Hi everyone! I’m Samar, a senior in mechanical engineering but a humanist at heart. I hail from the far away lands of Saudi Arabia, where my experiences growing up shaped my outlook on life and my understanding of freedom and oppression--both individual and collective. One of the most important contributions to my perspective came when I learned about the Palestinian “issue” during my early years in high school. Being exposed to critical historians and theorists, public philosophers and other intellectual perspectives on Palestine opened my eyes to a knowledge world of power and politics.So upon my arrival to Stanford, I planned to express my feelings of disbelief and distraught regarding what was happening in a place so close to home - injustice that we were all complicit in - through activism. Soon enough, late night conversations and challenging intellectual questions made me see layers of complexity and shades of gray, and positioned Palestine within larger systems of dominance. In Palestine, I recognized parallels to the oppression of many other groups around the world and their movements for justice (black and queer liberation to name two). I became confronted with the necessity for ‘intersectionality,’ (something we’ll be discussing often) in movements for justice. While maintaining solidarity with other issues on campus, I focused my time and action on one cause (justice for Palestinians), and I think it’s safe to say I’ve tried it all: dialogue, negotiation, government, mass mobilization, top-down; bottom-up, etc. The more I learn and live, the more I contemplate methods of resistance and the means of dismantling structures of oppression. I hope that my background combined with Kristian’s, which come from intellectual pursuits as well as lived experiences, will inform our discussions in class and our trip, and create a driving, stimulating, and open space for all of us to grow and evolve as change-makers. Very excited to meet fellow comrades in justice! Looking forward to reading your applications!