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Fatima Hashmi: International Exchange Student at Clarion University
I grew up in the city of Lahore, in Pakistan. I spent a few years of my childhood in Fort Collins, Colorado where my father was a PhD student at Colorado State University. I'm studying environmental sciences at Kinnaird College in Pakistan and am graduating in May 2008. I am looking forward to going back to my home institution for graduate studies in environmental sciences with a concentration in Sustainable Development. My long term career goals involve becoming a college professor; I have been so inspired and motivated by my professors through out my academic life that I truly believe change in society begins with education.
Apart from the environment that I am dedicated to, I am also a human rights advocate and have worked for for NGOs relating to children's' rights.
I think it would be an understatement to say that I enjoy reading, I am obsessed with but it's an obsession that has helped me polish my critical thinking, analytical, and academic skills. I particularly enjoy reading non-fiction autobiographies, among my favorite is 'The Autobiography of Malcom X'. African-American salve history absolutely fascinates me and I read almost any book about I can get on it. And of course I enjoy reading the Harry Potter and the Twilight series. Among the literary classics my favorite is the Russian author Ivan Turgenev and his book 'Fathers and Sons'.
Writing is a passion, and since I am passionate about environmental issues, human rights and politics, my writings tend to be centered around these topics and most of them are written for the local newspaper or college magazine.
As a member of my college's Environment Club (in Pakistan) I actively participate in creating awareness on environmental issues in Pakistan. Water contamination is the most threatening issues in Pakistan presently. Almost all drinking water has been contaminated with Arsenic. Bottled water is suspected to be adulterated and controversies over dam building to store water otherwise flowing in to the Arabian sea are alarming issues. Trips included visiting remote wildlife reserves in the desert areas of Pakistan, and spending hours in a boat to catch a glimpse of the endangered blind dolphins. Biodiversity surveys were also conducted in local wetland areas and the northern mountainous regions of Pakistan.
Aangan: a Non-governmental organization
The government of Pakistan has insufficient funds and resources to provide basic services to its citizens which is why many NGOS are actively doing what the government can not. One of the NGOs- Aangan, works at creating awareness of child sexual abuse and helps provide counseling and therapy to victims of such abuse. As a volunteer with the NGO, I help to create awareness on the issue within my community, a daunting task considering it is a taboo and never talked about. My work with the NGO can be seen here: 
I love acting and have been an active member of the dramatics clubs in school and college back home in Pakistan. I have acted in a series of stage dramas which includes a mime performance as well. I did the following plays: 1. A Woman of No Importance 2. The Importance of being Earnest 3. Hades- a Greek mime play
I interned for WWF-Pakistan in the summer of 2005 in the GIS(Geographic Information Systems) department. My work involved digitzing hand made maps that represented exotic and endangered bird species habitats in Pakistan.