We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.
The following is a post from AUA Mosaic Fellowship recipient Alycia Kravitz. Alycia is currently on her way to volunteer in the Palestinian territories by teaching children English and other basic skill classes through the power of music. To find an amazing volunteer opportunity, search the AUA Directory of Recommended Organizations© today.
All right, let’s get the introductions out of the way first. My name is Alycia Kravitz, but most people call me Aly. Sometimes I let people choose which name they prefer, since I haven’t yet decided myself. I’ll be spending the next three months in Nablus, a city in the West Bank, volunteering with an organization called Project Hope.
I chose the West Bank for a few reasons, but my
primary motivation is to seek the truth. Israel and Palestine have
been deadlocked for decades, struggling for land and power in a mess of nationalism, religious fervor and political maneuvering. As the conflict stretched out along the latter half of the 20th century there was ample time for rumors, media spins, and embellished retellings, all viewed, of course, through the prism of power.
Speaking of power, the United States has played a
significant role in these processes, and as an American I feel a
certain sense of responsibility to understand the past, present and
future of the situation. I’m not too big on quotes, but Martin Luther
King, Jr. said something once that has really stuck with me: “Injustice
anywhere is injustice everywhere.” There is certainly an element of
injustice in the current arrangement, but separating the fact from the
fiction is a difficult undertaking.
So I’m going to the source, seeking stories and understanding.
Through this blog I hope to open a window into another
world, parsing the nuances and amplifying the narratives of Palestine.
I’m particularly interested in the religious aspect of the conflict,
and where my American Protestant upbringing intersects with the world
religions of Islam and Judaism.
My time in Palestine will be short, and my goals are
modest. I hope to start some sort of music class or group, putting my
Music major to good use. I hope to learn enough Arabic to have a real
conversation (as opposed to counting to ten and stating my favorite
food), and I hope to extend my service to raise awareness in the
states after my term ends. Most importantly, I hope to share with you,
dear reader, the revelations, the struggles, and the stories of this