Student Profile: Boushrah Fanous

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Boushrah Fanous

Boushrah Fanous is currently a fourth year PACS student. When she was in high school, Boushrah had intended to enrol in a program like international development or political science. However, no program that she saw really seemed to fit what she was looking for. It was only when a high school teacher suggested that she look into the Peace and Conflict Studies program at the University of Waterloo that she felt like she had found something that fit. The program’s interdisciplinary nature and ability to cover a range of topics appealed from the get-go, and she’s been invested ever since.

Throughout her time in the program, Boushrah found it valuable to learn about systemic violence, racism, and the philosophy behind it all. Different PACS courses have allowed her to learn about a variety of concepts that other programs would not have covered the same way.

“PACS 201 was my favourite class of first year, because it gave me a good idea of the big picture of peace work. Other classes were great, but the blend of history intrigued me because there was so much to learn from it.”

PACS classes such as PACS 331: Trauma, Healing & Conflict Resolution have also taught her to adopt a trauma-informed lens, and have helped her in her interpersonal relationships beyond the classroom. They have changed the way that she looks at and approaches the world ahead of her. Boushrah now looks at systemic problems behind everything she sees, instead of only glancing at problems on a surface level.

Since enrolling in her degree, Boushrah has been involved in a number of things on campus connected to the program. One year, she had the opportunity to be the Peace Representative for the Conrad Grebel residence body (PACS rep). Over the year in her position, she was able to teach people about the conflict between Palestine and Israel, which is a topic that she’d previously had conflicting feelings about. Through experiences like being the PACS rep, Boushrah has learned how to appreciate different perspectives:

“I’ve learned to see everything from multiple angles, and that everything is connected. There’s something deeper in every story.”

Currently, Boushrah is the Peace and Conflict Studies undergraduate representative for the department— a position that involves speaking for the students with the faculty. She is a voice for the students, and provides insights into the needs of the undergraduate population.

In the future, she’d like to focus on policy making and international law, but she doesn’t entirely know where this path will take her. Whatever she ends up doing, though, she hopes that she will be able to make a difference along the way with the help of her PACS degree.

For future students, Boushrah recommends that you:

“Don’t hold too tightly to your plans. Be willing to learn different things and be flexible— you never know what might surprise you!”

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