I was recently introduced to a Hebrew phrase that explains, in the most concise way, why I am drawn to social justice.
“Tikkun Olam.” More or less, the world is in great need of repair.
It is perhaps this challenge that interests me: we live in a world that has more problems than we will ever have solutions. For every moment of triumph, we encounter a new and increasingly more complex issue. But I find it takes more than a good challenge to travel halfway around the world to a nation recently divided by civil war. It takes a desire to truly comprehend real suffering-an attempt to witness firsthand the sorest of shoes-to understand that civil and human rights as I know them are not universal.
We, as human beings, have a social responsibility to help.
Two weeks from today I will be on a flight to Kathmandu, Nepal in an effort to understand the relationship between women’s rights, domestic violence, and international security. I will be working for the South-Asia Partnership, a regional office affiliated with the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), on its “Disarming Domestic Violence” campaign. To be completely honest, I know very little about Nepal. What knowledge I do have consists of geographic landmarks, basic demographic information, and a barebones understanding of its recent history. Currently the youngest republic in the world, I will be traveling to a very unique place during an exceptionally important time.
I have no idea what to expect. One thing I did not expect-and recently discovered-is that it will be monsoon season. But I am prepared to encounter far more surprises. I hope to merge this experience with others that I have had for a more comprehensive idea of global issues. I have never been to Nepal, but I have been to less developed countries. I am eager to explore a new place and provide an international context to domestic violence and gun control.
I hope that you will share this journey with me over the next two and a half months by continuing to follow this blog. My next post will likely be from Doha, Qatar, during a 15 hour layover. In the meantime, please explore the websites of IANSA and the South-Asia Partnership to learn more about the organizations that I will be working with this summer.
Posted By Isha Mehmood
Posted May 29th, 2009