2016 Nonfiction, First Place
“North Africa to Iberia” by Jared Anwar
Pacific Palisade, California, USA
Palisades Charter High School
Jared Anwar is so honored to have been recognized by the Writing for Peace Organization. He cares deeply about cross-cultural connections, and finding ways to bond across our diverse backgrounds. Jared is currently a sophomore at Palisades Charter High School, which is a public school in Los Angeles that has one of the most diverse populations in the country. It draws students from all over the city of Los Angeles and the student body is a good reflection of the diversity within the city. Jared comes from a diverse background, with two Hindu grandparents, one Pakistani Muslim grandfather, and a German Catholic grandmother. They have helped form him into the person he is today and influenced his strong interest in world cultures. This interest led Jared to spend 10 months in Spain during tenth grade through AFS. Forming friendships with traditional Spaniards as well as recent Moroccan immigrants gave him a broad perspective of the Moroccan immigrant experience, and having to assimilate into a very traditional culture. It also helped him understand his own grandparents’ experience better. Jared is interested in public health, and in international relations. He hopes one day to help improve the understanding across cultures through education and through sharing of our best health care practices. Jared stumbled across this essay contest while researching ways to get involved in cross-cultural organizations. Academically, math comes easy to him and writing is always more challenging. However, Jared is passionate about the Moroccan immigrant experience, and about understanding all cultures, including Islam, and this is why he decided to share his story.
From 2016 Young Writers Contest Nonfiction Judge Rebekah Mosby:
Dear Jared,I chose your essay because you have an authentic voice and speak from your very real and personal experience. I admire that you are trying to make things work for yourself and for other Arabs in Spain. You have a positive attitude and a willingness to find solutions to the problems you and the other Moroccans in Spain face. I wish you all luck and hope that you continue to write about your experience and to overcome the obstacles you face.
Anwar’s winning story will be featured in our 2017 edition of DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts.
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