Monday, February 5, 2018

Our Forum could not go ahead without the invaluable support of our volunteer team – individuals from around the globe who give up their time and energy each year to bring passionate participants and an amazing program together in the pursuit of Human Security. As such, we wanted to honour their efforts by featuring some of the team in each of the quarterly newsletters going forward, asking them 6 quick questions about themselves. In this edition, we get to know Yara Zgheib, Elizabeth Hall and Salma Moustafa Khalil.

 

Yara ZgheibYara Zgheib, Executive Committee Member and Chair, humansecurityX:

What is your name / what does it mean (if you happen to know)?

Yara. She is the Phoenician goddess of the stars... or fertility (this has been the subject of much debate). I prefer stars. Less gory than fertility. Also, it is the name of a famous song in Lebanon about a girl called Yara who matches my description :).

What is your country of origin and / or current country?

Country of origin is Lebanon. Currently living in Boston, USA. Country of my heart is and will always be France (used to live in Paris).

What is your day job and / or if you prefer, an issue or area you're particularly passionate about?

Consultant: political analysis. More interesting than it sounds, I promise. Also, aspiring writer, trying to get a book published or become the next Adam Gopnik. Hopefully better... The New Yorker has not discovered me yet.

How did you first become involved with JGHS?

In 2011 I was an intern and the JGHS program had a huge dilemma: They had a cohort who only spoke Arabic and no Arabic interpreters. So they asked me, exceptionally, to accompany that group for the duration of the conference and do the interpretation. I did that and was hooked! The following year I came on as a communities liaison, then communities coordinator and a bit of dabbling with communications, and now executive committee and humansecurityX :).

Which of the 6 pillars of Human Security resonates most with you and why? (It can be all of them if you're passionate about the holistic approach!)

Oh definitely all of them!

And our most important question - if you could be any food, what would you choose and why?

I would be vanilla ice cream. Soft serve, in a little cone. The cone is crucial too.

 

Elizabeth HallElizabeth Hall, Volunteer Coordinator

What is your name / what does it mean (if you happen to know)? 

Elizabeth, I read that the name is Greek in origin and in Greek the meaning is from Hebrew, Elisheba, meaning oath of God. 

What is your country of origin and / or current country?

United States

What is your day job and / or if you prefer, an issue or area you're particularly passionate about? 

Currently, my full-time passion is JGHS, I also freelance as a content writer. In the past, I worked as a fundraiser. I am super passionate about relationship building and creating connects. 

How did you first become involved with JGHS? 

I attended as a participant in 2017 for the JGHS forum and was a participant in the inaugural Human SecurityX training program. 

Which of the 6 pillars of Human Security resonates most with you and why? (It can be all of them if you're passionate about the holistic approach!)

I truly believe it takes each one, each individual pillar complements the other and to have long-term sustainable solutions, each pillar is needed. Each pillar plays off the other. This is what makes JGHS so unique, you take a session in each individual pillar, but the overarching dialogue in the forum is how to align and work on solutions for all of the pillars. It takes all of them to create security. 

And our most important question - if you could be any food, what would you choose and why?

Artichoke! First, it is a thistle, complex and thorny and beautiful. Adaptable and resilient as a plant and the best part of it is its heart. It is also simply delicious and I like this idea.

 

Salma KhalilSalma Moustafa Khalil, humansecurityX

What is your name / what does it mean (if you happen to know)?

Salma Moustafa Khalil - peaceful, chosen one, friend.

What is your country of origin and / or current country?

Country of Origin: Egypt

Current Country:  The Netherlands

What is your day job and / or if you prefer, an issue or area you're particularly passionate about?

At the moment I am increasingly interested in perceptions of the state (as a responsible authority), conducting bottom-up academic research on how the state is discussed by citizens in Western Europe (and eastern Germany in particular). I am especially interested in welfare states, and how the influx of refugees is seen as a threat to the persistence of welfare (standards) to those who rely on it.

How did you first become involved with JGHS?

I have been part of IofC since 2010, with the interns program (Caux Peace and Leadership Program), then in the Caux operations office supporting conferences, which is how I met the JG team. I worked with them three years, as part of the Caux team and in 2017 I joined the conference team.

Which of the 6 pillars of Human Security resonates most with you and why? (It can be all of them if you're passionate about the holistic approach!)

Given my field of work and study I see the six pillars as indispensible and holistic, where, like the SDGs, none can be achieved without the sustained support and sustainably supporting all the others. Through my work, my starting point would be Good Governance, followed by Social Inclusion, but through Healing Memory. In the area where I work, eastern Germany and particularly Saxony, past trauma (from the war, that was miserably dealt with during the GDR) and continued economic inequalities felt until today challenge citizens’ ability to be socially inclusive of newcomers.

And our most important question - if you could be any food, what would you choose and why?

I want to say a Banana or an Avocado… Hey, I could also be a Mushroom, like growing where I’m not expected as the anthropologist that I am, but then tasty and healthy!

 

Many thanks Yara, Elizabeth and Salma for your dedication to the Human Security cause.

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