Aakash Jayprakash (SFS’11) on his experience in Palestine and Israel.
“Through participating on this trip, I was exposed to a completely different perspective, and by actually visiting this region of continuous conflict I was able to see the human face of the war”
Abdulrahman Naveed (SFS’16) on his experience in the United States.
“The Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace program epitomizes Georgetown’s ethos of fostering the spirit of experiential learning throughout its student body. The program gives its participants the opportunity to put a human face to the various complex issues that are studied at Georgetown every day. I travelled with the program in the Spring of 2015 to examine the socioeconomic, political, religious and cultural experiences of being a Muslim in America post 9/11. This issue gains special significance when it is “racialization” of Islam is observed: it now represent a purportedly all-encompassing identity for many segments of the Western society. The faculty members mentoring the Georgetown cohort on the program ensured that the students had a well-grounded understanding of the historical trajectory and evolution of Islam with the United States. Such an understanding proved critical during our engagements in Dearborn and Washington D.C with various stakeholders such as religious and community leaders and Muslims advocacy groups.”
Kholoud Hayder (SFS’17) on her experience in South Africa.
“Learning about Apartheid is a challenging process because as you go deeper into the conflict, you discover the cruelty and darkness of humans; however, you also discover courage and determination of the people who sought to overcome the darkness and shed a new light of hope into South Africa.”
Mohamad Khalil Harb, Student Development Officer and Zones Co-Organizer
“So many conflicts are studied from a distance, analyzed and scrutinized through theory. Zones if one of few programs that makes you go beyond theory and allows you to engage with conflict, to interact with it, all while growing in the process. For that, it is one of the best programs I’ve done.”
Sheena Martinez, former Zones Organizer
“What we’re really trying to deliver to the students is having them return to campus still interested and wanting to know more because they come back with so many more questions than they may have even started out with.”
Jacqui Snell, Educational Enrichment Manager and Zones Co-Organizer
“One of the strengths of our program is that students are able to meet with a variety of stakeholders while they are visiting the country of study. While on the trip we meet with with NGO’s, government officials, activists, politicians, members of the media, academics, students, and more. The goal of the program is not to decide who is wrong or right, but to better understand the variety of view points in regards to the conflict.”
Abdullah Al-Arian, Assistant Professor of History
“The Zones program at SFS-Q provides students with an incredible opportunity to put into practice the skills and knowledge obtained in the classroom. By engaging directly with many of the leaders and communities most affected by global conflicts, Zones ensures that students learn about lived experiences and collective histories, giving greater urgency to resolving longstanding conflicts and preventing new ones. I particularly appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate how theoretical concepts and academic scholarship on issues of conflict and peace crystalize into realities on the ground that students can witness firsthand. Overall, I believe the Zones program is a highly valuable complement to the SFS-Q curriculum and a fantastic opportunity for students to become more deeply and critically engaged in some of the most important issues of our time.”
Brendan Hill, Associate Dean of Students
“When people discuss given conflicts, they often do so with preconceived and strongly held notions of what happened, who was right and who was wrong. One of the main goals of ZCZP is to move our students from ill-conceived certainty to well-informed confusion. The purpose is not so much to answer questions, but to ensure that the right questions are asked.”
“The trip to South Africa helped our students understand that peace building doesn’t end with the signing of treaties or the establishment of new constitutions. These steps are important, but the divisions that led to conflict are not easily eradicated. Peace is not a destination. It’s an ongoing process.”
John Crist, Director of Research
“We’re really inviting [the students] to contemplate just how complex these situations are. How many actors are involved, how many different perspectives there are and how really there are no clear good people, bad people, right way, wrong way of looking at things. We really want them to walk away with this nuanced perspective on conflict.”