Wednesday, October 16, 2013

International Students Represent Mac in DC!

We are new Macalester Global Ambassadors—Blanca Sanchez Rangil, Dagmara Franczak, and Jhader Aguad. Last summer, while looking through the Class of 2017 Facebook page, we found out about a conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Of course we all wanted to go! Our willingness to broaden our knowledge on this topic drew us to take a step off the Macalester campus for one weekend and explore the capital of the United States.

We felt honoured to represent Macalester at the 2013 J Street Conference “Our Time to Lead.” We had the opportunity to meet outstanding people such as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Congressman John Lewis, and Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, as well as several representatives from Palestine.

Furthermore, we became part of discussions that took place with members of the Israeli Knesset and more than 900 college students who came from every corner of the country and the world. It was a powerful experience. We not  listened to the speeches of the people involved in the 2 states for 2 people solution between Palestine and Israel, but were also able to question them and to see ways in which young people could be involved in the peace-making agreements.

Attending the conference broadened our knowledge and allowed us to see the issue from a different perspective that definitely challenged our opinions on the subject. Being able to visit the capital of the country in which we have lived for only one month was also a valuable part of the experience; we got to walk around Washington and see some monuments right before the government shut down.

It was a great experience and we can’t wait to get involved in similar initiatives.

Blanca Sanchez Rangil ‘17, Madrid, Spain
Dagmara Franczak ‘17, Suwalki, Poland
Jhader Aguad ‘17, Arequipa, Peru

Submitted by Macalester Global Ambassador Program Coordinator, Jonathan van Arneman ‘16. 

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