During his first year at Duke, Orlando native Ibrahim Maali took part in a Focus program on the “Power of Ideas and Muslim Cultures.” The courses in the program sparked interests that ultimately led him to pursue a double major in economics and international comparative studies, with a minor in Arabic language.
Maali studied abroad in Morocco to improve his Arabic and take economics courses.
As a rising junior, Maali participated in a DukeEngage program in Cape Town, South Africa. There he worked at the District 6 Museum, which is helping to preserve the memory of a vibrant community that was forcibly removed by the apartheid government.
Maali drew on his experiences at the museum the following summer, when he returned as a as one of Duke’s Summer Civic Research Fellows. Through this program, Maali studied how people resist forced removals and land confiscations, analyzing the District Six movement's effectiveness in relation to past movements. During this course of study, he stumbled into writing the first historical study of the group conducted in over 20 years.