Impossible Choices

People are forced to make impossible choices every day.

What would you choose? Experience a three-minute, online journey based on real experiences people in crises often face. Click Here to take the challenge at ImpossibleChoices.org

Credit: World Humanitarian Summit
Credit: World Humanitarian Summit

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Bouchra Khalili: The Mapping Journey Project

I am fascinated by museums and art galleries. It’s a chance to discover history, the future and experiences far from my own. The countless hours spent wandering around beautiful paintings and sculptures color my worldview in eclectic ways!

I recently had the pleasure of viewing The Mapping Journey Project by Bouchra Khalili currently showing at the Museum of Modern Art.  Have you ever heard stories from people who illegally cross borders in search of better or safer circumstances? Our society has become desensitized when it comes to seeing the news stories about boats capsizing and refugees drowning in their quest for a better life in Europe or anywhere else. Stories of people suffering have just become part of the daily news – the emotions that come with the plight stripped away. The crisis is far removed from most people’s experiences but what happens around the world impacts each one of us one way or another. That’s why I was very excited to learn about this exhibition that comes at a timely moment.

In this exhibition Khalili, A Moroccan- French national presents a series of video stories narrated by eight individuals who were forced by political and economic circumstances to travel illegally to countries across the Mediterranean basin. She collected these stories between 2008 and 2011. After a chance meeting, she would invite each person to narrate his/her story, while using thick permanent marker to trace his/her journey on a map of the region.

Khalili travelled to Marseilles, Ramallah, Bari, Rome, Barcelona and Istanbul – the main corridors of human trafficking and trade to collect these stories. She walked around each city with maps and permanent markers waiting for the right moment to meet the subjects of her project. The videos do not at any point show the people’s faces; all you can see is their hand tracing the journey while they tell the story. The stories are presented on individual projector screens.

All the stories are sad and detail long arduous journeys, sometimes involving walking for days, taking the bus, smuggling cars and even aeroplanes. Some of the journeys spanned more than 5 countries as each person made their way from their home to this new place where they hope to call their new home.

The issue of refugees and asylum seekers is an issue close to my heart. What I liked about this exhibition was its simplicity and how it visually took you through the journey as the people traced their journey on a map. It offers a critical perspective on migration and displacement and what is happening around us.

The exhibition runs through Sunday, August 28 so if you are in New York, pass by to see it for yourself if you can.

Millennials Are Now the Largest Living Generation — TIME

Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as America’s largest living generation, aided by an influx of young immigrants, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data. The analysis, conducted by Pew Research Center, defined millennials as people aged 18 to 34 in 2015 and Baby Boomers as people aged 51 to 69. There are 75.4 million…

via Millennials Are Now the Largest Living Generation — TIME

Call for Applications: UN Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum

In 2014 I had the opportunity to attend the 6th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Bali Indonesia. I joined delegates from all over the world at a forum to engage in intercultural dialogue and produce the Bali Declaration. I had the opportunity to meet the Secretary General; Ban Ki-moon and several other high profile delegates. I also ended up working on the communications/report writing team at the forum, an experience that built up my international skill set and adds an awesome boost to my resumé! 

Photo Credit: UNAOC
Photo Credit: UNAOC
The UN Alliance of Civilizations

This agency of the UN works toward promoting a more “peaceful, more socially inclusive world, by building mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities, and highlighting the will of the world’s majority to reject extremism and embrace diversity.”

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The 7th Global Forum

Young people from around the world who are members of youth led organizations/networks/initiatives are invited to apply to attend the Youth Event at the 7th UNAOC Global Forum in Baku on April 25-27, 2016. The event, entitled Living Together in Inclusive Societies is an amazing opportunity for participants to interact with key stakeholders, experts and other youth involved in social action and to contribute to shaping the global narrative on social inclusion.

Youth aged 18 to 35 are invited to apply on the UNAOC website: apply.unaoc.org before January 17, 2016. The application guidelines are also available on the same web site. Up to 150 youth from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds with outstanding track records in intercultural dialogue and youth work will be selected. More information is available in the press release: http://www.unaoc.org/2015/12/united-nationsaku-azerbaijan/

I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have about the forum or about UNAOC. Apply or share with your networks!

Winternational; 4th Annual Embassy Showcase 

I am a big promoter of cultural diplomacy; “the exchange of ideas, arts and information to foster mutual understanding between nations.” In the times that we live in now, it has become crucial to undesratnd other culture and to work together in harmony. That’s why I am excited about this upcoming event being held in Washington DC on Wednesday December 9, 2015.

It promises to be a great event with many countries showcasing. You can learn more about the cultures of various countries as well as do some holiday shopping! The best part is registration is free!

Time: 11am-2pm

Venue: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

Find out all the details and register at http://www.itcdc.com/Upcoming-Events/Winternational 

Young Professionals Fall 2015 Career Dinner Series

Credit: United Nations Association- National Capital Area

Join UNA-NCA for its Fall 2015 Career Dinner Series – an evening that could launch your global career!
The International Career Dinner Series is a signature, biannual event inviting young professionals to engage with Washington’s top professionals in their chosen field. The event begins with a networking reception at the UN Foundation followed by topical dinners held in private homes throughout the DC Metro Area. Each dinner features distinguished speakers who will share their stories, answer your questions, and offer advice based on their experiences.

(Note: specific location of each dinner will be provided upon registration; all locations are accessible by metro)

Cost: Members* – $45; Non-members – $55; Combo ticket (includes UNA-NCA membership and registration) – $65

Great opportunity to network! Visit unanca.org for more information.