Atlas Corps provided with an opportunity where I am able to attend a Graduate Certificate in Inclusive Security: International Policy and Practice. We recently finished a concept class in inclusive security and human security. The course helped me integrate the social, psychological, economic and political aspects of human security concerns that are prevalent across the world, currently and in the past.The class provided me with a global-thinking approach where I was able to understand the contexts of other countries and not just from where I originally come from. It showed me that human security isn’t only about protecting people from pervasive threats but also about those individuals who take charge of their own lives.

Particularly this class made me aware of the story of Malalai Joya, who at least I did not know about before.  Malalai Joya was a former politician from Afghanistan who served as a Parliamentarian in the National Assembly of Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007, after being dismissed for publicly denouncing the presence of warlords and war criminals in the Afghan Parliament. Her suspension generated protest internationally but the parliamentary members of her own country stated that Malalai remarks about the Politicians of Afghanistan were unwarranted and disingenuous. After years of struggle that she endured, she was declared as the bravest woman in Afghanistan” by the BBC and Guardian listed her among “Top 100 women: activists and campaign. It truly showed me that everyone has the power to rise above the struggles that they have endured and be able to be in a platform where their personal struggles can help others. Moreover, it highlighted how culture of a context plays a significant role in conflicts. In this case, I believe the Afghanistan’s parliament was provoked more due to the sex of Malalai. This reinforces that cultural fluency is needed for disentangling and managing multilayered, conflicts and we need to steer away from being tangled in its net of complexity, limited by our own cultural lenses.

I encourage everyone to look into the story of Malalai Joya. She wrote an incredible book of her journey. It is titled ‘A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice’ and is available on Amazon. I also encourage everyone to watch her speech at the constitutional assembly: