With my Abbasi grant, I spent my summer in DC working as in intern at United Muslim Relief. UMR is an international non-profit NGO that focuses on building humanitarian coalitions to tackle development needs. The organization is driven by their Islamic values and works in many Muslim countries all over the world. I had volunteered with UMR in difference capacities in high school. I was really excited to work for them, especially because the office was full of young and enthusiastic people who are passionate about their work.
Coming into this internship, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew that UMR was a growing organization and that it was going through a lot of changes. Starting during Ramadan meant that it would be a very busy time and I was really nervous. I worried about finding my place in the organization and making the most of my time there. Being an intern for the Programs department, I worked on things that pertained to the different programs and projects that UMR was implementing. From the Ramadan campaigns and the Rohingya Emergency Response to Dental services and so much more.
I was seekig an internship at UMR because I have a passion for working to make a difference in the world. I’m extremely interested in the field of international development and United Muslim Relief just seemed like a good fit. I was sure that the experience I would receive at UMR would further my intentions and passions. I’m glad to say that I was more than right. From this internship I learned a lot about the way that international development works both on a large and a smaller scale. I was also able to understand the ins and outs of topic-specific programs and projects and learn more about many of the major humanitarian crises as well as some that aren’t talked about as much.
My internship was a great way for me to get the experience of working in international development from an office setting. I learned how to cooperate on projects with people from all departments, and how important collaboration is in this field of work. UMR works with a lot of other organizations such as Orphans in Need, Al-Khair Foundation, and Syrian Relief and Development. Coalition building is very important, more so than I thought beforehand.
At the end of my internship I realized that I could see myself working at UMR or an organization similar to UMR after college. I enjoyed the work that I was doing, the people that I was working with, and I felt like I was given a good amount of responsibility. The VP of Programs that I was working under trusted me with larger assignments, which pushed me to work harder and improve my skills. In the end, I made great friends and connections, and I hope to work with UMR in many different capacities in the future. I’m really grateful to the Abbasi program for giving me the opportunity to spend my summer working at UMR and for helping me realize that this is, in deed, the type of work that I’d like to do in the future.