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2022 Syria Justice and Accountability Centre Fellow

Sumayah Basal

Sumayah Basal
BA Political Science ‘24

Syria Justice and Accountability Centre

“Interning at the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre was an incredibly fulfilling experience. The ability to live in Washington D.C. and work at an N.G.O. working on international law and justice was irreplaceable. I am very thankful to the DHRC for enabling this opportunity, and to SJAC for having me. During my time I came face to face with the variety of work that went into organization operations, and learning about all the moving pieces. The team at SJAC provided me with numerous insights, not only on my work within the organization, but also about paths to pursue beyond graduation.

Through taking on a variety of roles, I was able to taste multiple flavors of what makes an NGO function: from performing communications work, working with the legal team, creating research briefs for the Missing Persons Program, to tagging in on meetings– I gained a nuanced picture of justice work. This sparked my passion for pursuing work in the international scene, focused on the Middle East, all the more.

On the whole, seeing an organization so dedicated to its cause sparked an immense passion to continue on the path of international law and justice. SJAC is an organization that is so thoroughly connected to the cause it represents. Witnessing this in an organization was refreshing. With everything the organization did, it made tangible, noticeable, differences. From running on the ground exhumation teams, working with U.S. authorities, providing human rights documentation training, running a database for human rights documentation, to transcribing and filing court cases in Europe– the organization has managed to thoroughly involve itself in creating and addressing justice in Syria. Additionally, during my time in D.C. I was able to explore most of the nooks and crannies of the city through long walks, which I very much enjoyed. I am eager to return to the field of international law and justice, and continue on the path I started at SJAC.”