I am getting ready for an exciting two-month journey with the Eisenhower Fellowships, Women Leaders Program 2015 which will take me to Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York, Boston, Sedona, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Like my explorer ancestors, I will be touring the US’s top local and international organizations, public and UN institutions, corporations and politicians to “explore” new ways to advocate for gender equality and equal rights for all. This journey will help me examine existing international conventions and US developed tools and strategies to make more impact on the gender reform agenda for Lebanon and the MENA region.
Throughout this fellowship, I will be posting photos, comments, blog posts and reflections and welcome your feedback and suggestions. Receiving the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship is a great honor, but it is not a personal award; as you know me well, I will pay it forward! It is indeed winning an opportunity for the Lebanese Civil Society’s voice to be heard in the US and an excellent occasion to highlight all that my fellow activists have done so far and to examine partnerships and collaborations with the US, UN and international institutions.
I depart on this journey with a profound sense of pride in my fellow activists who are taking it to the streets in Beirut to speak-up against corruption, injustice and every undemocratic action the existing Lebanese “war-lords” politicians and their allies have used to hijack the first democracy in the Middle East… When I am asked, I will do everything I can to make your voices heard and your demands, our demands, properly underscored.
I am looking forward to this exciting journey and I know I will come back with lessons, tools, ideas and partnerships that will allow us all to work together for a better and inclusive society in Lebanon! Winning the Eisenhower Fellowship is an honor but also a great responsibility. I have so many people to thank for mentoring me and supporting me in preparing for this journey, I shall thank you all by making the best out of this exceptional opportunity! Philadelphia, here I come!
Click here for my Eisenhower Fellowships introductory bio available on the Eisenhower Fellowship website.