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For decades, MPACS student Afnan Aleem has situated himself in the center of some of the world’s most critical humanitarian crisis zones. As a Risk Management leader at Save the Children, he has spent most of the last decade supporting humanitarian assistance in war zones of Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Ukraine, Gaza, and Afghanistan – just to name a few. From being posted in Pakistan during the 2010 floods to negotiating humanitarian access with the Houthis in Yemen, he has gained deep knowledge and practical experience in the domain of peace and conflict.

Valeria Navarrete is a final-year Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) student who recently completed an internship at The Space Court Foundation, an organization committed to elevating space law and policy education. With the ongoing global race to increase human space presence, Valeria is interested in the potential conflicts this might produce, something that MPACS speaks to directly. In this article, Valeria expands on her interest in space law, its intersection with peace and conflict studies, and her experience as an MPACS student.

Article detailing the tenth anniversary of the MPACS program at Grebel and the University of Waterloo, which was celebrated on March 4, 2023. The celebration brought together upwards of 80 guests, including 42 alumni and most of the faculty and staff involved in the program’s establishment, growth, and mission during the last decade.

Before studying at the University of Waterloo, Rebaz worked in development and human rights law, gained his Ph.D. in Law, and worked with various non-profits in the Middle East. He decided to join the Master's in Peace and Conflict Studies program as a way to re-learn many of the systems he took for granted and to connect past lessons in new ways. In addition to development and human rights law, he also worked campaign design, humanitarian work, and program development. However, when working in these areas, he noticed that something was missing about whose responsible to change the system, and realized that “the somebody to do anything about [these issues around us], is everyone”. 

Zerihun Kinate, an outgoing student in the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program, has a rich background of knowledge in law, political science and international relations, combined with experience as an economic diplomat and expert in foreign trade relations and negotiations. Before joining the MPACS program, Zerihun described himself as a change-maker determined to disrupt systems and practices for the greater good. As he nears the end of his studies, he recognizes increased nuance and sensitivity in the issues he is passionate about, along with a critical understanding that there are no easy solutions to complex problems.  

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Student Profile: Sidra Khan

Sidra Khan is an MPACS student from Pakistan with a passion for grassroots movements and community-building. Now in her 3rd semester, she is strongly driven to connect with people – a quality that ties directly into the MPACS program. 

Sidra completed her undergraduate studies in social sciences, with a major in advertising and went on to work as a journalist before choosing the MPACS program. She chose the MPACS program due to its robust courses, rich discussions, diverse community, and balanced mix of professional and academic elements. 

This is the fifth installment of a monthly feature on the PACS website. This monthly profile of PACS and MPACS students will give a small snapshot into the pursuits and experiences of our students.

Kaylee PerezKaylee Perez, currently an MPACS student at Conrad Grebel, has always been interested in cross-cultural interactions and global issues. Following high school, Kaylee took a year off to attend a Servant Leadership Institute, which led her to major in Global studies at Wilfred Laurier University. During her undergrad, she completed an international and a local field placement, first interning for 3 months at a refugee centre in South Africa and then returning to volunteer with the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support, where she now works as a case worker.