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Collage of images from SWANA events featuring students dancing, talking, and doing art.

Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) Student Involvement

Welcome! MICA is excited to help support, foster community with, and work alongside Southwest Asian and North African students at UMD. This is a new involvement area, brought about by the years-long hard-won advocacy of the UMD student community. As a new involvement area, we are still building and learning how we will best support and advocate for the community. Contact us to help share your voice and build our foundation for the future!

What is SWANA?

There are no hard and fast rules about what is included in SWANA. SWANA refers to the region commonly referred to as the "Middle East", ranging from Mauritania and Morocco all the way to Afghanistan. Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Armenia, Georgia and Türkiye are examples of groups that are often excluded from the traditional Middle Eastern definition, but are typically included in SWANA.

We choose decolonial and liberatory language that decenters the West. By using geography instead of nation states or ethnicity to describe the region and it's people, “we speak to the diversity of our communities and to forward the most vulnerable in our liberation” (SWANA Alliance). 


How can I get involved?

There are many ways to get involved with the UMD SWANA community, from joining student organizations, coursework and language opportunities, to helping plan campus-wide SWANA Heritage Month Events. See below to learn more.


Hana Zewdie (she/her):

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