Interviewer: Zoya Salahuddin
Malak Elmoh is an International Politics major at Georgetown University, passionate human rights activist and Qatar International School graduate. This experienced QLC presenter has always been enthusiastic about advocating for human rights; she has served as her school’s MUN Deputy Secretary General and has diligently volunteered in multiple organisations. After the success of her workshop ‘Women in Arab Societies: An Unconventional Standpoint’ at QLC last year, she returns with her guide to university preparations, created specifically for students worried about the process: ‘The Virtual Handbook to Preparing for University’.
Are there any essential skills you picked up during your involvement with your school’s MUN? How have they helped you over the years?
Yes, there are quite a few actually! After years of being both a delegate and a chair, I saw such a sharp turn in my character altogether. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely always been a pretty outgoing, talkative person. However, it’s the maturity and clarity that I began to speak with that I owe to my involvement in MUN. It’s experiences like this which mould you into a member of a society who can actually CONTRIBUTE. The ability to outspokenly deliver a point to the table, whatever the situation, I see as one of the greatest strengths one could have. This, henceforth, aids in being a person who can easily adapt to different situations. Having taught and worked one-on-one with the students who were involved in my school’s MUN club, I also amplified not only my communication skills, but my leadership skills too. It’s these skills which have ultimately helped me obtain all the different opportunities I’ve encountered in my life.
Your workshop this year is titled ‘The Virtual Handbook to Preparing for University’. What are some of the difficulties you faced while applying for university and how did you combat them?
You’ll have to attend my workshop to hear the full story! I can, however, give you a few sneak peaks. I think the biggest struggle was definitely ‘attempting’ to juggle my academics, social life, health, extra-curricular activities, the applications themselves etc. But luckily for other students, my workshop is going to provide some tips on how to combat this!
What was it like stepping into university for the first time after all your efforts?
It definitely felt surreal to finally embark on a journey that I had been working tirelessly towards for years! Orientation week felt like a blur, honestly. It’s one thing to get a university acceptance, but it’s another to actually, finally, attend. I have no shame in saying that I was, and still am, so proud of myself for having made it this far. It also lifted the massive, MASSIVE weight of whether or not I’d have somewhat of a future, off of my chest too.
Was choosing your major difficult? What sparked your interest in International Politics?
It’s a well known fact that I’ve ventured and showed interest in every field throughout the entirety of my high school career. Therefore, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was difficult, just that it was quite a prolonged journey. However, what primarily sparked my interest in International Politics was my unshakable passion for current affairs and ever-changing world of politics. We live in a time where access to the world’s happenings is at our fingertips, and by indulging in a degree which widened my opportunities of being more engaged and aware of the world and its happenings, I have developed an even stronger passion for this field.
What made you want to come back to QLC after your first workshop?
I absolutely adore QLC and the concept of it. It was undoubtedly my favorite conference of my high school years. After all of the positive feedback after my first workshop, I knew that I had to undergo the experience once again. It’s great to work one-on-one with students and to hear some of their amazing ideas and opinions and LEARN from them too! I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of attending the conference even though I’ve left high school, so here I am!
Finally, what drives your passion for women’s rights?
Although, I am lucky and blessed enough to have access to so many wonderful opportunities, like my education, I know this isn’t necessarily the case for a lot of other women. I feel for all the women in this world who are put at a disadvantage just because of their gender. Nobody, no matter who they are and what category they fall under, should be deprived of their basic human rights. The debate can rage on for as long as it wants, but at the end of the day, women’s rights are basic human rights. The confusion towards this notion is what ultimately motivates me to keep vocalizing this necessity for all women to have access to these rights.