Monday, June 8, 2015

AMIDEAST Staff Post - An Engine for Innovation: The 2015 Fulbright MTP Journey

On Monday June 1st I attended the Fulbright Millennial Train Project (MTP) culminating event at the U.S. Department of State. The event brought together education policy experts, Fulbright and Department of State representatives, and six Foreign Fulbright Students from Afghanistan, Iraq, Cambodia, El Salvador, South Africa, and Poland who rode the MTP train across the United States. During their journey, participants engaged with community leaders and conducted research on their specific projects in Los Angeles, Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. It was fascinating to hear about their projects, learning experiences, and how the ten-day MTP journey changed their lives forever. One participant even got a tattoo to represent the impact MTP had on his life!

A highlight of the event was meeting Iraqi Fulbright Grantee Saja Al Quzweeni who just completed her M.S. in Environmental Policy and Administration at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Saja’s MTP research topic was Urban Farming in America. We were I was amazed and inspired by Saja’s resourcefulness and dedication to this project throughout the MTP journey and her goal to utilize her findings back home in Iraq. 

“The anticipated outcome of this journey is to design a holistic model of urban farming that connects people with their land and each other. Urban agriculture will be utilized to offer not just food but also a terrain in which people come together and build their community.” – Saja Al Quzweeni

Ms. Saja Al-Quzweeni with AMIDEAST Staff Samya and Dominique

I was so glad to have the opportunity to attend this event. As always, I am thankful to the Fulbright Program for connecting individuals and fostering mutual understanding amongst the world’s diverse cultures.

Dominique DeAngelo works for the Fulbright team at AMIDEAST in Washington, DC.

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