Embassy of Pakistan Internship Program 2005
By Sarah Syed

A group photograph of the 2005 interns

The widely acclaimed Embassy Internship Program is an exciting and challenging experience for Pakistani-American students who spend a semester at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington D.C. Students from all over the country interested in politics, international relations, journalism, and economics gain first-hand experience about Pakistani-American affairs and the US political system.
In 2002, a pilot internship program was launched at the DCM’s office in the Embassy of Pakistan, which has rapidly become one of the most popular internships in Washington D.C. The Embassy receives hundreds of applications for internship positions every year. Though the Embassy has interns all year round, it is in the summer that they have the largest number of full time interns. During the summer, the interns work on short-term and long-term projects catered to their studies and interests under the direction of Mohammad Sadiq, the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM). This summer eight interns have joined the Internship Program. Following is a brief introduction of this year’s summer interns.
Saad Bhatti: No stranger to politically affiliated internships, Saad Bhatti is putting his education background in Political Science and Economics at Hartwick College to good use this summer at the Embassy of Pakistan. Last summer, the Massachusetts native worked for the John Kerry Campaign in Boston, and explained that “after experiencing the more domestic side of politics last summer [with Kerry], I chose to return to my roots and become involved in Pakistani politics, as well as gain knowledge about governmental issues.” Saad involves himself in Hartwick’s Model UN club to expand his knowledge about politics and the government. In the future, Saad hopes to become a lawyer, and is currently on his school’s Mock Trial team, and partakes in Student Government as Chief Justice of the Judicial Board.
Shaheen Chaudhri: Washington DC’s George Washington University student Shaheen Chaudhri from New Haven, Connecticut came to intern at the Embassy of Pakistan this summer to gain “exposure to Pakistan’s role in the international community.” With an International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies double major, Shaheen hopes to enter the United States Foreign Service, and he feels that his experience this summer at the Embassy will give him further insight into a life of diplomacy. At George Washington University, Shaheen tutors at the Writing Center. Previously, Shaheen interned at the International Broadcasting Bureau, where he worked on maps formed from demographic surveys of Middle Eastern countries.
Taimour Chaudhry: Another Political Science and Economics major, Taimour Chaudhry is one of the youngest interns this summer. A sophomore at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Taimour shares the hopes with his fellow interns to gain political experience while in D.C. Taimour has had a respectable role in his community, partaking in the Pakistani Student Association as well as “Help Darfur” campaign, collecting aid for the genocide-stricken country of Sudan. Taimour’s ambition to become a lawyer in the future was evident when he exclaimed, “Pakistani communities need more lawyers than doctors.” His experience at the Embassy this summer as well as his Political Science education will be a strong background for this endeavor.
Raina Khan: Hailing from The University of Southern California, Raina Khan is an intern with an interesting academic background. As a Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies major with an Art History minor, Raina is interested in health issues Pakistan is currently faced with, and hopes to learn more about them at the Embassy. She was previously involved in a cancer research internship. Raina hopes to be a public health official in Pakistan and says, “I want to take this internship as an opportunity to find out about how the public health sector in Pakistan can better work with the Pakistani government to bring positive change to millions of citizens who need it; specifically those in rural areas.”
Talha Khan: The most well-traveled intern at the Embassy of Pakistan this summer is Talha Khan. A Political Science and Economics double major at St. Paul’s Macalester College with a Philosophy minor, Talha has an intense passion for travel and diplomacy. He spent two years at the United World College in Norway — one of the ten international colleges in the world that seeks to bring students from all around the world to grow environmentally, politically, and socially aware. Following his studies there, Talha joined the Norwegian Peace Corps in China. In the province of Ninxia Hui, Talha was involved in a humanitarian exchange project between Norway and China. Last summer, Talha joined World Voices Norway, a voluntary international member organization that gives youth access to political decision-making processes and spotlights the important local and global issues concerning both the planet and the people. Talha hopes to continue working with development-oriented projects, towards inter-religious harmony, but most of all he plans to “travel with the tide.”
Unaza Khan: Studying International Relations and Arabic Studies at Tufts University, Unaza Khan has come to the right area in DC to gain insight on politics, as well as to familiarize herself with cultural and political aspects of Pakistan. A Long Island native, Unaza has garnered valuable experience thus far in her life. In late 2004, she traveled to Egypt with EPIIC (Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship) and met with Desert Development Center for urban planning and sustainability of Cairo. She also committed herself to ATASK (Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence) where she helped create a children’s playroom. In the future, she hopes to become a Senator, a dream she says was inspired by the idea of powerful women in the WLC (Women Lead Conference). Unaza says of her ambitions, “I don’t know how I’ll get there, but I know what I want.”
Sarah Syed: Young Boston-native Sarah Syed took a leap from her mainly English Literature background to come to the Embassy of Pakistan this summer. Studying at The University of Massachusetts Amherst, Sarah came to intern because she wants to “help in striving for a better Pakistan — economically, morally, politically, and socially.” With all of the political issues surrounding her day-to-day, Sarah says she “wants to spread knowledge, but I need to educate myself about international politics first.” Sarah has been immensely involved with the Human Development Foundation of North America (HDF) where she works towards creating a positive social change and community overall through literacy, enhanced quality of education, universal primary healthcare, and grassroots economic development in Pakistan. She visited rural Pakistan with HDF and witnessed the organizations work.
Fauzia Tariq: With a Political Science and International Politics degree, as well as an undeclared International Relations major, it is clear that Fauzia Tariq has immense interest in world issues and human rights. Fauzia graduated this May from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has been involved with student government and a plethora of human rights groups throughout her college career. Fauzia was not only engaged in awareness groups such as Amnesty International, Advocacy for Human Rights, and ACLU, but also initiated a few groups of her own. She started the Civil Liberty’s Defense Committee, after intense analysis and displeasure with The United States Patriot Act. She realized she could effectively channel her frustration by voicing her opinions and spreading awareness. Fauzia says that working at the Embassy of Pakistan "will expose me to real life politics and international relations.” In the future, Fauzia plans to pursue graduate school and her ideal vocation would be one in healthcare, particularly practicing medicine in developing countries and improving health policies.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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