PLEASE R&R- Will return Favor, last draft!! :)

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Loyola Trojan

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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:59 am

PLEASE R&R- Will return Favor, last draft!! :)

Postby Loyola Trojan » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:29 pm

Hey TLSers,

Feel free to tear this thing apart. I've been working on it for a while. I would appreciate some feedback before I submit, I'll be happy to return the favor!

Here it is:

I stared nervously out of the windows of the bulletproof bus, apprehensive after our thorough search by the Israeli soldiers. The street placards immediately transitioned to an unfamiliar Arabic and the exotic garb was strikingly different as we made our way from Jerusalem to the largest city in the West Bank, Hebron. While exploring the bazaar, I ventured away from the group with a handful of friends towards the living quarters. Suddenly, I felt a stone graze my head. I froze in my tracks, startled. Focusing my attention towards the direction from which the stone came, my eyes were met with the roaring laughter of three brothers who had targeted me from their hilltop porch. I couldn’t help but question why I had put myself into this situation. It was then that I realized that my appreciation to experience the dichotomy of life, even if it rails against all that I believe, is vital to who I am as a human being.

My fascination with Middle Eastern politics began at a young age, with my first trip to Israel. It preceded a world with security fences between the West Bank and Israel, so my attention was fixated on the historical and religious sights, the culture, and the food that reaffirmed my Jewish connection to the land; I had been oblivious to the existence of an Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Yet, a few years later, when the second Intifada broke out, beginning a period of immense bloodshed, I found that the only connection I had to Israel was limited to major news broadcasts that filled my living room with violent images. During a critical time of my maturation, I became acutely aware of the media’s biases present in favor of both the Israeli and Palestinian sides and developed a keen eye to dismiss political agendas. As a result of this very personal experience, I am able to delve past the façades of sources and identify the underlying standpoint. I am able to separate fact from opinion and quell my instinctive reactions in favor of a more skeptical approach when confronted with new information. Although my high
school years did not offer me a practical arena in which I could apply or share my newfound viewpoint, when I reached my college campus, the atmosphere around me changed radically.

The inflammatory rhetoric and tactics used by campus organizations to market their agendas regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was surprising even to myself, someone who prides himself on embracing differing opinions. I felt an obligation to investigate the claims made by BOTH SIDES and to distinguish between truth and distortion. As a person who treasures the law, I feel it is my duty to research arguments thoroughly, reevaluate my position, and assess a situation for truth without taking into account the looming agendas around me. That is why I am most proud of my contribution to 30 Years After, an organization that has allowed me to become proactive by joining forces with a handful of other second-generation Iranian immigrants to make a positive impact on our community. By disseminating unbiased information and encouraging people to become politically active, I am able to promote a discerning mindset to help others see all sides of an issue before they establish their own convictions.

My most recent trip to Israel was an eye opening experience, wholly due to the openness with which I had approached it. Throughout my visit, I was able to listen to a unique spectrum of people, from Israeli citizens against Jewish settlements to Palestinians living in the West Bank, exposing me to many of the narratives I had not considered during my previous stay. Although I still felt a certain obligation to my Jewish homeland, I also felt a responsibility of progressing from advocate to problem solver. The junction between these two roles is pertinent to a legal career since the quest for truth and resolution will motivate me during law school. My experience with the three brothers solidified my decision to pursue a law degree, as I continue to consider the underlying motives and values that drive people in societies.

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