Reflections on My Time at Hebrew University
By Rini Rashid, London, England
Studying at the Rothberg International School and living in Jerusalem in the summer of 2009 was an incredibly formative experience. Having spent part of my childhood in Iraq and Oman, I welcomed the opportunity of immersing myself in the history and culture of Jerusalem.
As an undergraduate student of peace and conflict studies at the University of Toronto, I received scholarships from both Canadian Friends of Hebrew University and The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Fund to study at HU. I explored civic education and pedagogy in post-conflict societies and the psychology of protracted conflict while at HU. I greatly appreciated the quality of the curriculum and the complexity of the subject matter. One of my most memorable experiences was engaging with the Parents Circle Families Forum. It was inspiring to witness their commitment to peace and speaking their truth advocating for an end to the decades-long conflict through mutual reconciliation.
My time in Jerusalem indelibly shaped my understanding of the human experience involving trauma and resilience. The rich, multi-faith history of Jerusalem encompasses thousands of years of civilizational memory. From quarter to quarter, it was impossible not to feel gratitude and reverence for the continued buzz and activity in the Old City. Beyond the fault lines dividing religious and ethnic communities, from Nablus to Tel Aviv, I felt the presence of a deeply human unifying force: hope. I have since carried the lessons of empathy, openness and dialogue with me in my work and in my efforts to serve the public good – as a lawyer, human rights promoter, community volunteer and public servant.
- Rini is currently a Political Officer at the Canadian High Commission in London, UK. She was previously a lawyer with the Canadian Department of Justice in the National Litigation Sector.