War survivor Nabi Sahak has a burning ambition to change the world for the better, and a Rotary Peace Fellowship scholarship is helping him get there.
Mr Sahak is no stranger to conflict. He lived through the terrors of war in Afghanistan for 23-years before migrating to the United States in 2002.
An eyewitness to refugee crises, humanitarian violations and the full gamut or war horrors meant he had much to contribute as a postgraduate student at UQ’s Rotary Peace Centre, one of only six in the world.
Mr Sahak’s commitment to peace was forged while serving in the Afghan Armed Forces and during his recovery in hospital from gunshot.
“Waiting in line for surgery, bleeding in my neck and chest, I promised myself if I survived these wounds then I would commit my life to the work of peace,” he said.
After soldiering he worked in a number of challenging jobs – from a BBC radio reporter to a senior US global war on terror analyst – and enrolled as a mature age student in UQ’s Master of Peace and Conflict Studies.
“It was intimidating at first, but the culture at UQ promotes students from every age group, every nationality and every background, so I felt very comfortable in the environment,” he said.
Supported by the scholarship Mr Sahak bravely returned to Afghanistan and Pakistan to research his Master’s thesis.
The visit confirmed he wanted to be an agent for change and that peace was everyone’s natural right and as such needed protecting.
“Peace is beautiful and brings all the promises that humanity was destined to fulfil. In war, life becomes a burden, but in peace life becomes a blessing,” he said.
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