Razan Alaqil (YES 2014-15, hosted with FLAG in North Carolina) is currently attending Appalachian University. This article was originally published on the Appalachian University web site.
by Linda Coutant
Political science major Razan Farhan Alaqil is originally from Saudi Arabia and has been the Saudi youth representative to the United Nations.
Two events in fall semester of her junior year put her on the world stage.
In New York City in September, she participated in the MiSK-UNDP Youth Forum 2017 “Promoting Tolerance for Peace and Sustainable Development: A Dialogue with Youth,” jointly organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the MiSK Foundation.
The event brought together more than 400 youth leaders, world leaders, U.N. representatives and entrepreneurs to help young people fashion a more tolerant world. While there, she was part of a television interview about youth leaders.
In Jordan in October, she served as an official government representative to the 14th Youth of the Arab Capitals Forum, with the theme “Fighting Terrorism and Radical Thoughts.” According to reports from Appalachian’s Department of Government and Justice Studies, she was the first Saudi female to ever participate in the Forum and was selected to speak at the closing ceremony.
After graduation, she plans to continue working for the Saudi government within the United Nations “to show more youth participation, and to have the youth’s voice heard in major decisions,” she said.
Why choose Appalachian for her undergraduate education?
“During my senior year of high school, I was an exchange student through the State Department in the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad program, and during that year I got to live in North Carolina. I looked into Appalachian’s program in political science, and it truly attracted me to apply. Then, I started loving it here because of what we all take pride in: the Appalachian Family,” she said.
On campus, Alaqil has been involved with Appalachian Student Ambassadors, the Muslim Student Association and the Chancellor’s Student Advisory Board for Diversity Recruitment.
Appalachian is helping her realize her career dream “by giving an amazing support system from the Department of Government and Justice Studies and all of my incredible professors across the whole campus,” she said.
“Even the chancellor herself supports my work, recognizes it, and asks about it every time we meet.”