Isha Mehmood

Isha Mehmood (South-Asia Partnership in Nepal): Isha graduated in 2007 magna cum laude with a BA in communication and a BS in sociology from Virginia Tech. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Cambodia where she met children who lost limbs in landmine explosions. This inspired an interest in conflict studies and human rights law. Isha interned at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. At the time of her fellowship, Isha was studying at American University’s School of Public Affairs, pursuing a Master’s degree in justice, law and society.

Tikkun Olam

29 May

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.

Map of Nepal

Posted By Isha Mehmood

Posted May 29th, 2009

1 Comment

  • Marina

    June 4, 2009


    Hi Isha,

    Great post! I’ll definitely be following you this summer.

    Good luck,

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