of fostering cross-cultural understanding and mutual learning.
When she’s not telling funny and ridiculous stories, Elley loves hiking, swimming, dancing, cooking, and compassionate communication. Her ideal day consists of exploring anywhere off the beaten path and then cooking a big meal with friends.