CCD: Tell us about your internship experience. What were your responsibilities?
Ibrahim: I would hold on average 3-4 tours each week of the Moakley Courthouse for students as well as working professionals, where I would talk about the architecture, artwork, and history of the court as well as the makeup of the American legal system. My primary focus with the tours was working with ESL students.
I redeveloped some of Discovering Justice’s website content, updated their donor data base, attended and facilitated workshops with Cambridge/Boston Public Schools teachers who sought to implement Discovering Justice’s educational curriculum into their classrooms, and facilitated mock trials/debates with students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
CCD: What was the best thing about the experience?
Ibrahim: I attended my first ever civil rights trial. Students for Fair Admissions (the group that took Abigail Fisher to the Supreme Court) was suing Harvard College for discriminatory affirmative action policies and I got to meet several judges such as Judge Saylor, who sits on the FISA court that approves search warrants for our national intelligence apparatus that was one of the hallmarks of Snowden’s leaks, and Judge Richard Stearns, who intimately presided over the Whitey Bulgar case, and is one of the leading terrorism judges in the world; he helped revitalize the American penal code and does consulting for NATO in the Balkans. Beyond that, I had free access to the Clerk’s office where I could go through all the archives of the court and print out as much as I wanted for free. So I spent a lot of time printing out transcripts from the Boston Marathon Bombing, Freedom of Information Act Requests, Guantanamo Bay appeals, domestic terrorism cases, etc. That was really eye opening.
CCD: What’s next for you?
Ibrahim: I was just appointed the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Department for the Youth Caucus of America, a non-profit lobbying organization that specializes in youth issues. I’m looking to put together a team to conduct research and lobby Congress on important international issues that affect the youth, such as trying to get the US to ratify the UN Treaty on the Rights of the Child, strengthening our Countering Violent Extremism apparatus, work on issues regarding refugee resettlement, and so on.
Additionally, I’ve created a new Facebook page called My Muslim Friends which is a Humans of New York-esque photography project that collects photos from Muslims and non-Muslims alike and has them write messages of friendship and positivity in hopes of promoting solidarity between the two communities. I’m in the process of interviewing several BU Professors, transcribing interviews, and I’m trying to reach out to the Refugee Practitioner Community here in Boston.