Being a first generation Arab-American I thought it was extremely important to trace back to my roots (Syria) and do an activist project on the civil war currently raging through the country. For those who may not know death estimates have totaled to nearly 470 thousand, and if you do the math it turns up to around 250 people killed a day since the start of the civil war in March 2011. This alone is enough to emphasize the massive amounts of human rights violations that are being committed in Syria.
After the initial research, I began by going around educating my friends, family members and other UMBC students informally around campus. It really helped gain a larger insight on what people think of the world, and how the media does not really give an accurate enough depiction of what is actually going on.
I would say overall I did a fair job of accomplishing my goal. I educated around 30 individuals, which is something I never really did before. Some of my research can be found here (must have UMBC email account to view).
When human rights are being violated on a daily basis in today’s day and age it is just really astonishing. People do not really care enough to stop what is happening, and that alone is why this project is important. I wanted to bring to light what was going on so people could be slightly more educated about the topic.
The project changed my view of activism because now I see it as something that is actually reachable. I always thought it required a different type of person to be an activist, but I was completely wrong. I NEVER tried to be in any form of activism, but after giving it a shot I realized it is something everyone can do! You may think that it is hard to be an activist, but really as long as you learn and share knowledge then you have become an activist! It gave me a lot of motivation, I was reluctant to start at first but very quickly I was so motivated, something I never thought would happen.
The one thing I would change overall is to really ask others for feedback when you are trying to get your project accomplished. People around you will be more than willing to let you know what you did wrong and what you did right. I got some helpful feedback from my family about my wording choice, but only after a few times I met to inform others. Had I asked those I presented to, I could have adjusted much sooner.