Making a Difference with Panim el Panim
Posted on 11/16/2011 @ 02:00 PM
Read more about the Panim el Panim experience through the eyes of a teen participant, Sarah Isaacs, Ida Crown, Chicago, IL
Today, on Panim el Panim we began our day bright and early with a legislative debate about the Middle East with Justin Logan, the Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute and Matthew Duss, the Director of Middle East Progress at the Center for American Progress.
We then gathered together to discuss different aspects of the Arab Spring and how we, as a community, can learn from it to take action.
After a tour of the Capitol, Library of Congess, and the Smithsonian Mall, we all headed down to McPherson Square to interact with the homeless and some protesters from Occupy DC. Each of us walked from this program, called "Street Torah," with a new appreciation and understanding of homelessness. I learned that each of those people (both Occupy DC and the Homeless) are just that: People. I admit that I had never paid attention to the homeless before, but after talking to people tonight, I realized that my original assumptions about the homeless were wrong.
One homeless person I spoke with tonight was named Robert, who took it upon himself to take care of a dog he found on the street to save her life. Robert, a man with almost no possessions, took it upon himself to take care of another. It taught me to look at the homeless in a new light, it showed me that they have the same needs and emotions as me. Most of all, it showed me that they deserve attention and love.
After that inspirational experience, we came back to the hotel and prepared to lobby tomorrow. Panim el Panim is on the way to making a difference!