“Be the change you want to see in the world” (Mahatma Gandhi)
I applied for the Rotary Peace fellowship in 2014, and I was selected to complete my Master’s degree in the University of Bradford. I came to Bradford last September along with other nine peace fellows to complete our studies. My transition to living in Bradford has been a wonderful experience so far. Like every other peace fellow, I have my own Rotary host family who welcomed me at the beginning of my transition to Bradford. Their names are Richard and Maggie. Aside from host family, we have Rotary Host Area Coordinators- Ken and Pauline Robertshaw – to help all ten of us with anything we need. At the university, we have Professor Neil Cooper who is the director of the Rotary Peace Centre. Mr. Cooper is our main contact at the university who help us with our study programs, finding internships, or any other workshops or seminars related to peace within the University.
I can’t explain to you in words what an amazing experience this has been for me. The diverse body of students at the university and the depth of knowledge and expertise of my professors at the university is extraordinary. I took three courses in my first semester: Introduction to Peace Studies, International Politics and Security Studies, and Political Violence and Terrorism.
Just in my Peace Studies class, there were more than 30 different nationalities. As an Afghan student, I have never previously interacted with people from Sierra Leone, \ Sri Lanka, Syria, Kenya, South Sudan, or Colombia before. The University of Bradford – and Rotary International – made it possible for me to interact with these incredible students from all corners of the world and that is an experience I won’t easily find in other places.
Just like everyone else, I love food. Thankfully, I can easily find Afghan, Persian, and Indian, Pakistani, American, Chinese or any other cuisines in Bradford. Aside from this, the university is excellent in providing different social events for students to participate and interact with one another.
I am so very grateful for Rotary International and my Rotary Peace Centre at University of Bradford for giving me this golden opportunity to not only study in Bradford, but to explore different cultures and traditions and to learn the necessary theories, analysis and dynamic of conflict to allow me to go back to the field and contribute to global peace and understanding.
Stay tuned as I will be writing about my experiences and adventures until I graduate in December.
Rotary Peace Fellow 2015-16- @University of Bradford