An interview with Laura in the Frederick News-Post:
I studied Arabic in college. It was sort of a post-9/11 environment in which Arabic was a language in high demand. … After college I moved to Egypt to work as a teacher … and to work on my Arabic as well. In that experience I ended up stumbling into journalism and working for a magazine instead of as a teacher, and then I started to freelance for a list of publications. Fast forward a couple of years, a friend of mine recommended to me going to Yemen would be a good idea as a freelance journalist because there were no other journalists there and it was such an exciting, fun, lovely country to live in. I know a few people who had studied Arabic in Yemen and they all just loved it.
See the full interview here