Audelia Arasheben is a sophomore attending the University of California, San Diego. She majors in Neuroscience and Physiology with a minor in Visual Arts. On campus, she is involved with the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority. Audelia was born and raised in Holon, Israel, and her parents are Iranian. She is pictured far left on #IsraelUncovered, with campus coordinator Lucia, and fellow UCSD students Ali, Aisha, and Joana.
The campus conversation event for the Israel Uncovered group at UCSD was an "everlasting event." If you're wondering why it was "everlasting," keep reading!
Four students from UCSD went on Israel Uncovered: Aisha, Joana, Alexandra, and myself (The David Project fellow at UCSD.) The four of us and our respective groups held an incredibly successful campus conversation on March 3rd, the goal of which was to discuss identity and really draw out commonalities between different groups and communities on campus. We had students from Tritons for Israel, Muslim Student Union, Flying Samaritans, Navigators (a Christian group on campus), and other groups come to our event to just sit and chat, and along the way we learned so much about each other. Obviously, when you have a huge crowd that comes together for the first time, the atmosphere can be tense at first. You can imagine just how nervous I was, as the host! I thought to myself, "What if this crowd doesn't get along?" For an icebreaker, we got into 4 groups of 5-6 people each, and I asked each group to find 5 things they shared in common and 5 things that are completely different from one another. Initially, it was surprisingly hard to find 5 very meaningful facts that are similar in all of us. Students wanted to jump to obvious conclusions, but we made it so that the similar facts had to have real substance. Believe it or not, it managed to work out. We were able to find the things that bond us. Whether it was our cultural backgrounds, or the struggles we face everyday, we found out that we were all far more similar than we could ever imagine. Throughout the event I met some very interesting students that have been in my classes during college but whom I had never officially "met." They had some of the most incredible stories. One student told me about her experiences coming from Nigeria and the struggles she faces in the United States. Later I found out that she's my neighbor! Another student from MSA was helping us a lot with the music and we began talking about medicine. Later I found out that we had the same major and almost all of the same classes. It was incredible to think that if we hadn't taken this next step of hosting this event, we might never have had a chance to really meet each other. We all spent the rest of the night talking, laughing, and eating delicious tacos together.
And it doesn't stop there. After our successful event was over, I continued to see students from the campus conversation around campus and often stopped to talk a little more. This is what I meant by "everlasting." I was so proud of our Israel Uncovered group. We are getting ready and gearing up for our next event in April, a photo exhibit to showcase out experiences in Israel. These events just keep getting better. I can't wait!
Aisha, Audelia, and Ali plan their campus events in Jerusalem (above)
The UCSD Campus Conversation