Current Student Profile: Fariba Atkin

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Prior to starting graduate studies at Grebel, Fariba Atkin had a successful career in Software Engineering, had immigrated to Canada, and had happily raised two children. “Career and family gave me a sense of achievement but not fulfillment,” she explained.

Fariba Atkin

“Early on in life, during the Iran-Iraq war (1980 to 1988), I witnessed and felt the devastation of losing our home and entire belongings because of an airstrike,” said Fariba. “While the experience was traumatic and painful, my heart gained more strength through love, compassion, and knowing that peace is a journey that starts from within.”

Seeking a new professional focus that could help unpack her personal experience of war, Fariba enrolled in the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies program at Conrad Grebel University College and the University of Waterloo. She was drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of the program and its focus on practical skills building. MPACS provides students with tools to understand sources of conflict, polarization, and systems of violence, as well as the knowledge to be self-reflective agents of peace.

Learning within the MPACS Community allowed Fariba to improve as a student and helped her understand the importance of support. “Very soon I realized that it is not just the breadth of material covered in the courses, but also the mentorship, and a kind-minded peer group that are helping me grow as a peacebuilder,” shared Fariba.

In the future, Fariba hopes to build a career in policy analysis and research.