INTRODUCING THE NEW IFLAC ASSISTANT SARAH SALAZAR FROM SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITYPosted: 2018/03/05
My name is Sarah Salazar and I am in my second semester studying abroad at the University of Haifa. For me, home is San Diego, California in the USA. I am currently pursuing my Bachelors of Arts in English and International Studies at San Diego State University. Through the University of Haifa’s International School, I am now taking courses through the Peace and Conflict track as well as learning Arabic and Hebrew.
After learning about Israel throughout my childhood at home, I was curious to see this country for myself. My parents raised me to love this land and its people. As I entered college, I listened to discussions on campus. I realized that the naive and negative perspective concerning Jews and Israel did not help foster fair academic and political discussions at my university. It was then that I began to take every opportunity to promote Israel in a positive manner. I was a lone activist at first. It was difficult to find support or interest in such an unpopular topic in my school. Through different channels, I discovered Hillel on my campus and other organizations such as Christians United for Israel to to join. Their guidance and support have taught me how to confront aggression from opposing parties and have encouraged me to pursue diplomacy and to study abroad in Israel.
My goal while studying in Israel and for this internship is to be able to learn up close about the conflicts existing between Israel and its neighbors. While I began with great motivation for the possibility of peace between Israel and its neighbors upon my arrival last year, the conflict, as I knew it, seemed to become greater than I had understood it to be while living here that even I became discouraged. I began to entertain private doubts on its resolution. However, upon after meeting with IFLAC’s Founder, Professor Ada Aharoni, my faith in peace for this region has been restored through the organizations’ methods: communication, understanding and bridges of literature. As a student, writer, and aspiring diplomat, I hope to use IFLAC’s model of using positive communication to help create a narrative that can engage an uninformed society in creating reform. I have chosen to look forward, dream for a better tomorrow, and ensure my participation in bringing peace, anti-war, and anti-terror by the use of diplomatic words, communication and understanding.
Why I chose IFLAC?
I changed my career goal from teaching to diplomacy near my last year as an undergraduate. I have had little academic experience in politics and foreign relations to prepare me for International Relations, but I am open to learn as much as possible.
I chose to intern with IFLAC because of my interest in diplomacy, Israel, and the Middle East. It is a privilege to work with IFLAC as my mentor as I take the initiative to prepare myself for my future career. In order to become an effective diplomat, it is necessary to experience the culture, language, and the people firsthand to make informed decisions that will lead to peace in the region.
Through my appreciation for and knowledge of literature, I know that IFLAC will teach me a lot about promoting peace. This internship merges my background in English and my professional interest in diplomacy. I want to gain experience in work related to peace promotion with an established organization. With IFLAC, I hope to become a stronger advocate for peace and for Israel through my discourse. I want to further develop my oratory and writing skills through the lens of peace and conflict resolution to apply in the future with a global community. .
Thank you IFLAC for giving me this opportunity to learn by your side on how to take steps for promoting anti-war and peace.