“My name is Karina Bakhshi-Azar and I am a rising senior at Virginia Tech’s honors college majoring in both political science and public relations. I’m a first generation American with an Iranian father and Norwegian mother. I intend to pursue a career in law dealing with human rights violations in the Middle East with a specialization in women and children’s rights.
I became interested in NIAC after hearing about their Iranian related foreign policy and outreach work through a family friend. After the 9/11 attacks I became very aware of my Iranian heritage and how that made me different. I was very young when these attacks happened and thus the Islamophobic rhetoric that was targeted at me because of it made me want to distance myself from my Iranian roots. It wasn’t until I became older and realized the ignorance of these comments that I began to fully embrace my Iranian side just as much as my American and Norwegian sides. Today I am an advocate for increased understanding between Iranians and Americans and a great promoter of increased peace in the Middle East, something that NIAC fights for everyday.”
Apply for NIAC’s Fall internship here.