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A Watson Fellow Digs into Urgent Global Issues

As she travels the world for a year on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, Moni Ayoub (Lebanon, UWC Adriatic, College of the Atlantic ’19) has been digging for insight and understanding on the issues of human trafficking, domestic violence, refugees and vulnerable communities.

“My Watson fellowship was inspired by the many stories of violence, abuse, war, poverty, and human trafficking that I have heard, seen or experienced, and the importance of bringing voice to these issues,” Moni writes. “My aim is to gain new approaches and perspectives that will guide my future work in Lebanon and in other countries.”

Moni’s plan calls for her to spend time in Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Argentina and Sweden. “I am now in Tunisia, learning and working on the connection of irregular migration to the issue of human trafficking,” she wrote at year’s end.

“Tunisia is a focal point of entry into Europe, which means there is a lot of migration. The process ... often puts many people in vulnerable situations. This leads to human traffickers exploiting and forcing people into child labor, forced labor, or sex trafficking.

“A truly remarkable experience was living with a family on the entrance to the Sahara in the south of Tunisia. I helped the family on their date farm and with caring for their camels and goats. Their humble essences, kindness, generosity, faith in the unknown, connection to mother Earth, and resiliency will be a light in my heart forever.