“For many of Miami-Dade’s 2.6 million residents, one of Hurricane Irma’s very present realities is language. According to the most recent American Community Survey, 72.8 percent of the area’s population speaks a language other than English at home — for 64 percent, that’s Spanish.” When Hurricane Warnings Are Lost in Translation– The Atlantic
Meedan (My host organization) is pooling efforts with #IrmaRelief, an open source initiative to support #HurricaneIrma victims with tools for relief & recovery. We’re looking for volunteer translators who speak Haitian Creole or Spanish to assist a number of translation efforts for disaster response effort Irma Response.
It is hard to keep the energy flowing when you are exhausted after completing a tight, four-week academic program, but the excitement and restlessness of being in a city that is considered the power center of the world, doesn’t allow you the time or the space to rest! You chose to keep the buzz going to explore what is so special about this place and what is waiting for you in this epicenter of the United States. The thrill doubles when the subconscious keeps reminding you that you are in Washington DC where the Office of the U.S. President is located just a mile away from your hotel. All you can think of in this whole scenario is to visit all these amazing places, take pictures, and post them on social media and let everyone know that you made it. “We have to make the most of the two days,” was the general philosophy of IYLEP 2015.
Landing in New York City for the first time in life and watching extraordinary hustle and bustle on the roads surrounded by high-rise buildings (which require a 90-degree angle to get a sight of the top) not only dazes but also infuses unusual inquisitiveness to explore each corner of the city especially when you have just three days to work on your wish list. It is almost dreams coming true for youngsters to be among the millions of strangers, yellow cabs, and policemen mostly seen through the lens of Hollywood.
Iraqi Youth Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) participants pose for a group picture.