Senior Profile: Weinberg senior to explore interfaith dialogue

Sammy Caiola

Weinberg senior Sana Rahim will combine her spirituality and social justice interests to mobilize interfaith communities in Atlanta this summer.

Rahim is the recipient of the Tony Blair Faiths Act Fellowship, a grant that places 30 students of different backgrounds at non-governmental organizations around the world. The grant is given to 10 students from the United States, 10 students from the United Kingdom, five from Canada and five from India.

The grant is given to students of various faiths with social justice backgrounds. Rahim, who practices Islam, is the co-director of the Global Engagement Summit at Northwestern and a member of the Undergraduate Budget Priorities Committee.

“I’ve always been passionate about international development issues, and being able to work in a domestic space making a global impact will be really awesome,” Rahim said. “I’ve been able to take wonderful classes and be part of student groups that have transformed me.”

Rahim will be working with MedShare, a nonprofit organization that collects unused medical supplies and equipment from American hospitals and redistributes them to countries that struggle economically.

After a month of training in London, Rahim will travel to Atlanta where she will work with a Christian counterpart. She will be working on strategy development for organizing as well as mobilizing faith communities in Atlanta and promoting interfaith dialogue, she said.

Rahim has spent the past two summers in Turkey working on women’s rights issues with a nongovernmental organization. Though she said she has notreally thought about the relationship between faith and social justice, she is looking forward to exploring it. She said she is inspired by the prophet Muhammad’s commitment to social justice work.

“It’s not really something I explored or talked about,” Rahim said. “Young people get really uncomfortable with people who put together faith and social justice. I’m really looking forward to (doing) that.”

Rahim is an English major with a political science minor. She said her coursework, as well as her work with the Global Engagement Summit, has provided her with the skills necessary for participating in the fellowship.

“Conversation and dialogue is what made me a good candidate for this scholarship,” Rahim said. “I’ve gotten a sense of awareness about what’s going on in the world.”

[email protected]