Reina Sultan (Jordan)

Reina Sultan recently graduated from UCSB with honors as a Political Science major (International Relations) and French minor. As a student fundraiser and subsequently a fundraising supervisor at the UCSB Annual Fund, she raised nearly $170,000 for student resource programs. She strove to involve herself in several organizations, holding leadership positions in both her sorority and Associated Students over the course of several years. During her junior year, she was awarded the prestigious Philip & Aida Siff Educational Foundation Scholarship in recognition of her academic achievements. While interning in Washington D.C. that same year, she was given the opportunity to represent UCSB at UC Day, a yearly event aimed at lobbying California representatives to better serve the UC system. She just ended her time working as an English teaching assistant in France, where she worked with high school students in priority education zones. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with Collateral Repair Project in Amman, Jordan. The daughter of Lebanese refugees, she feels very strongly about advocating for and volunteering with refugee communities displaced by violence. After returning from Jordan, Reina recounted her time there by saying, "I wish I could express in words how meaningful and formative my time with CRP was. AP gave me the opportunity to work with and amplify the voices of beautiful, resilient refugee women in Amman, Jordan. I urge everyone with the means and privilege to make change with an organization like CRP to seize that opportunity immediately".



No Justice, No Peace

21 Jun

Full disclosure: I’m angry. I came to work angry about the abuse of people of color and the media/global reactions to that abuse. Why is it that an attack on people who are perceived as mostly white by a brown perpetrator is immediately called terrorism? But when the roles are reversed, we don’t want to rush to conclusions about motives. When brown people are murdered, headlines say they died. They use the verb associated with losing one’s life to old age, sickness, or an accident. Why? Why is a white man who attacks innocent people an unstable lone wolf, but a brown person who attacks innocent people a reflection on all of us? Why? Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 12.14.55 PM

In the Men’s Support Group today, we were asked an especially relevant question: Is there justice in the world? No one said yes. Again for the people in the back? Not one person in this group said that the world was just. Do I agree? Yes. Watching police officers murder black folks and get acquitted repeatedly. That’s not justice. Latino and Hispanic folks getting harassed about their immigration status. That’s not justice. When a man rams a van into Muslims outside of a mosque and no one asks where he was radicalized. That’s not justice. When millions of people flee violence only to have their very humanity questioned by people who would rather send them back to die than accept them into their countries. That is not justice. Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 9.48.35 PM

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Desmond Tutu got it right. We cannot be silent. I don’t have the solution but we must raise our voices in anger and solidarity. We can make change… it’s just going to be a little harder with this administration. If reading the news every morning and night enrages you, speak up. If hearing of these injustices make your heart ache, speak up. We are all living in this world and inequality and injustice hurts us all. If you want to hear some stories to inspire you to speak up, click here.

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Tonight is Laylat Al-Qader (Night of Power) in Islam. Historically, this was when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We believe that this night is full of blessings and forgiveness, so many Muslims pray for their deepest desires on this night. Tonight, I will be praying for justice. I will be praying for the beautiful people I have met here in Jordan, that they find a home and community where they feel safe and accepted. I will be praying for those we’ve lost this year to extremism of all kinds. I will be praying to have the strength to keep fighting for what is right.

Posted By Reina Sultan (Jordan)

Posted Jun 21st, 2017

58 Comments

  • Rachel

    June 22, 2017

     

    Thank you for writing this blog Reina, and expressing so eloquently the feelings that I know have been weighing on my own heart. I think its so important, now more than ever, that people keep fighting the good fight. While I feel sick about recent events, it makes me feel a bit better knowing that there are people like you leading the fight for justice across ethnic, religious and socioeconomic lines.

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