The senior project is another bump in the road for most high school seniors, keeping them away from gaining the freedom they have prayed for ever since the first day of freshman year.
This project is considered an opportunity that is supposed to demonstrate autonomy, complexity and awareness, all qualities seniors are supposed to gain during their years in high school. With this in mind, many choose topics that will keep them entertained throughout the year-long project. Some even choose topics that will gain both attention and understanding.
Amala Sarvepalli, a senior at Lakeside High School, chose the topic "Women's Rights in the Middle East" in order to spread awareness on the mishandled view on the religion of the region, Islam, and the religion's treatment of women.
Through her project, Amala hopes to establish a new outlook on Islam and prove her point that the governments of these countries are actually at fault.
"Islam is a religion that is legalistic. It has a set of rules. But the governments have skewed these points and turned them into something they really aren't," said the 17-year-old senior.
In order to gain information on women's rights in Islam, Amala visited a local mosque, The Islamic Society of Augusta. She felt welcomed by the elders and students. Imam Majed Sabke was extremely welcoming and answered Amala's questions with ease and no bias. The women whom Amala got a chance to interview gave their personal view with their religion close to their heart.
"I learned a lot about Muslims. I learned past what the history books taught me growing up. Not only did I learn about the religion, I gained knowledge on the cultures of the Middle East. Political backgrounds was something I really loved and enjoyed learning about," said Amala.
Through this project, Amala has learned that Islam is actually open-minded toward women. She learned that it was actually about the culture of countries, not the actual religion.
She admits to being biased before her research. Listening to the news and focusing on certain aspects of the situation created around the religion helped with her opinion. "My whole entire perspective changed after my research for the project," she said.
The senior project is divided into two parts: research and a product. Amala will be hosting The Jordan River Foundation 5k Classic, a charity walk that will help raise money for the Jordan River Foundation.
The Jordan River Foundation is an organization founded by the queen of Jordan, Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, and it helps women and children stabilize their lives in Jordan. The race will be held on Jan. 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lakeside High School track.
Although the project can get stressful and sometimes hard to balance with school work, I believe that the senior project should be kept. It gives students an excuse to spread awareness and knowledge on international debates.
It is important to research and then form an opinion instead of listening to what other people say and believe. It gives people more knowledge and a voice in society, something we desperately need in the present.
(Humma Hassan is a junior at Lakeside High School with an interest in world religions.)
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