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International Relations Personal Statement

Being of Pakistani heritage means I am at the heart of multiculturalism that many would say defines Britain today. Growing up as a British Asian in the last decade has allowed me to experience life embedded in a world of politics, not only from a Western perspective but also that of other cultures. The tug from both ends of my identity would be dichotomous in some, but for me it leads to a willingness to understand both perspectives of my identity. This, in turn, has instilled within me a keen need to gain knowledge in current affairs at both a national and an international level. As a result, I have become aware of the rise in conflict in the world today, specifically the Middle East, and the continuing economic and social problems occurring on the world stage. Sociology served as the catalyst for my interest into the dynamics of British politics and power, the role of the state and its relationship with the people it governs. This culminated in my aspiration to further develop my understanding of international politics and development. I found myself particularly intrigued by the cooperation and interference by nation states during conflict and the involvement of organisations such as the UN and their work in resolving conflict.

The Extended Project Qualification allowed me the opportunity to explore the issue of peace and security independently in the form of a question 'can peace ever be a possibility in the Middle East?' Whilst investigating this conflict I have faced many opposing views and developed my skills in extracting information and using it to form a fair argument. Alongside this, I am the leader of my colleges Debate society whereupon I coach others on the key skills needed for a successful debate. All decisions whether political, social, domestic or international, are decisions that are taken by individuals in organisations ranging from the local residents association to supranational organisations like the EU. I volunteered myself for this role because I believe that it is significant for a diplomatic approach to any issue, to possess skills such as patience, understanding and confidence. I have studied literature in both prose and poetic form. 'The Catcher in the Rye' was one of the works I had chosen to study, my research on the history of the book and its literary context, unveiled its rather fascinating ties to politics. A decision was made to ban the novel between 1966 and 1975 by several authorities and states in the US. A political decision such as this insinuates the great importance of literature on its audience and its effect on politics itself. The novel plays on themes of power and powerlessness reflecting the definition of politics; the struggle for power.

This concurs with my belief in the importance of politics in our daily lives which can be aptly understood by John Kingdom's view of politics in Government and Politics in Britain. He regards politics as everything - it is the way we organise ourselves together as a community. For me, taking part in civil society is my contribution to politics. I took part in and worked on a project as part of Kirklees Young People's Service and this allowed me to develop my confidence, leadership and teamwork skills. The project gave me huge responsibility in terms of orchestrating the renovation of the community room in our local library. Our work was rewarded with a Youth Group Award from my local Rotary. Recently, I have given my spare time to committing to 'Team v'; a vInspired flagship leadership programme that has young leaders take on projects within their community. I feel that through these campaigns I can make a positive impact on my local community. I aspire to have a role in international affairs. I would like to be involved with the process of foreign policy and organisations such as the UN so that I can contribute to promoting security and development, internationally.

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This personal statement was written by FiyaA for application in 2014.

FiyaA's university choices
University of Leeds
The University of York

Green: offer made
Red: no offer made

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