20something profile: Muna Sharma
Hello, darling sunshines! My name is Muna Sharma, and I’m a second year at the University of Virginia. Currently, I’m looking to transfer to Clemson University in the spring, if god permits! I moved to the US in 2010 from the occupied Palestinian territories — Ramallah, to be exact — for higher education.
Ever since I was a kid, I had a “bad habit,” as my parents liked to put it, of defending innocent people who I deemed oppressed, or voiceless. Fortunately, my “bad habit” has turned into a passion. I consider myself a women’s rights and human rights activist and an advocate for mental disorder awareness.
If one were to ask me what my plans for after college were, I would tell him or her that I would grab my camera and a list of contacts and hit up every city in the world that I could visit. UVa, a school that promotes rich diversity, has enabled me to meet people from all over the world, including different states in India and the US and from countries like China, Zimbabwe, Chile, Turkey, and many more.
So what would I do with a camera and a list of contacts, one might ask? Well, the camera is there to document the journey, and the contacts are for a place to crash and fundraising purposes. As cliché as it may sound, I want to document the struggles of moral beings worldwide, in hopes of showing the world, through art and photography, that at the end of the day, we are all Human, and we deserve equal rights.
One might conclude that I am a dreamer, and he or she is absolutely right. My dream is to one day start at least one non-governmental, non-profit organization in Palestine that would focus on enabling women to seek an education, career, and freedom from social and political constraints. This organization will focus on educating women in the arts and sciences while advancing their physical, reproductive, and mental health.
Achieving this dream is very personal to me. As a Palestinian Female, I was always told to be a victim and to be submissive to my male counterparts. Achieving this dream would enable me to break boundaries set by male dominant societies and be a figure of inspiration to other females with similar backgrounds.
I also want to break boundaries with raising mental health awareness in Middle Eastern countries. As a person who personally lives with Bipolar II, I understand the stigma that comes with telling people, even your family, about your mental illness.
Overall, I hope to leave a better world for the people after me when I leave life someday.
Check out Muna Sharma’s blog Seeing It Then and Now
Posted on November 24, 2013, in 20something profile and tagged education, human rights, Mental health, Middle East, millennials, nonprofit, twenties, women's rights. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.