Pictured: Club members at the Amnesty International Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. Photo provided by Jude Alhashem.
By Brandon Lamotte
The Amnesty International club here at the Germantown campus is about getting involved with local and national issues that affect people around the globe. The club is currently looking for a faculty member to sponsor it, so it hasn’t had its first meeting yet.
However, last semester the group had around 5-6 members that went on an annual trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to attended Amnesty International’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. The conference featured speakers from Amnesty International talking about various issues that the world faces and hosted workshops to help foster activism on college campuses and in local communities.
The club at Montgomery College focuses on human rights issues at home and abroad, like political prisoners or police brutality, and uses fliers and pamphlets from Amnesty to help spread information.
The president of the Amnesty International club is Daniel Zaire. I talked to him about the club and why he wanted to join. He said, “Well, I knew about Amnesty for a long time and when I came to Montgomery College I was hoping to join a club centered around civil and human rights. At the beginning of the semester when I found out there wasn’t any club like that, I decided to start my own.” Zaire restarted the Amnesty International club this semester because the previous president graduated. This semester, he’s hoping to include more people in the group.
Another member I spoke to was Jude Alhashem. I asked her about why she joined the club and she said, “I’ve always felt helpless about everything that is happening in the world. Then I found out about Amnesty International and decided it would be a great way to be active and make some kind of change. I actually got to go to my first march through this club.” I also asked her about what she’s learning by being a part of the club and she said, “I think the club is a good way to keep me connected to what is actually happening, because most of the stuff I read in the news is biased because of political parties. So, I think that Amnesty is helpful because it focuses on the humanitarian perspective of things, without any political motivation.”