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.
This post was written by Zee Abu after her return home from volunteering in Zanzibar. It was originally posted on Zee’s blog, here.
My last day at school, I left the International English Muslim Speaking School holding back tears after numerous hugs and tearful goodbyes. I stepped out of the school with not only gifts, a folder full of goodbye letters from my students, but also students who wanted to walk me home. I had the best last day any teacher could ask for, when I stepped out of the school, I couldn’t believe that 6 weeks had gone by so fast.
It’s hard to believe that my time in Zanzibar has come to an end. It really didn’t sink in until I was sharing my last piece of 500tsh bread with my roommates and country coordinator. I was just really getting use to lesson planning, swahili time, haggling at the market, and the busy hectic streets of Stone Tone. I have to say though, this summer has been truly amazing. Not only did I learn a lot about myself, but I also got to volunteer and help make a difference.
Now that I am home, I am much more thankful for everything that I have, especially my family. Not to say I was never thankful for anything, because I was, but when you see first hand how others live, it forces you to adapt a different mindset. I may have gone to Zanzibar to teach, but I truly believe that Zanzibar taught me more than I imagined it could. And for that, I am truly thankful.
I know that my journey has just began. My time in Zanzibar has helped me discover my passion for education my real drive for making a difference. I guess I can say that this is my kickstart to my non-profit/NGO future career. I think this has come at a right time, especially since I am going into my Senior year at Washington College. Moving forward, I hope to take everything this amazing experience has given me and continue to want to make a difference. Dr. Suess said it best, “unless someone cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better, its not.” So this is me caring a whole lot and starting the conversation to see how we can all work together to make things a little better.