Meet our new intern: Laura MuñozPosted: 2015/10/28
Text: Solveig Hansen
For many years, students in the Honors Peace and Conflict Program at the University of Haifa have interned with IFLAC. This semester, we welcome Laura Muñoz.
Laura Muñoz was born in Armenia, Colombia. Growing up in a Cali, a major Colombian city, Laura witnessed urban poverty and violence, which not only motivated her to succeed but also gave her the desire to be an agent of change. At age 12, Laura and her mother moved to Miami. As a young adult, Laura was empowered to become an advocate for underrepresented communities and for the promotion of peace.
Laura has advocated for nearly 257,000 students to the Broward County School Board regarding issues ranging from inclusion and diversity to environmental awareness. Last year, Laura helped bring together PorColombia’s annual national conference, “Post-Conflict Colombia” and served as programming chair for Women in Public Affairs. This summer she served as a congressional intern to the United States House of Representatives. Currently, Laura is a senior at the George Washington University pursuing a degree in international affairs. She will spend this semester at Haifa University completing the Honors Peace and Conflict Program, interning with IFLAC and volunteering with the diverse youth of Haifa.
IFLAC was the absolute best fit for me. Besides my strong career interest in peace promotion and conflict resolution, the work of IFLAC for the promotion of peace across the world is fulfilling on a human level.
What do you hope to do at IFLAC?
I hope to become an active agent of peace promotion. I look forward to using my writing, speaking, thinking, organizing and, perhaps even dancing, to promote conversations and spaces that focus on mutual understanding and seek proactive solutions through peaceful means.
Like many of our young interns before her, Laura too likes Ada Aharoni’s novel From the Nile to the Jordan, about the young couple Inbar and Raoul who are forced to leave Egypt for Israel in 1948. She writes:
From the Nile to the Jordan is a gripping book that serves as a microcosm that describes an entire group of people and it is applicable to the whole world. Told through the life and struggles of a young girl from the 2,000 year old Jewish community in Egypt, the story provides a human face to the uprooting and displacement of a whole community after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The shifting face of the Middle East at this time is made human through a tragic love story, Inbar and her lover Rafi.
In the context of today’s tensions between Arab and Jewish communities, the humanity in the story allows readers to relate with the “other”. The story of forced displacement and struggle reveals that these two groups, often polarized and antagonized, share common stories of displacement and the will to survive.
Highly recommended to those studying or wishing to create bridges of peace in the Middle East and the whole world.