As most people know, I plan to study Conflict Resolution and Mediation in one of the most conflicted areas of the world. Having lived in Jerusalem and often visited the city of Tel Aviv, I have remained involved with the political climate in Israel pertaining to several issues. As a student I hope to explore several matters; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, migration and refugee population rise, and the political instability facing the surrounding countries. I strongly believe that conflict resolution and mediation is an important field in International Relations, especially in our increasingly politically charged and complex interconnected world. I believe that my volunteer, professional and academic experiences coupled with my early responsibility within my family structure make me a unique candidate for the program. I know that I will bring a progressive American voice to the class, rooted in peace but open to opposing views. I truly understand Thomas Paine when he said “my country is the world and my religion is to do good.”
The sheer circumstance of being born into a society that has allowed me safety and education even in the face of what many consider hardship is a gift that I may only return by hard work for those not as fortunate.
One of my earliest memories was watching news coverage of famine victims in countries like Ethiopia and Somalia. The images of the people were what have remained with me ever since that first exposure. The distended bellies and listless eyes of adults and children alike prompted me at the age of nine to refuse food and water for an entire day. Even in my youth I knew that I had to step into the shoes of the “other” to truly understand what would happen to a person if they did not eat. That first childhood experiment with the pain of hunger launched a lifelong need to understand the plight of people in war zones and to do everything I could to help them. At a very young age I began to understand that the socioeconomic and political workings of our modern world were the links to understanding how we can affect the circumstances of the most vulnerable individuals around the globe.
With a strong background in conflict resolution, I will have the skills to work in a variety of roles and disciplines. I will strive to create a better world, a world in which young children may be inspired by images other than the ones that have driven me through my lifetime. I hope to gain not only new colleagues and new skills as a graduate student at Tel Aviv University, but also new perspectives on the world so that I can be better prepared to serve humanity. I look forward to classes with such names as “Negotiating ‘Humanitarian Space’: International Humanitarian Aid Organizations in Conflict Zones” and “Cultural Approaches to Conflict: The Case of Islam.” I plan on applying my credentials to work for an international organization such as the United Nations or an International Non-Governmental Organization. It is my hope that these will be places where I can put forth my best efforts and skills learned during my education to provide positive energy where I can do the most good.
I will have the unique opportunity to work with African refugee populations in my free time, immersion in Hebrew and Arabic languages, and the priceless cultural understanding that can only come by living in the region I so passionately care for.
I will be taking out loans, but will be unable to work in the country during my stay, and am required to have some savings should any accidents or serious complications arise while I am there. It has been a long and difficult road to get here, and I am so close. If you can help, please do. If not, keep your fingers crossed for me! I am launching this campaign a few months before I depart for school, but need to have the funds secured by 8/1/15 for verification purposes. I am also including updates as to how much I earn myself toward this ambitious goal! I have thus far saved 3k for it, and that is a great start! Thanks for taking the time to help out or cheer me on. #peacebypiece #seesamgo
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