Celebration of our Same Address: The World

Celebration of our Same Address: The World

This past Friday was TWC’s Global Citizenship day. It was a day filled with thoughts about the collection of people surrounding the planet and how everyone’s history and the future are all connected.


The first part of the day focused on the world that we would all share together. The keynote speaker mainly told us about the book that he wrote, one that describes some of the most important aspects of how he sees the world to come. Something that I felt was interesting was that this did not grab individuals the way the next session did because it was so abstract. It was important though because the speaker asked us to think 20 and 40 years into the future.

The highlight of the day was the celebration of cultural diversity and exchange. The ultimate goal was of winning the trophy at the end of the day, and everyone pulled out all the stops to win the competition. The first half of the festival was set up in P1 of the RAF. Each room felt like traveling across the globe with the smells, sounds, and food of the countries my fellow TWC students came from. I went from Belgium with techno beats and chocolate; to Mexico which had an Alter de Muertos and Mariachi music; to India where everyone was being respected with a Tilaka on their forehead; to Brazil with carnival masks and amazing coconut sweets. This was only a few countries, but there were also so many more!

Then at the second part of the festival, we got a short brief about each country from two representatives, which turned into a bit of a standup comedy at times and was super helpful. Then came the fashion show and the talent show. I was awe-inspired by the talents that were hiding behind many of my fellow young professionals. The one I was most proud of was my friend Sami. She was one of the performers from South Korea, and she had worked for three weeks with her fellow members to prepare a song and dance that highlighted K-pop. Another amazing performance was done by two students from the U.S. The longest performance of was Puerto Rico, and it was practically professional with six different acts that covered every portion of their culture and was stunningly seamless. Again there were so many more, but I just wanted to mention a couple and the effect they had because at the end of it all we came all the way around back to celebrating together in P1 with the dance.


Interviews with my fellow program members

Valerie Teachout

Valerie is going to University of South Florida and is originally from a small fishing island called Bokeelia. She is interning at Shia Rights Watch, which monitors Bahrain, which is a tiny island about three times the size of D.C., for the human rights abuses against Shia Muslims. The research that she does is used by lots of government and non-government organizations. The reason Valerie chose this organization is because she has done a lot of work in Africa and Latin America and wanted to do something a little different, and she wanted to learn all she could about Middle East issues. With her experience thus far, this internship has been a great way to get background in a topic.

What will you never give up on?

Valerie will never give up on pursuing the conscious feeling of being happy while doing a job that takes more optimism than many. She admits that she even went into this semester with more optimism than she is coming out with. One of the biggest troubles has been seeing that there are people on the policy making level that do not take human rights abuses seriously. She will never give up on the idea of continual change, and she is devoted to feeling compassion.

What has been a challenge you have experienced this semester and have overcome?

Valerie took on a lot this semester though she swears it is no more than what she usually does at home. In addition to her internship and academic course, she also has to meet with requirements for the Ford Scholars Program and is working four days a week as a server.


Naila Fatima

Naila is going to the University of South Florida and is graduating in the spring. She is originally from Hyderabad, India. She is interning at the Pan American Health Organization. Naila does a lot of research and sets up meetings between the sponsors and CEOs. She also arranges projects that advocate for Central and South American health issues. Naila thinks this is a fun place to work because it is half NGO and half public sector, which creates an interesting mix. The reason that she choose this internship was because she wants to work in the public sector as an epidemiologists, and this was the perfect introduction to the field.


If you could go back in time when would you go, and why?

If she could go back in time somewhere, she would choose to go back to the time when her family took pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. She was young at the time and did not understand the significance of everything she was seeing. At the time she was way more interested in shopping than anything else, but now wishes she had really taken advantage of her time there and gone to more services.


What challenge have you experienced this semester and how did you overcome it?

Naila feels that her biggest challenge came from herself. She was not able to make all of the deadlines that her supervisor would give every day. She asked to be given more time on her tasks, but in response her supervisor said that she needed to give more time to work and when she sat down to a task, to do so with a certain seriousness. Once she took this advice and set her mind to it, she started being able to finish the tasks every day. This has now even helped her to take less time to do her homework for class. She has realized the merit of being productive versus being busy.


Another thing that was difficult for her was speaking in a conference or in meetings. Initially she was quiet because she is shy, but her supervisor said that people were interested in her opinions and encouraged her to take little steps toward making contributions. By starting with simple questions and slowly building off of those, she proved that she has critical listening and thinking skills.

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