Make The Connection

February 19, 2019 | By Christina Semeraro '21

Ohio Wesleyan students Noah Spicer ’19 (left) and Ahmed Hamed ’20 visited Northern Ireland to explore sectarian conflicts. During their OWU Connection experience, they met Matthew O'Neill, a doctoral student at Queens University, Belfast, and Tánaiste Simon Coveney, the deputy head of the government of Ireland and the man who inspired their research. (Photo by Lisa Ho)

‘History, Security, and Peace’

Ohio Wesleyan Students Compare Conflicts in Northern Ireland, Middle East

Name: Ahmed Hamed ’20

Majors: Accounting and Politics and Government

Hometown: Hilliard, Ohio

Experience: Theory-to-Practice Grant, “History, Security, and Peace: A Comparison of Sectarian Conflicts in Northern Ireland and the Middle East”

Hamed and Noah Spicer ’19 of North Reading, Massachusetts, traveled to Northern Ireland for a week in January to compare and contrast sectarian issues in Northern Ireland with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They received an OWU Connection grant for their trip and traveled with Lisa Ho, assistant director of International and Off-Campus Programs.

Why This Opportunity?

“I applied for this grant through the OWU Connection to craft my own experience and to do research on something I am passionate about learning, creating something that has an impact that reaches far beyond the classroom.”

Lessons Learned

“This trip taught me a lot about what somewhere looks like ‘post-conflict,’ how even when things may seem to be resolved the root causes still bubble just below the surface and how to resolve those. It gave me a better insight on the relationship between Northern Ireland and the Middle East, how it began, and why it still exists today.

“While I left the trip with more questions than answers, it was extremely valuable both in the knowledge I gained and the connections I made to those I had the fortune to meet and speak with.

“Experiences like this give students like myself the opportunity to gain more than just knowledge, but real world skills that can be translated in many different ways.”

Favorite moment of the experience

“My favorite moment from the experience was being able to hear from people that have experiences/knowledge both about Northern Ireland and the Middle East. They offered perspectives unique to our project which I found difficult to find online when doing my initial research.”

Why did you choose Ohio Wesleyan?

“I chose Ohio Wesleyan to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities offered outside the classroom, especially travel and internships. I also wanted a school where I could make close connections with faculty and staff and obtain an education that would prepare me for graduate school.” 

What are your plans after graduation?

“After graduation I'm looking to attend law school and pursue a master’s degree.”