My name is Zeinab Mukhtar, and I am from Arlington, Virginia! I am so grateful to be a Baldwin Scholar and already feel a sense of belonging and family! 

Despite growing up right outside of DC, I was raised in a home blossoming with culture. From my mother’s daily batches of Moroccan bread to Sudanese music being constantly played throughout our home, my upbringing has fostered within me a sense of belonging and purpose.  I grew up switching between various dialects of Arabic at home and English at school. This has not only challenged me, but broadened my understanding on the importance of keeping my cultural roots alive and thriving. Navigating my intersectional identities has been a fulfilling and integral part of who I am and what I stand for.   

I’m also an older sister to four siblings who I consider to be my best friends. Growing up with siblings has made my childhood one of long nights in our backyard and endless debates about bizarre topics. I see my role as an older sister as not just my biggest blessing, but my most eye-opening and liberating responsibility. I am excited to expand my sibling experience as a Baldwin sister and can’t wait to form relationships with some of the most supporting and welcoming people I’ve ever met! 

I am passionate about global development and the intersection of human health, the environment, and economics. Despite having only been a Blue Devil for a few months, I feel that Duke has already been a great place to explore my interests, immerse myself in exploratory experiences, and challenge myself to try new things. One thing you’ll know quickly after you meet me is that I like everything but haven’t figured out what I love yet. Despite how difficult this can be, I believe it stems from my unyielding desire to question, explore, and never settle. I hope to (somehow) combine my never-ending list of interests into something that allows me to advocate for global justice.  

I like to read fantasy, historical, and action-packed books, those that push me to the edge of my seat and leave me immersed in a mystical world for days after I’m done. I like to cook (which in case you’re wondering, I am not good at). And I love to spend my Friday nights on spontaneous experiences with friends. But most of all, I love being here at Duke and already love my experience as a Baldwin. I am excited to grow, be challenged, and form connections both big and small. No matter where I go, I know that I have a supportive community that I can rely on as much as they can rely on me.