For the last week I have been helping helping my friend/neighbor Olivia with her statement of purpose for Oxford. We have spent hours together trying to write a professional yet personal letter, and in that time I have come to know and respect her. She is an absolutely fascinating person. Though she grew up in Germany, she went to high school in Spain and later attended the University of Edinburgh, where she studied Middle Eastern politics and Arabic.
She studied abroad in Cairo and was there during the revolution, so she has amazing stories and perspectives on the world, especially on the Middle East. Because she has lived all over the world, she has learned to shed the liberal western lens through which we view the world.
I have also been very interested in the stories and opinions (and cooking!) of my friend Ward. He is Israeli, but his family is actually Palestinian and he supports their cause. There are many other people in Israel who are in the exact same position, yet to me he seems unique because I have never met anyone else like him.
I have met so many people from different areas of the world who have interesting perspectives. For example, last night I spoke to Danielle, who is from Cameron (my next-door-neighbor is also from Cameron). After I had my session with Olivia today I decided that I wanted to share the stories and views of some of the people I have met--with their permission of course.
So, what do you think of having a series of interviews? Olivia agreed to do some, and I know you will love her stories and her extremely humanistic view of the world. I would love to make video interviews, because listening to someone speak and seeing their passion is always so poignant. However, that all depends on whether the person who is being interviewed agrees to it.
I would love to start with a Middle Eastern series, because the entire world is trying to figure out how to deal with the issues there. We need to be educated not just about the politics and history of the region, but also about the people who live there. We are now part of a global community, and almost everyone has an online presence. I think it is time we use that technology to reach across borders and connect one person to another.
So, do you have any questions for Olivia you would like answered? Let me know in the comments below!