The first time I left the country was to Baghdad, Iraq, in 2005. I didn't even have a passport then. I went because my father did first. Also, it was the first time I felt directly connected and was interested in world events; and I wanted to share the burden of it all and experience it first-hand.


I went believing we were there for the welfare of others. I returned with a more nuanced understanding of the conflict and the people on all sides. 


This experience would be the catalyst for the trajectory of my life. It inspired my interest in international relations as a study, but, also, my desire to accept and understand people as an instinct. 

Durah Market, Baghdad, Iraq info
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