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First Impressions: So You've Decided to Enter an Active Warzone...

Greetings to all! My name is Salaam. Of course that isn't my real name, but for the purposes of this blog, it is now. I have joined MPT to willingly venture into militarized territory to help give a voice to those in need. Yes, I did say willingly.

So, seriously. What is wrong with you?

Why would any sane person go into an extremely hostile situation, you may ask. The obvious answer would be that I'm not sane (hopefully this is not the case). So here is my story, and hopefully you can begin to see the world through my eyes.

I grew up all over the world, concentrating my time in the Middle East before moving to America in my teenage years. I have alway had a strong connection to the Gulf; the desert sands irresistibly call me back every 4 or 5 months. Inevitably, I knew I would be back in a professional context: I am currently pursuing a couple of masters degrees, both in the pursuit of alleviating the situation in conflict zones, specifically the occupied territories.

As far as my understanding goes, this peace team is a vehicle by which the suffering of the oppressed people in the territories can be ameliorated. I know that I am not going to change the world, and I know that my work will not directly influence a conclusion to the crisis. However, if I can comfort one person, prevent someone from being arrested, or even let someone know that there are people who want to create peace, then I have played a part in changing their world. I am not going to convert anyone, and I am certainly not looking to get into a fight. I am looking to decrease the violence so prevalent in the area, and prevent as many people as possible from being hurt.

It's OK, we're all a little crazy.

MPT is a fascinating organization consisting of even more fascinating people (I leave you to interpret that as you wish). As I learn more about what it means to conduct non-violent third party intervention, I feel my curiousity growing exponentially. The organization is dedicated to non-violent intervention as a solution for peace, and by God, they have the literature and evidence to back it up. It's a refreshing alternative to a class on International Relations Theory. Everyone here is dedicated to peace, and I am eager to join their ranks.

The more I subject myself to roleplays and thought exercises, the more I feel that this is going to be an incredible experience. I am confident that I will return to America with my eyes a little more open, hopefully not as a result from too much tear gas.

- Salaam

P.S: For all of you who find my jokes and witticisms to be hilarious, I applaud your good taste. However, in order to provide a serious and informative look at what is really happening in Palestine, I will have to switch my style to something more professional and credible. But have no fear! I will be starting a personal blog in which you can be subject to a more human experience, rather than a talking (typing?) head. More details to come.

Photo Credit: http://owni.eu/files/2011/01/palestine.jpg

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