SFS.Georgetown.edu - Full Article
November 7, 2016
by Margaux Fontaine
Uma Mencia Uranga, graduate student in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, is working towards her Master of Arts in Arab Studies (MAAS). But outside of her academic career, she is a professional endurance horse racer.
“My interest in endurance horse racing began when I was a young girl,” Mencia said. “It was a sport that combined both my passion for the outdoors and my love for horses.”
Mencia grew up in a small town in the Basque country of northern Spain. Taking lessons from the endurance team at her riding school, she participated in her first race at the age of twelve and never looked back. Since 2008, Mencia has been based out of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, working with the Fazza Endurance Team (now referred to as Al Aryam Endurance Team).
Her riding career has been complemented by her successful academic career as well. While in Dubai, she studied at the American University, where she majored in Fine Arts in the school of Visual Communications and completed a certificate in Middle Eastern Studies.
“The years I had spent in the United Arab Emirates and my Arabic language studies in Egypt and Morocco sparked my desire pursue the academic study of the language and region at the graduate level,” Mencia explained. “The strong focus on the Arabic language, the diverse classes taught by top faculty in the field, as well as the content courses taught entirely in Arabic is what made the Arab Studies M.A. at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies of Georgetown my top choice program.”
Though she is enjoying her time at Georgetown, riding remains a central part of her life...
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