Share This

Salzburg spring touches Colin Powell School junior Ranin Ali

Ranin Ali_Global_Citizenship_Alliance_2018
Top photo: Colin Powell Fellow Ranin Ali [left] with Holocaust survivor Hedy Rose who was in hiding a few blocks from Anne Frank in Amsterdam during World War II. Bottom photo: Ali at the Nazi concentration camp Dachau.

There was a time when springtime was associated with revolutions abroad, particularly in the political sphere. For Ranin M. Ali, a junior in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at The City College of New York, the impact seems personal after her own spring experience in Salzburg, Austria, with a Dutch Holocaust survivor and contemporary of Anne Frank.

City College’s first participant in the Global Citizenship Alliance, a week-long seminar that teaches students from around the world to become global citizens, returned home just that -- a global citizen eager to encourage others to embrace empathy.

A Muslim born in Libya, raised in Sudan, and living in New York since 2009, Ali’s worldview was changed entirely by the intense program, its star guest, Hedy Rose, and a visit to the Dachau, the infamous Nazi-era concentration camp.

“Hedy shared her experiences during World War II, how she and her family hid after her father was taken,” said the Brooklyn resident. “Her mother died of stress while hiding in a family friend’s basement. Hedy, then six, and her older sister hid in another basement in Amsterdam throughout the war.  Anne Frank was in hiding a few blocks away. They survived on soup made from potato peels.”

Rose’s sorrowful memories reinforced the Salzburg program’s key messages on what it takes to be a global citizen: “how to be empathetic, why we need to be empathetic and eliminating the ‘us’ versus ‘them’ attitude. It was great,” said Ali, a business major minoring in public policy.

“Before the seminar, I always considered myself Sudanese-American. Now I consider myself a global citizen while acknowledging other people’s differences and experiences,” she said. “I’ve become more appreciative of the world and everyone’s differences.”

Ali hopes to make a difference in her role as a Colin Powell Fellow. The program prepares students for a life in public service and active citizenship where they can apply their skills to issues of public concern.

She is also a SEEK Scholar and was accompanied to Salzburg by Marie C. Nazon, acting director of SEEK. The program nominated Ali for the Salzburg seminar based on, among other things, her academic excellence, and engagement in SEEK programs.

About The SEEK Program at CCNY
The Percy Ellis Sutton Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) program was founded in 1965 at The City College of New York. It is the higher education opportunity program at the senior and comprehensive (four year) CUNY colleges, while College Discovery (CD), founded in 1964, is at the CUNY community colleges (two year). SEEK and CD were established to provide comprehensive academic, financial, and social supports to assist capable students who otherwise might not be able to attend college due to their educational and financial circumstances. Students are admitted without regard to age, sex, sexual orientation, race, disability or creed.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.



Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580

View CCNY Media Kit