My name is Asha Athman, and I am proud to be apart of the 2014 Summer Internship team at the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC). I am a rising sophomore at George Mason University where I am studying Global Affairs with a concentration in International Development and minor in Arabic studies. In the future, I hope to pursue a career in global health that focuses on children’s health in developing nations in the MENA region and Sub-Saharan Africa.
My Interests in global health in the MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa regions stem from a volunteer work I did during the Summer of 2012 in Somalia. I worked with Psychiatrist Dr. Abas Jama and the Somali Mental Health Foundation whose aim was to help train medical personnel in psychiatric care and counseling, and provide out/in patient care meetings. During my trip I became aware of Somalia’s need for greater medical staff in its mental health care facilities, special education for autistic children, family assistance for elderly who suffer from dementia, and better general education on mental illness. As a result, I left the country with a sense of responsibility and a mission to assist in improving global health. My interests in international development have expanded as I have become more aware of the dire humanitarian needs in other nations in Africa and the Middle East.
Through my internship with EPIC, I am excited to gain insight into the dynamics of NGOs, implement advocacy efforts, gain social media and blog experience, and learn more about Iraq and the Iraqi people. I believe this internship will give me a more well-rounded view of the Middle East and development actions in the region. I find EPIC’s mission to help young Iraqis build a brighter future for their nation inspiring, and I cannot wait to help further their amazing goals.