Fulbrighters gather for a photo with keynote speaker and bassist from Nirvana, Krist Novoselic, at the Opening Dinner held at the Seattle Aquarium.
The 2016 Fulbright Enrichment Seminar in Seattle, Washington, March 17-20, drew together an impressive cohort of 132 Fulbrighters from over 65 countries around the world to explore “Democracy in Action,” engage with leading political commentators (and the occasional rock star), and take in awe-inspiring natural landscapes draped by the city’s iconic backdrop: Mount Rainier.
Even before the seminar’s kickoff opening dinner, students had the opportunity to take in beautiful views of downtown while attending a sea otter feeding and reception at the Seattle Aquarium.
Delivering a riveting keynote address was the incomparable Krist Novoselic, bassist and co-founder of the rock band Nirvana and one of rock’s most politically-minded musicians. Through the Joints Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee (JAMPAC), Novoselic has taken a prominent leadership role in uniting music and politics; currently he serves as chair of FairVote, a Seattle non-profit election reform organization. His speech conveyed a deep passion and dedication to politics which resonated through the Fulbright attendees.
In the words of Ammar Mohammed, a Fulbright Foreign Student from Yemen:
A gorgeous sunrise in Portland awakens the Millennials to embark on our train journey. I was ready and excited to get on the train. I have been daydreaming about this day for the past two weeks.
This whole journey was beyond my expectations. I never dreamed about traveling so far by train. The breathtaking scenes to Seattle, on the first leg of our journey, were just mesmerizing. The Millennials aboard are also a unique aspect of the train. Everyone is so invested in their projects and I am grateful to be a part of such a rich and diverse leaning environment. During the social hours, I engage in discussions with the American participants and my Fulbright counterparts. We speak about being pioneers and leaders and how diversified the meanings of those terms are; culturally and personally.
Ammar met with Portland’s On-The-Move Community Integration organization, which helps integrate developmentally and intellectually disabled individuals into the local community.
Prior to embarking by train, I visited the On-The-Move Community Integration group in Portland. I was stunned by the great effort the volunteers and participants are doing to integrate into the society. This organization, which works with the developmentally and intellectually disabled, has taken integration one step further. Instead of inviting the community to the organization, they go out to meet with the community and participate in outdoor activities.