Tel Aviv is known to Israelis as the “city that never sleeps,” Israel’s equivalent of New York. I also happen to live in one of the coolest/strangest neighborhoods in this city: Florentin. It seems that everyone has a tattoo, a bike, and a dog. On occasions I catch tattooed people biking and walking their dogs at the same time. I personally lack this type of coordination.
Which brings me to why I decided to fly all the way to Tel Aviv for the summer: multitasking. My thought process was: the beach+2 internships = successful summer. I just graduated from Pitt in May and needed to figure out my next adventure. My focus in school was centered on the Middle East, especially the Arab-Israeli/Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I was pulled in by the disturbing trend of sound political criticism being replaced by blind anti-Semitism.
But this trend goes the both ways. I’ve witnessed extremists from each side dehumanize others who don’t share their worldview. This isn’t something unique to the Middle East; it’s a natural human reaction. In my previous visits, I have studied Arabic, volunteered with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and made an effort to break out of my perspective of this seemingly endless conflict. For this trip, I decided to become an active player in peace development. I am currently interning with two incredible NGO’s that represents Israel’s compassion: Save A Child’s Heart and oneVoice Israel. Keep a lookout for my next post to find out more about what I’m up to this summer…..
The thoughts presented in this blog are solely my own and do not represent the opinions held by the World Affairs Council.
Susanna, Intern Abroad