Dear future PHRIUA students,
Hi, my name is Samira Shadid and I am twenty-one years old. At present I am studying Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. In 2016 I participated in the summer school ‘Practicing Human Rights in Urban Areas’, when I studied Cultural and Social Education at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam. One of my professors asked if I wanted to join the PHRIUA group and I never regretted my decision to participate. Last summer I was asked to be coach of the new batch of students. It was a privilege to be still connected to the summer school from a different perspective. In this way I could use my own experience to help and support the students.
I experienced the summer school in 2016 as two weeks that could be best described as inspiring and mind-blowing. To share the classroom and research locations with an international group of students created new insights, challenges and mutual understanding. Working together as a team while having all these different expertises within the group was very interesting. In this way you're not only getting education from your professors but also from each other.
I did my research and observation at The ‘Passantenhotel Boerhaave’ which is a homeless shelter located in the East of Amsterdam. I spoke to the residents of the hotel and found out what kind of human rights challenges they had to face. Talking and listening to your target group are the main ingredients in this process. Listening to their stories gives you an opportunity to find out what their day to day life looks like and what either gives them joy or what terrifies them. What I like about the Summer School is that there is a perfect combination of being in the field and gaining knowledge through lectures. In this way you can apply the theories and creative methods you have learned directly. The lecturers can be described as very divers: from a human-rights lawyer to a psychologist. You learn how to approach your target group from multiple perspectives. At the end of the course the students give presentations where they combine all the stories and gained information. They pour it in the mold of the creative method ‘story telling’, a method that will be frequently touched upon during the course.
I had an awesome time being a PHRIUA student and I hope to see you this upcoming summer as a new member of the group.
All the best,