Monday, May 30, 2011
I’m so excited to be here with the AAPD internship program. It’s been a great experience so far, the orientation has been draining, but really helpful, and has helped me get prepared for a workplace environment. My fellow interns are pretty amazing, and all have interesting stories to share. That’s the beauty of this internship, we all share remarkable qualities, and all need to help each other succeed in the program, and learn from each other as well as our mentors. I’m proud to be in this beautiful city, and working for our government, but I never could have imagined this as a future. Even two years ago, I would have been astonished at being part of this program. I had never given a public speech before, and didn’t really know anything about disability, as far as identity and especially about history and culture, but it’s been a heck of a year, starting in Pakistan, returning to Wisconsin, hustling to New Mexico, Flying out to Syria; moving to Berkeley, and coming here to end it. I know I’m pretty young (I’ll actually turn 19 on July 6th) compared to everyone else out here, but I can’t wait to learn and affect some major change. On that note, I think that is my main goal here, to learn. I’m coming as a hotblooded young buck, who brings a lot of energy, but needs some more seasoning and patience I want to take my time and listen, as well as learn. One of the most important lessons I have tried to live by is to listen to others, and that we can learn from anyone. I also feel that this lesson ties nicely into my perspective of the disability rights movement. Just like disability itself, the disability rights movement is a composite picture created from the experiences and advocacy of many others of all orientations, ethnicities, races, genders, and political affiliations. I’m here to learn more about how that picture looks, and also add my own contributions to this wonderful, and ever changing picture that is our movement. With that, I’d like to thank AAPD for giving me this opportunity, and also to say: Hey DC! I’m Hamza, and I’m here to learn.