The interest that I have in Peace has been nurtured since I was a small child. I have had the privilege to live in third and first world countries, besides my country, Malaysia, countries such as Sudan, Pakistan, the United States of America, the Netherlands, Thailand and Cambodia. The war torn countries have opened my eyes as to how one part of the world can be cradled in immense wealth and one part in post-destruction and hardship. The knowledge that I may gain through this summer course will change the whole perception of one community from being a dormant participant on the international stage, to one that takes initiatives and physical strategies to make a change. A change one person can resonate into a wave.
As a Malaysian, the knowledge of international peace issues have not delved deep into the understanding of the minds of the younger generation in the country and needs a serious wakeup call and widespread knowledge on key issues such as war crimes, human rights violation, international relations and more. With the involvement of this summer course, the lack of participation and ignorance on international peace issues hopefully will diminish and turning a blind eye on world peace will no longer be an acceptable excuse.
The most recent strife that has had a lot of media coverage is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The majority of the media has directed and reported twisted stories, hiding truths behind half lies, causing the public to take the wrong stand. Serious human rights violations have been documented by Amnesty International that the Israeli military forces have proceeded with unlawful killings, torture and ill treatment of citizens, destruction of homes with residence still inside, blocking ambulances, using civilians as human shields and these are only to name a few of the war crimes that have taken place. Yet stories with this ground have been covered up and re-written and the truth of the suffering and horrors of what really took place are left to deaf ears. I would like to bring my one person campaign for accuracy in media reporting into debate and question the ethical stand the media has taken. This is another obstacle in which most people do not realize is the key to world peace.
Peace is the right to every man, woman and child who are citizens of the world. Therefore I believe I have a right to peace and with this right I would like to obtain the kind of knowledge and means on international peace issues and participation, understand current problems, map out and discuss probable solutions and learn from past mistakes in history. Though I am only one person, what the course can offer me is tremendous and what I can offer them is myself, a person who genuinely cares for a change in the world. Mahatma Gandhi once said ‘You must be the change you want to see in the world.’ I am embracing my responsibility as an international citizen and taking a step towards the betterment of humanity, fighting for equality and rights.