Five students from Globally Minded Students Association are searching for ways to solve conflicts of equality all over the world and, in order to help their cause, co-sponsored an event titled “Global Conflicts and How to Solve Them” Thursday, Sept. 27.
Each of the five students spent 10 to 20 minutes presenting different conflicts in the regions they are from, including Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
Senior Ismail Isabirye of Uganda shared his first-hand experience of the Rwandan Genocide. Isabirye grew up in Uganda, right on the border of Rwanda, and lived near a body of water between the two countries. Isabirye said thousands of people were killed and thrown into the lake during the genocide, memories he can’t forget.
“One day you’d go get water or swim in the lake and the next thing you see is a body floating toward you,” Isabirye said. “So to me, it was a very traumatizing situation.”
Senior Beatriz Panameño said learning from stories like Isabirye’s helped her become familiar with world-wide issues.
“Usually in our daily life on-campus, we are not updated with the news of other countries. So this is a small opportunity where you can come and in two hours learn about many issues that are affecting the world,” Beatriz said.
Senior Sha Mohammed said it is crucial for students to look to reliable news sources to understand what is happening around the world, especially in his home country, Iraq.
“From what I read from home, which is a more direct source of what’s happening, compared to here, I see a lot of fabrication,” Mohammed said.
Michael Andregg, justice and peace studies professor, said there are at least 20 wars going on in the world each day. Andregg said it is imperative for younger generations to be aware of global conflicts and be prepared to face and solve them.
“This is like a tsunami coming at our civilization,” Andregg said. “Your generation must either solve these things or suffer a lot.”
The key to solving issues in Africa, Isabirye said, is to gain perspective from those who live through the hardships.
“If I, an African, who have come through the ladders of African-world life, say something, I actually say it out of experience,” Isabirye said. “I can reliably say what solutions would work and which wouldn’t.”
While the event’s turnout wasn’t overwhelming to Andregg, he said the students who attended did not disappoint.
“The positive side of a program like this is you don’t get as many people as to a football rally,” Andregg said. “But, the people who come tend to care a lot about the topic.”
Caroline Rode can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.